Canola Oil Myths and Truths

Canola oil – commonly found in the kitchen as a grease ingredient to pan fry or fry food. Canola oil originally however wasn’t supposed to be edible. Originally, canola oil was an oil meant only for fuelling machines.

canola oil myths and truths

Canola oil is commonly found in the kitchen as a grease ingredient to pan fry or fry food. Canola oil originally, however, wasn’t supposed to be edible. Originally, it was an oil meant only for fuelling machines. The oil back then was known as rapeseed oil. However, scientists wanted to make more sources of oil for food and cooking and began selective breeding. The selective breeding for canola oil then resulted in seeds that had a less bitter taste and less heart-damaging compounds. Once they cleaned it out, rapeseed oil then became the all-new Canola Oil.

But there are some problems with Canola Oil. Is it really as heart healthy as they say it is? Doesn’t it damage your heart/ Well, here are some myths that need debunking and some truths about Canola Oil that might change your mind.

Canola oil is toxic.

Answer: Myth

Canola oil is no longer toxic unless it’s not processed well and is just left as Rapeseed Oil. What made canola oil toxic was the erucic acid. Studies tested this originally on rats and showed that erucic oil does cause heart damage. However, some studies have been trying to prove that canola oil is still toxic. But what makes it less toxic is the process it goes through. The Rapeseeds used to create Canola Oil are seeds that are low in erucic acid which lowers or if not completely removes the threat to the heart.

Canola oil can be used industrially.

Answer: Truth

Canola oil being one of the easiest to produce was used in a variety of things. This included the production of plastic, soap, and can even be used as biofuel. Now, just because it can be used as an industrial material does not make it dangerous. In fact, Canola Oil often times just serves as a binder for the other materials. For example in the creation of soap, Canola Oil is what allows the soap to solidify and contain the other chemicals that makes the soap such as the Sodium Hydroxide and other chemicals.

Canola oil is extracted from toxic ingredients!

Answer: Depends where it’s from.

Depending on where your Canola Oil comes from, Canola Oil can be industrially made or farm made. If industrially, often times to extract the Canola Oil, they used Hexane. Now, there is a reason for this. The extraction is done via distillation in which the oil must be placed with another oil that has a higher boiling point than the substance you’re trying to distill. And it just so happens, Hexane fits the best with Canola Oil. Once the Canola Oil starts to evaporate, it is then condensed into oil again. During this process, the heat is maintained to make sure that the Hexane does not mix with the Canola oil.

However, there’s another way in which they do cold pressing. While this has very little toxic ingredients, it does take longer and it costs more to produce Canola Oil this way.

Canola oil can reduce heart risk

Answer: Inconclusive

The problem with Canola Oil is that it’s already processed. Because of this, it also forms trans fats at some point. However, there are other forms of Canola oil that include the addition of oleic acid which helps it not break down when being fried. Canola also has high ALA (Alpha Linoleic Acid) which reduces heart risk because it’s easier to break down. And when exposed to heat, it lasts longer and doesn’t transform into a trans fat that can damage your heart.

Sources:

Beauchemin, K. A., & McGinn, S. M. (2006). Methane emissions from beef cattle: Effects of fumaric acid, essential oil, and canola oil. Journal of Animal Science, 84(6), 1489-1496.

Przybylski, R., Mag, T., Eskin, N. A. M., & McDonald, B. E. (2005). Canola oil. Bailey’s industrial oil and fat products, 2, 61-122.

Idem, R. O., Katikaneni, S. P., & Bakhshi, N. N. (1996). Thermal cracking of canola oil: reaction products in the presence and absence of steam. Energy & Fuels, 10(6), 1150-1162.

McDonald, B. E., Gerrard, J. M., Bruce, V. M., & Corner, E. J. (1989). Comparison of the effect of canola oil and sunflower oil on plasma lipids and lipoproteins and on in vivo thromboxane A2 and prostacyclin production in healthy young men. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 50(6), 1382-1388.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *