Turns out the average American consumes this ingredient in massive quantities and, no surprise, it’s in ALL fast food.
It’s not completely useless since it makes a great lubricant and it’s being studied as an alternative to nonrenewable petroleum products for everything from fueling cars to making plastic to formulating printer ink.
No, it’s not sugar or even sugar’s twin sister, corn syrup. (more on that later!)
The answer is: Canola Oil.
The introduction of vegetable oils is on the rise, providing a cheap source of cooking and especially frying. The word “vegetable” conjures up images of broccoli and spinach but in this context, it just means “anything that isn’t an animal”.
Don’t be fooled by the marketing and there is a LOT of marketing to convince you this is healthy.
From nuts to mayonnaise to cooked vegetables – canola oil is in just about every food you can imagine.
Attend the fancy brunch with the in-laws, head over to the guy with the big hat at the omelette station and your breakfast will be covered in, you guessed it: canola oil.
Last week I was at a popular “healthy” food chain perusing through the deli section looking for a cooked meal for lunch. Pecan chicken salad with grapes and tarragon, Sounds yummy, right?
Juicy Thai food with chicken and mixed vegetables, served in a spicy brown broth. Sign me up!
Craft burger on a baked brioche bun with all the fresh vegetables and a side order of hand-cut fries. Excellent!
All of the above was held together, cooked and mixed with canola oil.
So why should I be concerned?
Glad you asked!
This oil is being called healthy because it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but that’s like the myth that wine is good for you because it has traces of antioxidants in it.
It’s taste is neutral, however it also neutralizes the flavor of all the other ingredients, making your food bland. Most well developed tongues of food bloggers will argue that it tastes like a chemical, which is not far from the truth.
What is Canola Oil?
Canola oil is heavily genetic engineered (the first indicator to stay avoid it). In fact, over 90% of the canola crops grown in the United States are GMO to improve the quality of the oil and increase the plant’s tolerance to herbicides.
Canola oil is highly processed because it’s production involves high heat and exposure to chemicals since it’s pretty much impossible to press any oil out of a rapeseed. During processing, the seeds are heated and crushed before being bleached and deodorized.
Deodorized? Yes, the entire process stinks with a putrid smell that will turn your stomach!
As a chemically refined oil it must go through stages. Bleaching to remove its brown color and then deodorizing, all of which involve chemical treatment.
If this heavy genetic engineering has you understandably concerned, know that rapeseed is one of the most heavily pesticide-treated crops. One of the processes of creating canola oil is know as hydrogenation, which creates trans fats.
These trans fats are not found in nature, so our bodies don’t know what to do with them, creating toxins and responses in the body to reject them as nutrients or food, throwing off cholesterol balances and increasing cardiovascular risks and resistance to insulin.
There are other culprits on this bad oil list known to be refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) oils:
Peanut - used to cook french fries.
What does it do to the body?
The heavily modified molecules (GMO) in canola oil inhibit the body’s natural ability to heal, creating symptoms of:
Impact on Memory and loss
Impact on Heart Health
Mark Sisson, Author and Primal Lifestyle writer says:
My thinking is this: why bother with something so processed and unhealthy when there are umpteen other, better options out there? Olive oil, coconut, palm oil, lard and ghee are suitable for most cooking applications. And for salads and other “no heat” dishes, you have dozens of tasty (non-deodorized) choices, including avocado and nut oils. As for canola, who needs it?
Popular blogger and health advocate Chris Kresser says:
Industrial seed oils…have not been a part of the human diet up until relatively recently, when misguided groups like the AHA and the ADA started promoting them as ‘heart-healthy’ alternatives to saturated fat. [They are] unnatural and unfit for human consumption.
Avoiding it completely is the best option by far. The inflammation and illness increase autoimmune diseases leading to serious long-term health problems and mortality rates.
Keep in mind, canola oil is often used in candles, industrial lubricants,, and newspaper ink.
As an alternative, there are SIX oils considered HEALTHY among food bloggers and health advocates:
Olive oil. Olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, including polyphenol antioxidants, which may prevent heart disease and mental decline.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for high-heat cooking and may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
Avocado oil. Avocado oil is heat-resistant and contains carotenoid and polyphenol antioxidants, which may benefit heart health.
The last three oils should be reserved for cooking that doesn’t involve heat.
(such as salad dressings.)
Walnut oil. Walnut oil has a rich, nutty taste and has been shown to reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Hempseed oil. Hempseed oil is highly nutritious and has a nutty flavor perfect for topping salads.
Flaxseed oil. Studies show that flaxseed oil may help reduce blood pressure and decrease inflammation.
Bonus - if you’ve never tried “Ghee” put that on your list.
Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is widely used in Asia.
Buying this at a health food chain will run you $10-$13 for a small, 13 ounce serving and you’ll have to inquire with a store clerk where it’s located because it’s not mainstream popular.
Ghee is just butter with the dairy removed, making it a pure fat. It can be used in very small quantities, heated up to high heat for cooking and tastes divine.
Put a little on your kid’s steamed broccoli and watch them devour it!
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Category: MENS HEALTH
DATE: December 11, 2019