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Dance Rants: Cut Out The Canola Oil

June 5, 2021 | Nutrition | 5 comments | Author:

Canola oil. First, do you know what it really is? There is no such thing as a canola. The word comes from the combination of “Canadian oil, low acid.” It is made from the rapeseed most of the time. It is often crossed with other seeds from similar families and still considered canola oil. It is extremely cheap to produce. Crusaders for canola oil point to Chinese and Indian cultures that have used the rapeseed in cooking for many years, but it was never refined so much, or considered a high quality oil for human consumption. It was usually given to animals, and later used as an industrial lubricant.

Canola oil came about when there was such a public scare about animal fats and saturated fats—seems like a good solution, as it’s high in polyUNsaturated fats. However, remember from the coconut oil post, saturated fats are more stable and better for cooking (and everything else for that matter). That is the first problem with canola oil; it is very susceptible to rancidity. Again, this means when heated, free radicals are formed that damage all your cells. Next, it is high in Omega-6’s. Americans already have an unbalanced amount of Omega-6’s verses Omega-3’s. The fatty acids in canola oil are destroyed when refined by heat, like it is. Furthermore, those polyunsaturated fats convert to trans fat during the refining/ heating. Olive oil is the good stuff, monounsaturated fat that has been used in Mediterranean cultures for thousands of years.

The next serious problem with canola oil is that it contains erucic acid, which is especially irritating to mucous membranes. It has been linked to development of fibrotic lesions of the heart, central nervous system degenerative disorders, lung cancer, prostate cancer, anemia and constipation. Since, rapeseeds have been selectively bred to reduce erucic acid content: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). I’ll be staying as far away from those as I can, too, but that’s a topic for another time.

Canola oil can cause vitamin E deficiency. In a study where canola oil was the only oil in rat’s diets, it seemed to retard growth, which is why the FDA does not allow the use of canola in infant formulas. That’s one of the biggest red flags to me. The FDA allows a lot of crap, and they won’t put up with that? Tells me something’s fishy. Finally, it is only listed on the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list. Therefore, it did not have to go through extensive human testing. Studies were done on rats, however, and they “developed fatty degeneration of the heart, kidney and adrenals and thyroid gland. On withdrawing the canola oil from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained.” Yikes.

By: Ashley Dance



  • Kayla June 26, 2021 at 11:01 am |

    Why is the monounsaturated fat in olive oil good but polyunsaturated in canola is bad? I thought unsaturated as a rule was bad. I mean I know olive oil is a good oil, and canola oil isn’t, but I just don’t understand the difference in the unsaturated fats I guess.

  • wtdaTim June 26, 2021 at 11:36 am |

    Hi Kayla,
    The reason in a nutshell is that polyunsaturated fats are extremely unstable whereas monounsaturated fats are stable. The more double bonds the fat chain has, the more unstable it is and it goes rancid, breaks down and causes free radicals in the body. Saturated fats only have a single bond and are very stable, monounsaturated fats like olive and avocado have one double bond and are stable, but the polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds leading them to be very unstable-especially when out of their natural food form.

    Does that make sense?

  • Kayla June 26, 2021 at 11:38 am |

    Makes perfect sense. Thanks.

  • Allison Wheatley June 13, 2021 at 6:10 pm |

    What oil then do you recommend for deep frying when needed? Olive oil’s evaporating temperature is too low.

  • Tim June 13, 2021 at 6:30 pm |

    Hi Allison,
    The best would be ghee (clarified butter) as it is stable and has a high smoke point since the milk solids are removed. Also, you can use coconut oil which is very stable and then after that you would look to avocado oil and nut/seed oils which hold up better when frying (they do not go rancid as easily), such as peanut and sesame.

    Hope that helps!


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