Stop Using Canola Oil Immediately

canola oil heathy or harmfulIt’s my hope that you’ll never use Canola Oil again! Why? Because of GMO’s (more on this below) and the harmful side effects from the processing of this oil.

You know that Olive Oil comes from olives, and that Sesame Seed Oil comes from sesame seeds. It would make sense that Canola Oil comes from Canola Seeds, right? Well, there’s actually no such thing.

Canola is a made-up word which stands for “Canadian oil low acid”, and is a genetically modified product. It is a Canadian invention that is backed by the government. It’s a cheap product to manufacture, and many processed or packaged foods contain canola oil.

Canola oil was first bred in the early 1970′s as a natural oil, but in 1995 Monsanto created a genetically modified version of canola oil. By 2009, 90% of the Canadian crop was genetically engineered and as of 2005, 87% of canola grown in the United States was genetically modified.

What is Canola Oil Made From?

Canola oil is actually made from the rapeseed. The name of canola oil was originally LEAR (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed) but for marketing purposes was changed to canola oil. This word was derived from the combination of the phrase, “Canadian oil.” Canola oil is a much more appealing name than LEAR oil or rape oil. But is the oil appealing for you and should you be using it in your foods?

Canola Oil is produced from the rapeseed plant, which is a part of the mustard family. It works well as an industrial oil, not a food, and has been used in candles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks and biofuels. In it’s hybridized and modified state it can cause a large number of health issues that you will see below.

Now that we have figured out how to genetically modify rapeseed oil, we sell it as an edible product. It has been brought to market with the claim that it is a wonder oil, that is low in saturated fats, and has omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Why is Canola Oil Bad for You?

 

Originally, rapeseed oil may not have had so many negative health effects but for two main reason’s most canola oil today is harmful to you body:

#1 Over 90% of Canola Oil is genetically modified

#2 Canola Oil is a partially hydrogenated oil

It’s for these two reasons I recommend you switch to healthier oil alternatives that I list at the conclusion of this article.

What can it do to you? There have been NO long term viable studies done on GMO canola oil, but there are reports on the internet that it has caused many kidney, liver, and neurological health issues. This would make sense since there are other reports that GMO products like corn and soy also can cause negative health effects.

Canola Oil Dangers

The side effects of canola oil cannot be overstated. A 2011 review published in Environmental Sciences Europe, 19 studies of mammals fed GMO soybeans and corn were evaluated. The 90-day long trials indicate liver and kidney problems as a result of GMO foods.  Kidney’s were disrupted by 43.5% and liver by 30.8%.

Rapeseed Oil is a monounsaturated oil, and has high levels of erucic acid. Erucic Acid is a fatty acid that is associated with heart damage, specifically Heshan’s Disease, a disease that manifests itself with fibrotic lesions of the heart.

In the 1970′s, food manufacturers came up with a method to genetically modify the rapeseed plant by seed splitting. This process produced a canola oil with less erucic acid, and higher amounts of oleic acid, which lead to additional concerns with canola oil, like:

  • Blood Platelet Abnormalities
  • Retards Normal Growth (Illegal in infant formulas)
  • Free Radical Damage
  • Higher Cancer Risks Due To The Hydrogenation Process

It’s also important to understand that this new processed oil goes through many steps, most of which harm the nutritional value and actually change the oil’s structure causing it to become hydrogenated oil. As you can see canola oil dangers are immense!

According to the Weston A. Price foundation and Fat Experts Sally Fallon and Mary Enig state:

“Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming -all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid oil. The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans fatty acids in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.”

Those are the types of oils you want to avoid like the plague: Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated oils!

Trans fatty acids are the result of this hydrogenation process. These are hazardous by-products, and are health destroyers. You should stop cooking with these oils as well: Corn Oils, Safflower Oils, Soy Oils, and Vegetable Oil.

Food manufacturers are not required by law to tell you if their products contain GMO’s. It’s up to us to be well informed, and read the labels. Monsanto has been incorporating genetically modified organisms in its canola oil seeds, and now we know that Monsanto has also been selling GMO seeds for the following plants:

  • Canola
  • Alfalfa
  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • Soybeans
  • Sugarbeets

How to Choose A Good Oil

When you’re buying a cooking oil, consider these things:

  1. Choose a “Cold Pressed” or “Extra Virgin” type.
  2. Should be available in glass containers.
  3. The bottle should be a dark color for olive oil, and kept in a dark place once opened.
  4. Make sure it is GMO-free.
  5. Go with Organic.

What does Extra-Virgin Mean? It’s simply another way of referring to “cold pressed”, which means that the oil was made by using pressure to extract the oil from the seeds, grains, nuts, etc., and there was no heat utilized during the processing. Heat causes a degrading of the nutritional value of the oil. Extra Virgin also means that no chemical solvent was used, nor was it deodorized or altered in any way.

What to Substitute for Canola Oil

Here are the top oils I personally use as a substitute for canola oil:

Coconut Oilcoconut oil is best when it’s cold pressed and virgin. Do NOT buy refined coconut oil. Your coconut oil should smell like you’re on a beach in the Caribbean. It has a high heat threshold and contains MCFA’s Medium Chain Fatty Acids that can support fat-loss and your nervous system.

Olive Oil – I don’t recommend Olive Oil for cooking but it has tremendous health benefits and is at the heart of the Mediterranean diet. Look for extra virgin olive oil and use it on salad’s and other cold dishes.

Organic Pastured Butter / Ghee – Contains ALA and CLA which can promote weight loss. Also, contains healthy short chain fatty acids and has a higher heat threshold. Stick with Organic only when buying butter.

Red Palm Oil — Red palm oil is made from the palm fruit instead of the palm kernel, and in its unrefined state, it is high in vitamin E and beta-carotene. It’s also stable under high heat and great for cooking.  Make sure when buying palm oil that it is certified sustainable.

Now that you’re armed with the facts, use them to guard your health! Stay clear of Canola Oil, and all GMO foods.

What type of oil do you use for cooking?  What is your favorite healthy oil?

 

Sources and resources:

Look for foods with the Non-GMO label. More info here: nongmoproject.org

Check out the Non-GMO Shopping guide here: nongmoshoppingguide.com

Beckie, Hugh et al (Autumn 2011) GM Canola: The Canadian Experience Farm Policy Journal, Volume 8 Number 8, Autumn Quarter 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.

“Richard Keith Downey: Genetics”. science.ca. 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-29.

MG Enig, Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research, 2nd Edition, Enig Associates, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, 1995.

S O’Keefe and others. Levels of Trans Geometrical Isomers of Essential Fatty Acids in Some Unhydrogenated US Vegetable Oils. Journal of Food Lipids 1994;1:165-176.

JL Sebedio and WW Christie, eds. Trans Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition, The Oily Press, Dundee, Scotland, 1998, pp 49-50.

Storgaard, AK (2008). “Stefansson, Baldur Rosmund”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-12-29.

Seralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D, Vendomois JS. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology.2012;50(11):4221-4231

Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

Get FREE Access!

Free eBook to boost
metabolism & healing

30 Gluten-Free Recipes
& detox juicing guide

Shopping Guide &
premium newsletter

97 comments so far - add yours!

  1. Norman says:

    Most of us cannot afford those oils suggested that are healthy and almost all of the cooking oils out there are processed. So I choose canola, since it’s a lesser evil than other oils (like soybean oil for example). Eating healthy foods is very expensive so as much as possible I can only choose to live within my means.

  2. Flora Lone says:

    Very goid info

  3. randlf says:

    its been concluded in this article that canola oil has a bad effect on the health of the human but without the thorough study about what really the result is. not from fact but from little basis which is not a good argument to say that canola oil is not good for the body and hence people should not use this….

    • Dr.Ahmed Elbardeny says:

      Rapeseed oil Contains Erucic acid
      It is a saturated fatty acid, after absorbed , it go to the heart muscles and made fat in it

      • Dr.Ahmed Elbardeny says:

        It is a fact , that it contain Erucic acid but the percentage of it between 1-2%

  4. Teresita Barrera Columbres says:

    ,,hi, its so good to know that through your article,i’ve learned new tips and it’s an advantage to me as a consumer.thanks.

  5. Onuorich says:

    Thank you for the information. Hope I will learn more from you. God bless!! More power!!

  6. Eduardo Balatucan says:

    I want to get ebook for free

  7. Marsha Mellow says:

    What about sunflower seed oil?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Processed with heat and very high in omega-6 fatty acids which can cause inflammation.

      • LYNND says:

        Dr. Axe, I normally cook with olive oil even though I know it has a low heat threshold because I am too afraid to try coconut oil. (I cannot eat coconut, melon, bananas, avocado, carrots and most nuts due to Oral Allergy Syndrome.)

        On the other hand, I hear that movie theater popcorn makes use of coconut oil and I have never had a problem with that. Does this mean that coconut oil is free of the proteins that in some provoke a food allergy? Or in the minimally processed state you recommend such oils, will it contain more allergens not fewer?

        In conclusion, what is your opinion on grape seed oil?

        Thank you.

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I think coconut oil and ghee are your best options for cooking in place of grape seed oil.

  8. Maryl says:

    So what is a good cooking oil? i use olive oil by Fillipo Berio for sauteeing and grilling..

  9. Consuelo Gregorio says:

    Thanks for the information. It really has a great value for a mom like me.

    I thought canola is the best. Well, better be careful next time.

  10. Adora D Jorvina says:

    what is the best and safety cooking oil to use? i used canola oil for a long time my family doctor recommend it so up to now i used it please tell me what is best cooking oil thanks

  11. Esperanza Javier says:

    I’ve been using the corn oil long time ago because it was recommended by our doctor.. What is the effect and how do we know the extent of the damaged in our organs?

  12. really says:

    seriously? isn’t it canola oil has the lowest mono saturated fat?

  13. zenaida c. victoria says:

    That was informative and alerted me

  14. alona maymay says:

    People should know re canola oil. Also, will share the info to my family and friends. Thank u.

  15. Consuelo Catindig says:

    Hi! My doctor advised me to use canola oil because I have a high blood pressure and I had cancer. As a matter of fact their association are promoting canola oil to be used in cooking than palm oil. This is very confusing… :-(

  16. milred t. sison says:

    thanks for the info, i’m using canola oil for almost 5 years now since i was diagnosed cancer but not so often. what’s the best cooking oil for cancer patient like me? thanks so much!

  17. marie says:

    They say that coconut oil have lots of cholesterol? Is that true?

  18. raffy g.salazar says:

    thanks for the onfo very usefull

  19. raffy g.salazar says:

    Thanks for the info very usefull

  20. Geneveve Cadagat says:

    So vegetable oils also is not good for cooking? This is what I am using rightnow..but I appreciate the sharing knowledge and thanks for a good information. .God bless and thank you.

  21. toshie says:

    Hi..what is the replacement for canola oil..i used always canola oil for baking.

  22. Miranda says:

    I am currently using peanut oil. What are your thoughts on this?

  23. Sources please???? says:
  24. fe dionisio says:

    that was informative .thank you for the info…….and thanks in advance for the knowledge you will be sharing us with ur ebooks

  25. cleo arpon says:

    coconut cooking oil then good for as cooking oil.at home we usually extract the oil from grating it then with a small quantity of water,wring the grated coco and heat the coco milk until it turn into oil.the oil has odor.we eat the residue coco grate like sweet.

  26. Irene says:

    Thanks for the info. What about Rice Bran Oil and Sesame Seed Oil?

  27. Avon@ph says:

    Good Day, Sir how about Palm Oiien?

  28. rene maligat says:

    Its red palm oil and palm oil are the same? tnx very.

  29. Teofila Vizcarra says:

    Thank you for the info.and and sharing us your knowledge… regards

  30. Myriam says:

    Thank you Doctor for these informations! Please could you tell us which oil is the best for frying? What about corn oil?

  31. Modesto Tibar says:

    thanks for the info Dr.Axe

  32. Najib says:

    Hi. I m using vegetable oil. Is it good? How about cooking oil from palm oil tree? I m from Singapore. Most asian in south east asia use cooking oil vegetable or oil from oil palm tree.

  33. Diane Robles says:

    What causes fibromyalgia? I use these bad oils, do u suppose that’s what made me sick?

  34. Adnan says:

    After having read your article, I did little search on internet and found that all the problems mentioned about canola oil are there for all veg oil, canola appeared to be better amongst other veg oils.
    Dr Axe, Other than coconut oil and butter, can you please suggest some veg oil which is better than Canola?

  35. Adelina says:

    Besides coconut oil, what’s another alternative oil for cooking? I cannot use “organic butter” as I am a vegan and will not consume any animal products. Thanks for your advice!

  36. zu says:

    What about grape seed oil?

  37. Jane says:

    It’s very nice that there are people like you who shares vital information such as this to open the minds of ordinary people of goods to consume that will not certainly shorter their life span…. Thanks ….

  38. rachelle says:

    What is the best cooking oil to use for deep frying?

  39. eeeee says:

    I just went to wholefood today, just found out they’re selling canola oil and food, snacks that contains canola oil ,OMG.

  40. Melanie Bliss says:

    Well, you mentioned that ” there’s actually NO such thing” as canola seeds? On the contrary we do have them around! You can Google “Canola fields NSW” and check it out. We drove past that massive plantation one day on our way to Victoria….just sayin

    • Mugs says:

      Yes, they call it canola because it grows, and is produced into oil, in Canada. But the name of the plant that Canola oil comes from is Rapeseed. A member of the mustard family.

  41. Juliet says:

    How about Rice Bran Oil? They say it has no trans-fat and has a higher heating threshold?

  42. Roxanne says:

    Hey, I always use ghee, but I was at the store and I saw that spectrum has GMO free canola oil. So i bought it. Do you think that is ok to use?
    Thanks!

  43. sid says:

    In asia mostly coconut oil is produced by heating not cold pressed is it okay?

  44. am says:

    You recommended ghee besides coconut oil. Doesn’t ghee has high fat content?

  45. mihir says:

    there are GMO canola oils and there are non-gmo canola oils where the seeds have been cross-bred to produce less erucic acid and is not genetically modified – but’s very expensive.

    I prefer to use safflower oil.

  46. Daniel says:

    I highly appreciate your advice. In Kenya, people are drinking canola oil literally and are claiming that they are cured from arthritis. How is this?

  47. Sandy says:

    Lard from pastured grass fed animals

  48. Barbara Dane says:

    Hello Dr. Axe
    Can you please provide a condensed printable list of the problems with canola? I would like to carry some with me and present them to the cooks at various restaurants I patronize.

    I feel like I am seen as a very picky customer, and when the chefs say they will accommodate me by using something else to sauté my order I don’t always believe them. If I politely invite them to study the question through your lens, perhaps some of them will make a change in what is customarily used.

    I know for the restaurant owners it may seem like a question of cost of materials, but if some of them advertise that they are switching from canola oil,they may build a different and possibly larger clientele.

    I have one more question: What would you recommend for making home-made mayonnaise? The recipe calls for “neutral oil” and I have tried using grape seed, but don’t especially care for that taste. Using 100% olive oil seems too rich. Avocado oil is too expensive. Coconut oil can’t be poured. This is such a widely used sauce I want to come up with something great and healthy too!

    Thank you for your diligence and your willingness to share what you know, to the best of your ability.

  49. Jenni says:

    Hi. My husband has a friend that works for a company that makes soap. His friend brought me a 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil. I have been using it to cook. Do you think this is ok? It smells very much like coconut

  50. Sandy Pennington says:

    Thank you Dr Axe!

  51. mila oboza says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,

    Thank you for the information. Sad to know that this product is harmful to our health. Would appreciate if you can provide us more information that will benefit all your followers. Thanks

  52. David says:

    Dr. Axe I have been using avocado oil that I buy a Costco. It has a high smoke point and leaves no flavor residue . What do you think about this oil ? . Is it better than canola or vegetable oil ?

  53. noreen says:

    So I should use coconut oil when baking brownies and cakes too ?( I bake with my kids but often times we bake with mixes) and evoo for salads? Thanks

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I use coconut oil in all my baking! You can definitely use it on salads as well. Some people prefer olive oil on salads which is great as long as you’re not cooking or baking with it.

  54. sharma says:

    When I used canola oil then feeling uncomfortable in body,so that I changed to other then ok.

  55. JulieC says:

    I am looking for a healthier oil to use in baking recipes ( ie instead of veg or canola). I know you suggest coconut oil but I I tried that and it makes everything taste like coconut which I am not fond of…and butter isn’t always a good sub in baking. What about organic, non-GMO canola or sunflower oil? Can these be found virgin cold- pressed to make them even healthier? I was dx’d with Rheum Arthritis 2 yrs ago so really looking to decrease inflammatory foods. Thx!

  56. Deanna says:

    Thank you for the excellent article. I have found that eliminating GMO”s, artificial coloring, and gluten has greatly helped reduce aggression with my Autistic daughter. I put ghee and coconut oil in my coffee every morning and LOVE the results. It confuses me that you appear anti grapeseed oil. I have been using it for months now and truely think it is a superior choice for cooking. The brand I get is cold pressed, organic and has a flash point of 445 degrees. I use it for baking, frying, and salads.

  57. Zhura says:

    Thanks for reminding us that canola oil is bad for health. I always check food labels and I’m appalled that most commercially available salads,cakes,bread etc. have rapeseed oil as ingredient. My liver enzymes were so high at some point attributing to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. I was horrified to learn that daily cooking with olive oil can be the main culprit. So now I still use olive oil for homemade salads and avoid processed food and gmos as much as possible. I use coconut oil and sesame oil for cooking.

  58. David says:

    For someone ostensibly as well-educated as yourself I am really appalled by the lack of scientific rigor in putting this article together.

    First of all, there is absolutely no consensus among the scientific community that GMOs are bad for you. Sure, there are some studies which show negative effects, but also studies showing positive effects, and many studies showing no effects. Coming to whatever “certainty” we can through these studies means repeated trials, peer reviews, and after many others have repeated the same results, we can start to take these findings more seriously.

    You say so yourself that no studies have been done on GMO vs. non-GMO canola oil, yet you conclude that it must be bad for you based on “studies on the internet”. What studies? People can write all kinds of nonsense and misinformation on the internet, that doesn’t make it true or scientifically valid. Your other evidence is studies on completely different plants–how is that valid either? Did your doctorate program not teach you anything about the scientific method?

    Regarding all the other things about hydrogenated oils, I do not disagree with you there as it’s well-studied, repeatedly shown and a scientific consensus that hydrogenated oils are bad for you. However, you list ONE study showing that the content may be “as high as 4.6%”, while completely disregarding the validity of another showing a much lower percentage. Keep in mind the FDA has also found the percentage in canola oil to be negligible.

    There is a lot of ignorance going around about GMOs and I hope some of the people who believe everything this guy says actually read this.

  59. Brian Coyle says:

    “For someone ostensibly as well-educated as yourself I am really appalled by the lack of scientific rigor in putting this article together”.
    And your response Dr Axe?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      There are many different ways to evaluate “evidence” and for me the majority relies on medical studies as you’ve seen in the majority of our other posts. However, in many cases the research has not caught up with common sense and extrapolation.

      We know that 90%+ of canola oil is a partially hydrogenated oil and that it is genetically modified. Knowing these two facts myself is enough to not recommend canola oil to my audience or my patients in clinic when there are completely healthy oils out there that can be used instead like coconut oil and olive oil which actually have been proven to have medicinal benefits.

      Just like it took years for cigarettes and asbestos to be proven dangerous. There hasn’t been any real research on canola oil yet but I can tell you that I can see where this is going and what we will be saying 10 years from now.

      I don’t choose to wait until science has caught up. Like with the butter vs. margarine debate GMO hydrogenated canola oil will eventually be exposed in the research.

  60. amy ogma says:

    i really thought canola oil is good and that’s what i’ve been using. where can you buy coconut oil, and can you just buy that at grocery store?

Leave a Reply

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

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>