Canola Oil

Often the crop used to produce oil also lends it the name. Olive oil or Almond oil for example. Over the past few decades, there is a new kid on the block. It is called Canola Oil. In case you are wondering what the source of canola oil is, you may want to stop looking. It is a country, not a crop. Canada to be more accurate. If you are surprised, allow me to explain. Canola oil is made from rapeseeds. To give is a healthy sounding name, in 1978 the industry settled on the name canola which was an acronym for the words Canada and Oil or Canola Oil. Canada was the chosen country because Canada was the most significant grower of rapeseeds.

When an industry confabulates to name a product, you might want to start worrying. When Canola oil first came into the market, it was not granted the right to label itself as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status. It took several years and, as rumored, lobbying by Canada before it was allowed to mark itself as safe. Among its many virtues was the fact that it is low in saturated fat and rich in monosaturated fats. Also, it apparently had Omega-3 fatty acids. This mix of attributes made it the perfect oil.

In a research study conducted in Canada, rats fed with Canola oil were shown to have high blood pressure and a predisposition to stroke. It was believed that the culprit could be the sterols in the oil. Sterols made the membrane of your cells more rigid increasing the risk of heart diseases. What was interesting was that research also showed that oils such as canola oil were best consumed along with saturated fats such as ghee or coconut oil. Much of this was contrary to commonly accepted wisdom. So what should you do? In general, any oil you consume should be organic and cold pressed. Commonly accepted wisdom is that olive oil, ghee, and coconut oil are probably your best bet.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.