Anyone who is on a severely fat-restricted method of eating is doomed to failure. Fat is one of the essential nutrients and is necessary for brain health, metabolizing fat soluble vitamins, keeping skin supple and many other bodily functions.
We need fat. It is a concentrated source of energy and any cook or chef knows-it carries flavor in foods. Anyone remember the fat-free craze of the 90s? Those foods tasted utterly horrid, not to mention that they were higher in sugar, salt and other fillers to make up for their obvious lack of flavor that would’ve been carried by the fat.
I still cringe when I read about people substituting fat-free or “fake foods” such as Cool Whip or margarine or fat-free half and half. Those items are highly processed and usually filled with preservatives. Anyone wanting to eat clean should steer clear and be very wary of anything labeled “fat-free." Once you shun conventional wisdom and mainstream media misinformation about fat-free, or even low-fat diets, be sure to choose fats that are good for you.
Now, full disclosure here: I am not a nutritionist, but someone who has been eating healthfully for the past 20 years and so far, have reaped the benefits of good, clean eating. I speak out of experiential knowledge rather than book knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I am constantly reading and open to learning new things, but when a book or a nutritionist or even a doctor recommends either a low-fat diet the usage of canola oil as healthy , I will simply say “no thank you, not for me.”
Canola oil is one of the newer oils on the market. It derives from the rape seed. I am sure the rape seed’s commodity board’s first order of business was a name change! Rape seed was previously unsuitable for human consumption due to the presence of erucic acid. It was bred (read: genetically engineered) to contain low or no erucic acid. Erucic acid has been associated with causing heart lesions. But the erucic acid issue isn’t the problem with canola oil anymore.
Even redeveloped, canola oil is NOT a healthy choice because of the following reasons:
- It has a high sulfur content and goes rancid easily
- It is processed at a very high temperature and is exposed to damaging light and oxygen.
- It is treated with a solvent (hexane) to extract as much oil as possible. Although the hexane is boiled off, minute traces can remain.
- It is deodorized to remove the smell. This process transforms the oils beneficial fatty acids into trans fats.
I have chosen not to use canola oil anymore at all. It is a highly processed product and there are better choices out there. Almost exclusively, I use extra virgin, expeller pressed organic olive oil, coconut oil from Tropical Traditions and organic, unsalted butter (preferably from pastured, grass-fed cows when available).
Mainstream media, many nutritionists (though not all) and many so-called health books will tell you that canola oil can be part of a healthy diet. We would do well to choose our fats carefully and instead concentrate on eliminating or greatly reducing our intake of refined flour products ( usually the real culprit in making people obese and unhealthy). As mentioned before, this has been an experiential journey for me. One with a lot of learning and reading and instituting what I believed to be the best choices for health. I have been blessed with robust, good health thus far and am happy to share this with my readers.
Please feel free to comment…even if you disagree