Is Canola Really the Healthy Cooking Oil?

At the Nutrition and Health Conference in Seattle this week, Dr. Catherine Shanahan presented that canola oil, due to its processing is a source of trans fat. At this point, we should all know the detrimental concerns of trans fat and their connection to increased cardiovascular disease risk. I was always told that organic canola oil is a great cooking alternative. While olive oil is a very healthful fat, it oxidizes at pretty low temperature cooking, rendering its health benefits now potentially harmful. So with canola oil's higher smoke (AKA oxidating) point, it's preferred. The organic focus was the the rapeseed, which is the source of canola oil can contain pesticides when grown conventionally. 

But looking at a study from the University of Florida in the '90s shows that canola oils sold in the US, due to processing, can contain as much as 4% trans fat! I suggest that we start cutting out the canola oil in our diets, organic or not. Instead, cook with much more heat stable oils that come from natural sources and do not need to be processed:

-Grass fed butter
-Extra-virgin coconut oil
-Macadamia nut oil
-Walnut oil

Save the olive oil to drizzle at room temperature on salads or vegetables after they are cooked.

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