Canola Oil, NOT the Magical Cholesterol Solution

I had a frustrated customer contacting me the other day asking why we didn’t give Canola Oil the weight it deserves in our Blue Heron Cholesterol Guide.

After all, everyone is raving about it. It’s sold in most health food stores and some people consider it a magical solution for lowering cholesterol.

And it’s in pretty much EVERYTHING!

I answered that we actually gave it too much weight in our guide. We mentioned it once. In the next edition we’re going to take it completely out.

The answer was pretty harsh so now I owe this customer and you a little explanation.

First of all we have to look at what Canola really stands for.

You see, Sunflower oil comes from sunflowers, Coconut oil from Coconuts, Safflower oil from Safflowers etc. Self-explanatory, right?

So we would have to assume that Canola oil had to come from some plant called Canola.

Not so.

Canola stands for “Canada” and “Oil.” It has nothing to with the plant it’s made from, which is called Rapeseed.

Rapeseed is in the mustard family and has been considered a magical industry oil for decades. It’s been used to make anything from bio-diesel to soaps and industrial oils. It’s highly poisonous, causing irritation and blindness in both humans and animals.

Rapeseed oil was widely fed to cows in England a few years back. After the mad cow disease hysteria cropped up there, one of the actions farmers took was to remove rapeseed oil. It was never officially blamed but no case of mad cow has come up since it was removed.

Canola oil is a genetically engineered from Rapeseed. So, on the surface it doesn’t appear to be as poisonous as its parent plant. But I’m still wary about using or recommending it.

Just the fact that the plant is genetically engineered should flash some warning signs for health food stores or anyone interested in natural and organic health food. Then, the fact that it’s genetically engineered from a plant that’s considered highly poisonous is another problem.

Despite the many companies that think Canola oil is the greatest thing since the invention of compressed air, some natural health experts warn harshly against Canola oil and consider it a source of all-evil. I’m not 100 % convinced either way.

I believe the verdict is still out and we’ll get some shocking studies regarding Canola oil in the near future. Please leave a comment below to tell us what you think.

And check out our cholesterol guide. Natural way to lower cholesterol without having to use Canola oil…

But first, I’d really appreciate it if you click the Facebook button below and share this articles with your friends. And then, of course, submit your comment below.

63 comments

  1. I have read the fumes from heating canola oil on higher heat causes lesions in the lungs, not a fan, however the prices hare comparable to soybean oil, another posion,. I guess that is why the public is so involved buying it, it is affordable and everyone is broke. Only wish decent food and etc. was as affordable.

  2. Thanks for the report. I am very wary of GM plants. & until wide extensive trials are carried out would prefer to leave it alone.

  3. Susan Barclay-Edwards

    I know a LOT of people who are so allergic to rapeseed when it is actually growing and in flower, (they can barely function when the stuff is growing) nothing would surprise me about the wretched stuff, the other thing of course in East Anglia in U.K. it is also HEAVILY sprayed with extremely noxious things. Worse still there are often two crops a year of this stuff even in the U.K. climate. Acres and Acres of bright yellow stuff that is ruining people’s health. Yellow is not always a nice colour, I know that now I have moved to the other side of the U.K. I don’t have so many problems.

  4. I think this comment is long overdue. I have worried about canaola oil since I found out it is only one molecule removed from rapeseed oil.
    It is just one more example of the “engineered” oils that have been created to make money for someone/company, while destroying the health of those who use it.

  5. Very helpful, hope it reaches a wide audience. Perhaps we could learn to eat less, with greater discrimination, rather than depending on large quantities of cheap food?

  6. The best oil is coconut oil, but it’s not widely available. The fatty acids it contains are similar to mother’s milk.
    Second is extra virgin cold pressed olive oil.
    Comparing canola oil to these is like comparing margarine to butter. I heard margarine is banned now in England.

  7. Very interesting—will be watching future reports!

  8. Yes I am fully aware of the fallacy of ‘Canola’TM.Oil. Apparently a good weapons and machinary lubricat during World War One.! Good to see that Blue Heron has noted that one. Now you just need to get wise to soy, another true evil of the giant global corporations. Something that has been recomended many times on Blue Heron, albeit amongst much other valuable and good advise. See – http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz , if their server is still allowed to be accessed by ‘Big Brother’. It is reposible for untold illness and miserey for both humans and livestock.

  9. Sandra Swift Murray

    Greetings. I agree with you wholeheartedly about Canola oil. I have heard several times on CBC radio and read in several sources that Rapeseed oil was strictly an industrial oil used to oil machines. Then scientists genetically modified it and now suddenly it is fit for human consumption?! I think not. I have avoided it and will not buy any product that contains it. Mind you I don’t buy much packaged or processed food anyway so it is easy to avoid. It does make one wonder if it might be responsible for the epidemic of macular degeneration as you mentioned that blindness was atributed to rapeseed oil. Maybe there is also a link to Alzheimers. My advice is to check all products you buy and ditch those with canola oil in them!

  10. Sandra Swift Murray

    One further point. I have also heard that the body cannot eliminate canola oil so it plaques up in the blood vessels.

  11. Very informative -need more information and studies.

  12. It appears that soyonlineserices is no longer available – surprise surprise!!
    Look at http://www.ehow.com/list_6402813_dangers-soy-foods.html
    You’ll get the idea. There is much more research from all over the world to this end.

  13. Instead of waiting aimlessly for results, why not focus on what IS GOOD for us? Olive oil appears to be the ticket, but why not also consider the value of a mixture of oils….. almond oil, grapeseed oil and ?? for example?
    Or maybe the thoughts about cooking with each type of oil, versus a dressing over a salad or in raw foods. And maybe some mix better with, say, orange juice or palmagranate juice. Just thoughts outside the box……..

  14. I have read other reports on canola oil and have stopped using it. Hope the truth comes out soon.

  15. I always buy canola oil to bake sweets.but now guess I will stop buying it.thanks a lot for letting us know.

  16. I've hated this 'food' since it came on the market. It doesn't seem to metabolize for me, and I've watched in horror as it has been added to more and more 'health' foods. Thanks for your information!

  17. I thought that feeding animal parts to the cattle which would have included nervous system tissue was believed to be the cause of mad cow disease, that was reported in our British newspapers.

  18. RE: Olive oil as a good oil? But then isn’t olive an omega-6 oil which loses most of its benefits when it is heated? We stopped using canola oil years ago when we learned it stood for Canada oil, but rarely does one know what kind of oil is being used for cooking in restaurants one frequents during the lunch hour unless it’s posted in the menu. At work, we’ve switched to preparing our own meals for lunch on an alternating basis (and we don’t use canola oil).

  19. Well common since makes since this time in a nut shell, and that is enough to make me leery of any GMO product. Tired of mad scientist playing God with my body anyway. Thanks for the insight.

  20. I read in prevention oil how great canola oil was so I bought it. Everytime I cooked stir fry, my youngest son got real bad stomach cramps. He said Mom, I am never going to eat your stirfry again.
    To this day, he cannot eat canola oil. My other 3 kids have trouble with it too. So we buy olive oil endorsed by australia.

  21. I had already got rid of my canola oil. Use mostly olive oil,(too expensive for many people) but still love my butter.
    Is margarine healthwise really better for us?
    just reading Rob Kahn’s comment about olive oil and know it is not recommanded for heating.Is losing some benifits the only problem?

  22. OK, gotcha with all of this; Canola oil bad. So, what do folks use for an oil that can be heated, if not olive oil? Anything that is commercially available and affordable work well at all? Always looking for affordable alternatives with my large family and low paying job. Thanks!

  23. There is a lot of deadly wrong info out there about oils. This is one of the areas where the most bad info in the whole natural health and health food movement seems to be concentrated. I would not use canola oil for anything other than bio-diesel and possibly other fuel sources. I would NEVER put it in my food.

    And I see that someone asked about margarine in the comments above. That also is not healthy.

    And even olive oil is onoly good if it is not heated above the temp of boiling water. So it is great for soups and salads, but not as a full-on cooking oil. The problem is that when heated much above the temp of boiling water olive oil is no longer chmeically stable. And the heat-induced changes it goes through make it very unhealthy. And even if not heated, olive oil must be extra virgin, cold-pressed and organic to be healthy. And then it truly is.

    As far as I have been able to find in the available research, only organic coconut oil and organic butter from grass-fed, cows are safe oils to heat much beyond the temp of boiling water. And particularly coconut oil is so healthy that you can eat as much as you want. I take 5 teaspoons of organic coconut oil a day, aside from my food, just as a healthy supplement. It works. Check out the research on it and you will see.

    All those other oils, such as soy bean oil, and especialy canola oil should be avoided like the plague, and most of the touted “healthy oils” are not healthy when heated.

  24. I agree, with the exception of olive oil. Grapeseed oil is far superior and does not go rancid at high heat.

  25. I would not use canola oil it is in most packaged foods, for cooking I use Rice Bran oil and have no problems with it. It's so versatile.

  26. I have not used canola oil for a lot of years as I researched about genetically modified foods and avoid them all as much as possible. My philosophy is if you can’t take it off the tree or out of the ground and just eat it, then don’t have it. Reading the labels in the supermarkets is also a good practice as there are so many hidden oils and additives it makes your hair curl so to speak, or something much worse!

  27. It`s about time we get the facts about Canola oil and its newest refined product as of December 2011. I have followed the development of rapeseed as a cash crop in Saskatchewan in the late 1980`s. At that time, Rapeseed was genetically modified and given the new name, Canola Oil. Monsanto, the world`s largest genetically modified food conglomerate, was involved. Rapeseed oil was originally refined and used as a lubricant machinery oil. Somehow it became touted as a good cooking oil and largely promoted as such without any substantial research to support the claim. Canola oil has just been refined again by removing 4 basic healthful nutrients because according to the Canadian Canola Growers Association, those nutrients have a slight sharp taste. Now, a sweetener has been added. The Toronto Globe and Mail printed 2 successive news items promoting the new Canola Oil in 2 full page articles with fields of of bright yellow canola flowers. In short, the new oil has few, if any known health benefits for humans. The most startling effect of feeding calves Canola mash, was that they lost their hair temporarily. It grew back when the mash was removed from their diet. Enough said, enjoy the new Canola oil. We urgently need independent testing on the health hazards to humans young and old.

  28. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Nasty stuff. It shows the abysmal ignorance of the ‘health’ bureaucrats that they promote it as healthy.

  29. Another health advocate brought to our attention several months ago about Canola Oil. Look, first Soy Bean Oil and Canola Oil are both GMO products. Genetically modified with a weed killer, Roundup. Both of these are aso partially hydrogenated oils, which last a long time under high heat but are not good for our health. THEY DID AN EXPERIMENT WITH CANOLA AND SOY BEEN OIL. THEY USED IT TO KILL BUGS. GUESS WHAT? iT WORKED. So if you have either or both of these oils in your kitchen shelf, move them to the garage. They are good for pesticides!

  30. Melbourne is already a difficult place for allergy sufferers… Subjectively it appears that even more people have been
    impacted since canola crops arrived in Victoria! In a world motivated and driven by the the need for economic growth
    it seems as though ‘big picture’ thinking / feeling about the impacts on the health of the people, the earth and it’s
    wondrous life forms will go on suffering. Oh for a world more able to engage in non dichotomous thinking / feeling /
    quality vs quantity / multiple perspectives / and last but not least a capacity to actively care.

  31. Excellent comments about Canola Oil. Please read the contents carefully on any foods you buy. Here is a part list of products that include it: Many breads, cookies, buns, veggie burgers, breakfast links, some protein bars,mayonaise, salad dressings and Becel margarine uses hydroginated canola oil (the newest TV Ads- `cheat on butter`!)

  32. I am no fan of canola oil but I do think it is very important to be as accurate and non-sensationalist as possible when producing a report to be read and believed by so many people. first of all, not all canola is genetically engineered, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the GM oils. Secondly, linking canola to mad cow disease (which is caused by a prion), without providing scientific references is quite reprehensible.

  33. Delfina Spitaleri

    I’m italian. I’m 71. No bad cholesterol, 80/120 blood p. not at all diseases of any sort. Since my childhood I use good unsalted row butter and extra-vergin olive oil. I don’t understand why the people use these stupid ingredients.

  34. The massive negative propaganda against coconut oil was initiated by the powerful vegetable oil cartels decades back. Cococunt oil was ridiculed and made scary. Millions of Asians using coconut oil safely for generations switched to vegetable oils. But…..rverything has its downward curve. Now it is known that hydrogenated/GM vegetable oils are deadly. Canola is no exception! GET BACK TO GOOD OLD COCONUT OIL! The health benefits are immense!

  35. I have had to stop eating at some places because they have started using canola oil. My vision clouds up and I cannot see well for about 45 minutes. It doesn’t happen right away but the next day, and I have to check out what oil is being used or I have to look at package ingredients. Canola oil is not good for me. Carol

  36. Extremely Good article.
    Like every thing that is Medicine / Man made – a Con -ola.
    I love Coconut Oil Juice in the diet, Olive oil – all organic. Like wise a good Butter from grass feed cows.
    To sum up a warning -"If god did not grow it – DO NOT EAT IT" unless you want to die.
    My wife complained of chest pains about 6 years ago shortly before we deliberately avoided eating it. It is thought to cause asthma / Breathing difficulties, hence a load on the heart. Again we need more information.

  37. At a health food store, I have seen Organic Canola Oil by Spectrum. I thought “organic” also meant non-GMO

  38. I am alergic to canola oil, I get chest pain within minutes of eating it, this oil was used in the spitfire plane engines in world 2 because if the engine was hit with a bullet it would not catch fire as it won’t burn. I ask at any restraunt that I eat in what oil do they use and most restaunts are now using canola oil. Our govenment paid Monsato millions of dallars to play with this oil, its insane how we wast tax payers dollars no wander our health care costs are high.

  39. Do yourselves a favour Investigate Grapeseed Oil and also Ricebran oils.

  40. This is a surprise so is canola oil better or worse than the other vegetable based oils. from the tone on this oil it would also appear that we must as of necessity move away from Margarine.

  41. Where does most olive oil come from? I trust the Canadians.

  42. If I remember correctly, your brain is made up of omega 3 fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Butter, coconut oil and palm oil are MCTs, which are not only good for the brain, but for losing weight, and for some forms of seizure disorders (helped my epileptic kids). MCTs do not attach to a lipid, and therefore cannot attach to artery walls or cause plaque buildup. Instead, they go directly to the liver for processing. Like the parents in “Lorenzo’s Oil,” I searched out the research for my severely epileptic daughters. In Lorenzo’s Oil (film), what helped the boy was rapeseed oil; obviously only good for that problem if used carefully. I live in Canada, but will NOT use Canola oil! From the research I’ve seen on soy, it can shrink the brain. Plus, it is estrogenic, so can cause hormone problems. A spike in estrogen can bring on seizures, so I avoid giving soy to my daughters, who both have catamenial seizures (brought on by menses, i.e. a spike in estrogen). Only use soy if it is fermented. So use tamari sauce rather than soy sauce. Unfermented soy, especially GMO, is not a health food.

  43. Hi all, The problem with canola is not its gm status it is the fact that in order to make the oil palatable to humans it needs to be stripped of its bad smell and in the process any nutritional benefit (iffy that there is any) is lost. My fave now is rice bran oil and olive oil depending on what i am doing. As for soy, i have been warned off it by my doctor as it is very oestrogenic with the wrong kind of oestrogen.

  44. Yes move away from margarine and ‘soft butter’ products as most are softened with canola oil.

  45. I think canola oil healthy because it is written on the label.I’m using it for many years.What would I use for cooking?

  46. Read all the comments about canola oil.Very disturbing.I’ve just bought a bottle of “Rice Bran Oil” from Morrisons claiming to be so good for you.Is this one going down the same lines as Canola Oil? Would like some info on it.

  47. One point being overlooked in most of the comments is the issue that using Canola Oil is supposed to be a good way to lower cholesterol. Why not focus on increasing our intake of soluble fiber, which naturally lowers cholesterol levels. On top of that, increase the intake of EFA’s, by eating more fish or taking a pharmaceutical-quality fish oil, and anti-oxidants so the cholesterol we have doesn’t oxidize, which is when the health problems actually occur. If high cholesterol is the real culprit, why do over half the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels?

  48. All our canola plants in the area where I live are non GM. Most of the seed is exported to Japan as the Japanese do not want GM products. I did not think that canola oil came from rapeseed plants but from canola plants so I’m now a bit confused. Are you saying that canola plants and rapeseed plants are the same thing? I do not use canola oil myself.

  49. I read several years ago that “flower” oil is fine when used cold. Do not heat it, as it becomes transfatty. Canola oil is one of these, and is inexpensive to boot. If I understand correctly, oils made from the seeds of plants are the flower oils, oils made from the fruit of a plant are better and more stable when heated, but do not turn transfatty unless heated very high. These would include olive and coconut. Butter and lard do not turn transfatty even under extreme heat. I use olive oil in dressings, and for cold applications only. Anything cooked, baked, or heated in any way I only use butter.

  50. My family has not used Canola for years, since it is from Canada Oil and used during the war. It is pleasing to see so many people also know the truth aout it. It is hard to find products on the shelf that does not have Canola oil in it. I must foward this article to my friends, good to find something in print about it.

  51. 85% of canola oil is now GMO. Olive was proved not to deteriorate under high heat recently. Cocont oil is a middle triglyceride and very healthy for you.

  52. Thanks for the clarification on this particular poison.

  53. The best so far is extra virgin coconut oil. Tha problem with olive oil is that it is healthy from the place of production only when it is freshly produce however after two months it gets rancid and the have to put an extenders to preserve it. It's this extenders that is bad. Therefore, all exported olive oils have extenders.

  54. Worked with a lass who had bees near rape seed growing, she sold it to us, but it was so revolting I put it down the drain, she said it had an odd flavour. I don't buy local honey to me in Surrey as I an still taste the bitter flavour – lots of rape grown in this area.

  55. The three evils of this modern age are canola oil,soy,& corn frucose.All the new modern deseases are from these. People spend millions of dollars to convince us there is no danger.All of a sudden Diabetes is on the rise,Heart problems,cancer. it all leads back to additives in food,that isn’t necessary or healthful.When will americans wake up,and demand they stop putting poisens in our food?We have to do something.Almost all people today suffer from reflux,think about it.

  56. canola oil poison to our body all transfat

  57. “None Dare Call it Rape” was the name of an article, published in the Idaho Observer in 1999. It convinced me never to touch Canola oil again! Google it, and read it for yourself. My mother used canola oil regularly, and she died with Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, AND glaucoma. She was also deaf when she passed away in 2003.

  58. Robert Lim Joseph

    Sir Bobby Joseph, hindi ka ba naawa sa amin at hindi ka rin ba nahihiya sa tanda mong yan?
    Kung molestyahin mo kami at pagsamantalahan ang kahinaan? Nagrerecruit ka ng mga graduating students from Letran at Lyceum
    tapos magooffer ka ng tulong para matrain mo at mabigyan ng financial support pero at pinipili mo na mga "scholars" mo ay para pala sa kahayopan mo.
    Papangakoan mo pa kami ng pera at trabaho pagkagraduate pero sex ang kapalit. Nakakadiri kang matanda ka kung makahipo at lagi kang namimilit magpa blowjob.
    Hindi ka titigil hanggat hindi nakakabayad ng utang sayo. Hindi pala ako nagiisa, marami pala kami mga so called "scholars" na inaabuso mo! Perfect example
    ng DIRTY OLD MAN!!! Ang iba sa amin ay umalis na dahil hindi na matiis ang panghahalay mo, pero kami nila darren, jen, tonie, chinatsu at lerica ay nagtitiis
    at natatakot mawalan ng trabaho kaya napipilitan kaming gawin ang mga kababuyan mo!! Mahaba ang kamay ng Diyos kaya ka may cancer. Hindi kaya anak mo o apo mo
    ang magbayad ng utang mo? Hindi ka ba natatakot? Patawarin ka kaya ng Diyos? Sinira mo ang buhay namin. Nirerespeto ka pa naman namin sir bob pero ang baba
    ng tingin mo sa amin WALANGHIYA KA!! Nagiipon kami ng lakas at magsasampa kami ng kaso laban sayo para matigil na ang kahayopan mo at hindi na mangyari pa sa iba!
    Bilang may ari ng Philippine Wine Merchants, Coltrans, Ralphs at Philippine Wine Museum na ginawa mong motel ay hindi nakapagtataka na magaling kang manuhol
    para mapigilan at mapatahimik ang aking kasama na iurong ang kaso laban sayo. Pero hindi pa tapos ang laban, katarungan at dignidad ko ang gusto ko at hindi ang pera mo.
    PARUSAHAN NG DIYOS KUNG SINO SA ATING DALAWA ANG HINDI NAGSASABI NG TOTOO!

  59. Tried Canola once, but didn't like the taste, so never used it again.My system seems to know better than all those SMART scientists……

  60. ” I wont eat it cause its Canada oil ” is the most unscientific thing
    I have found on the internet. Not to mention its “rape”seed. Does eating canola lead to sexual assault ?? Morons !

  61. Thanks for the info about what Canola Oil is and how it is manufactured. I never heard any info before about this oil but will make a more conscious decision when purchasing and consuming oil.

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