Canola Oil: Dangers and Benefits

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Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

What are the dangers of canola oil? What are the benefits of canola oil? Some people do not even ask a question, they claim that canola oil is bad for you – – or is it?

The myth of canola oil dangers is a misunderstanding, I hope.

Canola oil is made from the seeds that – in their original form – contain high levels [up to 50 percent] erucic acid – a monounsaturated fat, which was proven to cause undesirable health effects.

Did I mention this happened in 1970s? The so-called Canola dangers you hear today are, oh, only over 30 years old. These days, thanks to natural plant breeding [not genetic engineering as some claim], the seeds contain less than 2 percent erucic acid.

The erucic acid content of modern canola oil averages 0.6 percent, which is incredibly low. There is no credible scientific evidence showing that canola oil is bad for you.

There is, however, a large amount of scientific evidence showing that canola oil has health benefits. Still do not believe me? That is okay. You can search for “canola oil” and see for yourself.

So what are the benefits of canola oil? Canola oil has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is high in monounsaturated fats and it has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2 to 0, which puts it two levels above olive oil.

In addition, due to its high smoking point, canola oil benefits stretch to cooking – along with avocado and some other oils, it is perfect for frying, baking and other cooking methods.

Having said that, in light of the recent news, I think there could be one real danger of canola oil. FDA has given permission to sell canola oil – as well as some foods made with canola oil – as products “that can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease” and possibly lower cholesterol.

You know where this is going, right? Food manufactures are going to jump all over it and exploit this to its full potential. They know we are suckers for healthy food.

Remember to check food labels carefully, just because a product contains canola oil, it does not mean it is healthy. It could be high in sugar, calories, trans fats, or other ingredients you may not want to put in your body.

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