I just came back from a family road trip to the Northern tip of Bruce Peninsula, in the beautiful, Tobermory, Ontario. Driving through Canada, I saw many beautiful fields of yellow flowers, which I later learned were Canola farms (made from Genetically Modified Rapeseeds).
Canola is touted as being a heart healthy oil that is low in saturated fats.
The name Canola comes from “Canada Oil” which sounded better than rapeseed oil (a little Trivia I learned on my trip).
Does this make Canola oil a healthy choice? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!
Here are some top reasons to NEVER use Canola Oil….
*90% Canola oil is made from GMO crops. GMO’s have been linked with significant health problems (affecting kidney and liver function).
*The processing of Canola oil involves using high heat resulting in hydrogenated oil, trans fats and oxidized fatty acids which creates free radical damage and oxidative stress (the source of many illnesses including Cancer).
*Processing of Canola Oil involves the use of toxic chemicals (i.e. hexane). Traces of hexane are found in Canola Oil. Processing also involves bleaching and deodorizing to cover the rancid smell after it becomes oxidized from high heat.
Anything that undergoes this type of processing with high heat and toxic chemicals should be avoided. Trans fats and hydrogenated oils will cause inflammation and should not be consumed in a healthy diet.
There is a lot of conflicting information out on the internet on healthy fats.....Here is a general guide regarding good and bad fats….
FATS TO AVOID….BAD FATS!!!!
-Vegetable Oils (Corn oil, soy oil, safflower)
-Fats/oils from animals raised on big farms that use antibiotics, hormones and feed their animals GMO foods (i.e. corn, soy)
-Nut oils (Peanut) or Seed oils (Sunflower oil) because they are very high in Omega 6, polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s) which can cause inflammation. Nut and seed oils can turn rancid easily (oxidize), are not heat stable.
FATS TO INCLUDE IN A HEALTHY DIET….GOOD FATS :)))
-Avocado oil (good for cooking at moderate-high temperatures)
-Coconut Oil…cold pressed/unrefined preferred (Good for cooking at moderate-high temperatures)
-Organic Red Palm Oil
-Organic Palm Shortening
-Lard/Tallow from healthy, pastured/grass-fed animal. Saturated fats in moderation from healthy animals, has been shown to be a healthy part of a balanced diet.
-Olive Oil ….cold pressed/unrefined/Extra Virgin preferred (do not heat because it will oxidize, only use on salads or put on foods after cooking)
-Include low Mercury Fish in your diet several times a week (i.e. sardines, Wild Salmon) which are high in Omega 3 Fatty acids and will help decrease inflammation. I prefer eating fish to get the benefits rather than taking fish oil because Omega 3 Fatty Acid are very unstable and can turn rancid easily.
FUN FAT FACTS…..
****Cholesterol is the building block for our hormones ****
****Our brains are made of about 60% Fat****
Including HEALTHY fats in your daily diet will help regulate your blood sugar, support healthy brain function and help balance your hormones.
I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion on GOOD and BAD FATS
Replacing bad oils/fats with healthy fats can make a huge difference in your health and the health of your family!
Please feel free to leave comments :)
To your good health!
Tina Gilberti, OTR/L, FDN
I am a busy mom of two boys, a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Pediatric Occupational Therapist who is looking to share information on how to raise a healthy family giving tips for diet, sleep, exercise and self care. Thanks for reading :)