Have you ever wondered why canola oil is banned in Europe? You’ve probably heard that canola oil is heart healthy and great for cooking, but there’s more to the story. The truth is, canola oil isn’t as innocent as marketers want you to believe. In fact, canola oil is banned in many European countries due to health concerns. If you’re still using canola oil in your kitchen, you’ll definitely want to keep reading. This article will uncover the startling truth about canola oil and why many experts argue it has no place in a healthy diet. By the end, you’ll understand why canola oil is banned in Europe and you may just decide to ban it from your home as well. The truth can be hard to swallow, but your health is worth it. Read on to uncover the truth about canola oil.
- The Truth About Canola Oil
- Why Canola Oil Is Banned in Parts of Europe
- Canola Oil: Genetically Modified and Unnatural
- How Canola Oil Is Produced: A Toxic Process
- Canola Oil Contains Harmful Trans Fats and Saturated Fats
- Canola Oil Is Linked to Various Health Issues
- Better and Healthier Oil Alternatives to Use Instead of Canola Oil
- How to Avoid Canola Oil in Your Diet
The Truth About Canola Oil
The truth is, canola oil isn’t as healthy as you’ve been led to believe. In fact, canola oil is banned for human consumption in many European countries due to some alarming findings:
- Canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family. Rapeseed oil contains high amounts of erucic acid, a fatty acid that can be toxic in large amounts. While canola oil was created by modifying rapeseed oil to have lower erucic acid, some studies show it still may have negative health effects, especially when heated.
- Canola oil goes through an intense processing method that involves high heat, deodorization and the toxic solvent hexane. This process creates trans fats and reduces omega-3 fatty acids. Numerous studies link consumption of trans fats and reduced omega-3s to health issues like heart disease, obesity, and cognitive decline.
- Canola oil is often genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. GMOs have been linked to inflammation, organ damage, and cancer in some animal studies. Due to lack of long term testing, GMOs remain controversial and are banned or strictly regulated in many countries.
- When canola oil is heated to high temperatures during cooking, it releases compounds called aldehydes that may be carcinogenic and cause cell damage. This is a concern since canola oil is commonly used for frying foods.
The arguments for canola oil being “heart healthy” were based on flawed studies funded by the canola industry itself. The truth is, canola oil is not banned in Europe without reason. For your health and your family’s health, it may be worth avoiding canola oil when possible. There are safer, more natural alternatives like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
Why Canola Oil Is Banned in Parts of Europe
If you live in Europe, you may have noticed canola oil is banned in some countries and restricted in others. There are a few reasons why Europeans approach canola oil with caution:
First, most canola oil comes from genetically modified crops. In the EU, GMOs are strictly regulated, and some countries have banned them altogether. Since canola oil is derived from rapeseed plants that have been bred to have lower amounts of erucic acid, Europeans worry about the long term effects of these engineered crops.
Second, canola oil has to be heavily processed using high heat, chemicals, and bleaches to make it edible. This intensive refining process can create trans fats and other potentially harmful compounds. Some research has linked consumption of canola oil to inflammation, high blood pressure, and other issues when consumed in large amounts.
Finally, canola oil has a poor nutritional profile. Although it’s low in saturated fat, it’s high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3s. Consuming too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3s has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other health problems.
While canola oil is cheap to produce and a major part of the North American diet, Europeans take a more cautious approach based on the unknown long term effects of GMOs, the intensive processing required, and the poor nutritional quality of this vegetable oil. For these reasons, canola oil remains banned or restricted in many European countries.
Canola Oil: Genetically Modified and Unnatural
Canola oil is one of the most controversial cooking oils. Although it’s popular and inexpensive, canola oil is banned for human consumption in many European countries due to health concerns. Here are the main reasons why canola oil is banned in Europe:
Genetically Modified and Unnatural
Canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant, which was inedible for humans until it was genetically modified in the 1970s. The rapeseed plant contains high amounts of erucic acid, a compound that can be toxic in large doses. To make the oil edible, scientists had to genetically modify the rapeseed to produce a hybrid that contained less erucic acid. This genetically modified hybrid is known as “canola.”
- Because canola oil comes from a genetically modified plant, many Europeans consider it to be an unnatural and untested food product. There are concerns about the long term effects of consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
High in Inflammatory Fats
Although canola oil is low in saturated fat, it is high in omega-6 fats, which can promote inflammation in the body when consumed in excess. Canola oil is also highly processed and refined, which removes most of the natural nutrients.
- In contrast, traditional cooking oils like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil contain more heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory fats and retain more natural nutrients.
May Contain Trans Fats
Partially hydrogenated canola oil contains trans fats, which are known to raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. Trans fats are linked to health issues like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Although many food producers have removed trans fats from their products, some studies have found that canola oil still may contain up to 4.2% trans fats. This is why canola oil is banned for human consumption in many European countries.
In summary, canola oil is banned in Europe due to concerns over GMOs, high amounts of inflammatory fats, and possible trans fat contamination. For the healthiest cooking oil, choose an unrefined, unprocessed option like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil. Your body will thank you!
How Canola Oil Is Produced: A Toxic Process
The process used to produce canola oil is highly unnatural and toxic. Canola oil comes from the rapeseed plant, which is a member of the Brassicaceae family, along with mustard, broccoli, and kale. Rapeseed oil in its natural form actually has some health benefits and has been used as an illuminant and lubricant. However, the oil has a strong, unpleasant taste due to high amounts of erucic acid.
To make the oil palatable, Canadian scientists used selective breeding in the 1970s to create a hybrid rapeseed with lower erucic acid, which they named “canola.” This new plant was further genetically engineered to have an even lower amount of erucic acid. Over 90% of canola crops today are genetically modified. These GM crops are bred to withstand high doses of herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup), which is used to kill weeds. This means the canola oil likely contains glyphosate residues.
Processing with Hexane
After harvesting, canola seeds go through a harsh processing method using the toxic solvent hexane to extract the oil. Hexane is a volatile hydrocarbon known to cause nerve damage. The seeds are crushed and mixed with the solvent, then heated. The oil is separated from the seed mash through evaporation and distillation. Although companies claim most hexane residues are removed, some studies have found small amounts remaining in the finished canola oil.
Additives and Refining
The crude canola oil then goes through caustic refining, bleaching, and degumming to remove impurities and prolong shelf life. Additional additives like tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) are added as preservatives. The high-heat processing and refining strips the oil of nutrients and creates trans fats. One study found as much as 4.2% trans fats in canola oil.
In summary, canola oil goes through an unnatural production process using toxic chemicals, high heat, and genetic modification. When you consider the additives, trans fats, and pesticide residues in canola oil, it’s no wonder this unhealthy oil is banned in many European countries and avoided by many health experts. Your body will thank you for choosing a healthier oil option!
Canola Oil Contains Harmful Trans Fats and Saturated Fats
Canola oil contains harmful trans fats and saturated fats that are terrible for your health. Here are the main reasons canola oil should be avoided:
High in Trans Fats
Canola oil goes through an industrial process called hydrogenation to make it more shelf-stable, which creates trans fats. Trans fats are linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other health problems. Most health organizations recommend limiting trans fat intake as much as possible.
High in Saturated Fat
Canola oil contains a significant amount of saturated fat, about 7% of the total fat content. While not as high as coconut oil or palm oil, it’s still a concerning amount. Too much saturated fat in the diet is associated with high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Canola oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fats and little omega-3 fats. This imbalance can promote inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to health issues like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
GMO and Pesticide Concerns
The vast majority of canola crops are genetically modified to withstand high amounts of pesticides. GMOs and pesticides may have unknown long term health effects. Many people choose to avoid them when possible.
Better Alternatives Exist
There are healthier oil options to choose from, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. These oils are minimally processed, contain beneficial fats, and have antioxidant properties. Using a variety of these healthy fats in place of canola oil is a simple way to improve your diet and health.
In summary, canola oil should be avoided due to its high amounts of harmful fats, inflammatory effects, and GMO/pesticide concerns. Choosing alternative fats like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil will benefit your health in the long run. Your body and taste buds will thank you!
Canola Oil Is Linked to Various Health Issues
Canola oil has been linked to various health issues that are concerning. While some studies are inconclusive, it’s worth being aware of the potential dangers.
Canola oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation in the body when consumed in excess. Chronic inflammation is linked to health issues like heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Most experts recommend balancing your omega-6s and omega-3s, but canola oil contains very little omega-3s.
Canola oil is high in compounds called goitrogens, which can interfere with thyroid function. Goitrogens block iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, which is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Impaired thyroid function is associated with weight gain, fatigue, depression and other issues.
Gut health issues
The high amounts of omega-6 fats in canola oil may disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut microbiome. An unhealthy gut microbiome is tied to inflammation, immune system problems, and other chronic diseases. Some research also shows that canola oil may increase intestinal permeability, allowing unwanted substances to enter the bloodstream.
May be GMO
Most canola crops are genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. GMOs are controversial and banned in many countries due to concerns about their long term effects on human health and the environment. Many people choose to avoid GMOs when possible.
While more research is still needed, these potential links to health issues are concerning. Replacing canola oil with healthier fats like olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil may be a good precautionary step for optimal health and wellness. Every small change you make to eat cleaner and avoid harmful ingredients counts towards living your healthiest life.
Better and Healthier Oil Alternatives to Use Instead of Canola Oil
Olive oil is a heart-healthy alternative that can be used in place of canola oil. It is high in monounsaturated fats that can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. Olive oil has a robust, fruity flavor that works well in salad dressings, marinades, and dips. For high-heat cooking methods like frying, use an olive oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado, rice bran or sunflower oil.
Coconut oil is a popular canola oil substitute. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may aid in weight loss and management. Coconut oil has a mild coconut flavor and aroma, so it works best in curries, stir fries, and baked goods. However, coconut oil has a low smoke point, so it should not be used for high-heat cooking.
Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, so it can be used for both raw and high-heat cooking methods. It is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil. Avocado oil has an earthy, nutty flavor that complements dishes like salads, grilled meats, and roasted vegetables.
Walnut oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation in the body. It has a robust, nutty flavor that is best used in salad dressings, marinades, and as a finishing oil. Walnut oil has a low smoke point and strong flavor, so it should not be used for cooking.
Sunflower oil is a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, so it works well for high-heat cooking methods like frying and sautéing. It is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Sunflower oil has a light, nutty flavor and pale yellow color. It can be used as an all-purpose cooking oil for stir-fries, baked goods, and grilling.
In summary, there are many healthy alternatives to canola oil that you can use for cooking and preparing meals. By switching to olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, walnut oil or sunflower oil, you can avoid the potential harmful effects of canola oil and improve your health.
How to Avoid Canola Oil in Your Diet
Avoiding canola oil in your diet may seem challenging at first, but with some simple swaps and label reading, you’ll be well on your way.
Check Ingredient Lists
The easiest way to avoid canola oil is to check the ingredient list on everything you buy. Canola oil often hides in packaged and processed foods like chips, granola bars, salad dressings, and canned soups. Look for words like “vegetable oil,” “plant-based oil,” or “rapeseed oil”—these are also canola oil. If any of these are in the first few ingredients, keep looking.
Choose Alternative Oils
When cooking or baking at home, choose a healthier oil with a high smoke point like avocado, coconut, or olive oil. For salad dressings and dips, olive oil, walnut or sunflower oil all work great. These alternatives contain beneficial fats and antioxidants without the harmful effects of canola oil.
Buy Whole Foods
One of the best ways to avoid canola oil is to buy mostly whole foods – foods that have only one ingredient. Whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are naturally canola-free. Prepare more meals at home using these simple ingredients to limit exposure to processed foods and the oils they contain.
Read Nutrition Labels
Even when a product claims to be “all-natural” or “non-GMO,” canola oil may still be present. Always check the actual ingredient list and nutrition label. Canola oil will be listed as an ingredient, and the nutrition label may say “vegetable oil” or list canola oil specifically under “fat” or “oil.” If canola oil is not clearly specified, it’s best to avoid that product.
Making a few simple changes to your shopping and cooking habits can help reduce your consumption of canola oil. With time, avoiding this harmful oil will become second nature. Your health and wellbeing are worth the extra effort to choose better fats and more nutritious whole foods.