Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Canola Oil

Canola is a coined term where “Can” refers to Canada, and “ola” stands for oil. Canola oil has come a long way from being an industrial lubricant for naval and merchant ships as well as steam engines during the early- through mid-1900s, to being the third most utilized edible oil around the world. Now primarily extracted from low erucic acid rapeseed or LEAR, canola is not only a major crop in Canada but in the United States as well. This wide availability of canola oil makes it easy to include in one’s diet. However, steering clear of canola oil use is advised for a host of health concerns.

Read further and discover more about the negative effects of canola oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

Canola Oil’s Risks:

Much like sunflower oil, canola oil’s caloric content is in the high range, with roughly 124 calories per one tablespoon serving. This widely used vegetable oil which is a common ingredient in a host of manufactured food products like mayonnaise, margarine, and commercial salad dressings, contain a two-to-one omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acids ratio as well. Too much omega-6 fatty acids intake is associated with cancer, hardening of the arteries, as well as insulin resistance, according to an Israel-based study.

Another potentially undesirable factor about this edible oil’s fatty acids profile is its high long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids (LCMUFAs) content. LCMUFAs are to this day generally viewed as a good type of fatty acid. However, a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found a link between increased incidence of congestive heart failure to high dietary LCMUFAs intake.

Also, it turns out that canola oil’s unique fatty acid content may also contribute to the development of a host of other illnesses. In a Japan-based study, stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats were administered canola oil for thirteen weeks. After said period, the animals developed a host of worrying symptoms like kidney abnormalities, increased blood pressure, and lowered red blood cell count.

As was mentioned, canola oil is extracted from LEAR, a hybrid crop developed so as to ensure the least possible amounts of glucosinolate, an anti-nutrient, as well as erucic acid, a potent toxin. Aside from the hybrid LEAR, two genetically engineered rapeseed varieties were also created. One was developed to be tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, and the other resistant to gluphosinate.

These transgenic crops were made to endure and survive even the heaviest herbicide application during the planting season. Eating a food product that has been laden with petrochemicals is harmful enough as it is. But imagine ingesting herbicide-resistant genes from canola oil. It is noteworthy that extensive studies on the short-term and long-term effects of transgenic crops on humans are lacking to this day, even as practically all rapeseed varieties planted in the United States are of the genetically modified types.

Lastly, production methods like use of high-speed pressers that inevitably generate heat during the extraction process brings about alteration of the fatty acids makeup in the subsequent canola oil. Some producers use chemical solvents as well which almost certainly means additional chemical contaminants may be present in the canola oil. Not to mention the process of hydrogenation which increases this edible oil’s trans fats content, an undesirable type of fat that’s linked to manifold illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of cottonseed oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the dietary sources of fats on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:




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