Oil is a common ingredient in many foods, making it a popular kitchen item. And while there are many different types of oils, it’s pretty obvious that not all are created equal when it comes to things like taste, consistency, price, and especially health benefits.
One of the most used oils is canola oil. However, as enticing as that price tag looks, canola oil has dark secrets that are just now being revealed.
Canola Oil’s Cunning Facade
For many years canola oil has been thought to be one of the healthier choices. Everywhere you look you will see praise about how incredibly helpful and healthy it is. And a lot of this information has even proven true.
For example, canola oil is a monounsaturated fat, making it a healthier alternative to animal fats. For this reason, it’s often compared to and categorized with other healthy oils such as safflower oil, olive oil, and peanut oil. (1, 2)
Canola oil has also been proven to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, and improve insulin sensitivity. This seems to make it a great option for those suffering from diabetes. (3, 4)
But while these facts seem to paint a pretty picture of this shiny yellow oil, new research has shown that all this hubbub about canola oil might be just a facade to hide its truly bad side.
Brain Health Deterioration
A study was recently conducted on mice revealing some of canola oil’s dark secrets. During the study, one group of mice was given a regular diet, and another group was given the same diet along with a supplement of canola oil. After one year the mice were subjected to a number of tests. Surprisingly, the mice who had been taking the canola oil supplement showed memory deterioration and degenerative learning ability. (5)
Additionally, the mice who had canola oil in their diet for a year gained considerably more weight than rats with no canola oil in their diet. (5)
Other Harmful Effects Of Canola Oil
While this study has given us new insight as to the true nature of canola oil, the issues with its manufacturing process are old news.
Canola oil is made from genetically modified rapeseeds. The rapeseeds are subjected to an extraction process using a solvent called hexane. The oil is then refined, bleached, and deodorized. Heat is also often applied which can create trans fats, destroy omega 3s, and even turn the oil rancid. (6)
All of this information has opened our eyes to more hidden dangers of canola oil. Researchers’ next task is to conduct more studies in order to really hone in on the negative effects of canola oil and how long these effects may last.
What Oil Can I Trust?
Steering clear of that deceiving canola oil will be a lot easier if you know what to replace it with. One fantastic alternative is olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil has been tried and tested to be one of the healthiest fats out there. One study actually shows that olive oil is beneficial for memory and brain health, and it has even been shown to improve memory impairment in Alzheimer’s patients! So you might even say it’s canola oil’s archenemy. (7, 8)
Whether you choose olive oil or some other alternative, one thing is clear. Unless you don’t mind seeing your brain and memory slowly deteriorate, you might want to keep canola oil off of your grocery list and out of your kitchen.