What is Canola Oil?

What is Canola Oil?

oilsI’ve heard canola oil is not healthy. Is that true? What is it and what would be a good substitute?

There are perceptions and misconceptions regarding Canola oil. It  is a mono-unsaturated oil. Mono-unsaturated have been demonstrated to not promote tumor growth as polyunsaturated oils do. Polyunsaturated like safflower oil, corn oil and others are commonly used in vegetarian cooking and conventional cooking as an alternative to saturated fats which clog arteries and promote cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, polyunsaturated oils have been shown in repeated and large scale scientific studies to promote the growth of cancerous tumors, therefore you would want to avoid it.

Canola oil is extracted from the rapeseed plant. It is a light oil that is rather bland so it doesn’t put any unwanted flavors into your baked goods or cooked foods. While it is vegan, it is still a controversail oil for some. Most rapeseed plants are from a genetically modified “Roundup Ready”  introduced by Monsanto, which is certainly something to be aware of if you are trying to avoid GM foods.

There are plenty of good oils  out there, such as olive, coconut, sesame, and canola. Experiment with a few and see what you prefer.

Ann Gentry

Author: Ann Gentry

Ann Gentry is a chef, restaurateur, food educator and visionary. She opened Real Food Daily in Los Angeles 1993, a totally vegan and organic restaurant that has since spawned another in West Hollywood. Please visit Real Food Daily to find out more about this truly unique restaurant and to learn more about Ann Gentry.

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