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Canola Oil Started as a Motor Lubricant

You’ve probably heard of olive and coconut trees, but chances are you’ve never heard of a canola tree. That’s because it doesn’t exist. Canola oil is not a natural oil, but the commercial name of a genetically modified version of rapeseed (which is toxic), according to nutritional blogger, Anya Vien.


The canola plant was developed from rapeseed plants by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba using plant breeding techniques. Rapeseed oil was originally used as a motor lubricant during World War II. Once the war ended, so did the demand and Canada began an intensive program to make the product edible.

Before it could be declared edible, the erucic acid and glucosinolates — which are dangerous to human health — had to be bred out of the plant. In the late 1970s, both chemicals were reduced to lower levels, and the plant was declared consumable. For the next 10 years, oil researchers concentrated on shelf stability, animal diets and gaining a wider consumer acceptance. By 2012, nearly all low-erucic acid rapeseed plants were genetically engineered to increase yield.

Today many natural food stores, even famous ones such as Whole Foods, consistently use canola oil in their prepared meals and food bars, Vien says.

According to AARP, 93% of Americans are concerned with their brain health, but few understand how to protect it. Canola oil does not provide the healthy fat that’s vital to your brain. In fact, research has shown that canola oil leads to significant declines in working memory and has a significant impact on weight management.

Consuming canola oil has also been associated with the development of fibrotic lesions on the heart, lung cancer, anemia, central nervous system degenerative disorders and prostate cancer.

However, corn or maize oil and soybean oil are no better than canola oil. Corn oil is extracted from the germ of corn. It’s mainly used for cooking and is also a key ingredient in margarine and other processed foods. It contains perishable bonds that create free radicals, which can cause cholesterol oxidation, which has been linked to an increased risk of diseases.

Corn oil also contains very high amounts of omega-6 fats, which can throw your body’s omega-6 to omega-3 ratio out of balance.

Aside from originating from a genetically engineered crop that’s usually sprayed with herbicides, soybean oil in the past was a partially hydrogenated oil, a product that produced trans fats that can negatively affect your health, such as increasing your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Replacing dangerous oils with healthy fats is a simple way to boost your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease. While partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are now recognized as harmful due to their trans fat content, and are being largely eliminated, trans fat-free vegetable oils still have the worrisome problem of degrading into toxic oxidation products when heated.

Black seed oil has been shown to be useful for a wide variety of ailments, including Type 2 diabetes, asthma, cognitive decline, stress and rheumatoid arthritis.

Other healthier options include pastured, organic butter, virgin coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter) and lard for cooking, and olive oil for noncooking purposes.