Canola is originated from Canada and it is the nation’s most valuable crop, with annual exports of canola seed, oil, and meal totaling over $3 billion.
Canola is also grown in the U.S., largely in North Dakota. Since the mid 90s, sales of canola oil have rocketed as it is increasingly being used in home and restaurant cooking and in many processed foods.
Canola has been promoted as “healthy” and marketed as:
- Cholesterol and transfat free.
- Lowest in saturated fat (7%) among all dietary fats.
- High in Omega-3 fat (11%), an essential fatty acid that is needed but not made by the body.
- Has a moderate level of Omega-6 fat (21%), also an essential fatty acid that is needed but not made by the body.
- Relatively high in monounsaturated fat (61%), though olive oil has the highest.
So is canola oil really as healthy as it claims to be?
The Origin Of Canola
For centuries, rapeseed oil has been very popular in India and China. Rapeseed belongs to the mustard family of plants. The characteristic rapeseed oil contains very high anti-nutritional substances like erucic acid (40-50%) and glucosinolates that are harmful to cbd tincture humans. Therefore, in the western world, rapeseed oil is seldom used as primary food oil.
Because rapeseed is very adaptable to genetic manipulation, in the 1970s, Canada’s research community began breeding a new variety from the rapeseed plant. This new variety of oilseed, which has less than 2% erucic acid and less than 30 umoles of glucosinolates, became known as canola, or Canadian oil, low acid.
Potential Problems With Canola
Although the canola industry markets it as “healthy”, there are certain aspects of canola oil that raises much concern.
Canola oil is not a natural food, it is a modified food. There is no natural oil/fat that has similar fatty acid composition as canola. Humans have never consumed such oil until the last few decades.
Genetically modified and herbicide-resistant
Roughly 90% of the canola crops in America are genetically modified (GM) so that they are resistant to herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup or Bayer’s Liberty Link. That means these GM canola crops are doused in toxic herbicides.
What is the long-term effect of eating oil derived from GM canola crops that have been heavily sprayed with Roundup or Liberty Link?
The canola industry as well as the herbicide manufacturers touted its safety. However, various studies on rats and humans have challenged its alleged safety, with complaints ranging from hormonal disruption, impairment of liver and kidney function, to genetic damage.
The truth is, at present, we have not seen any long-term studies on the effects of such GM canola on human health.