Canola is a coined term where “Can” refers to Canada, and “ola” stands for oil. Canola oil has come a long way from being an industrial lubricant for naval and merchant ships as well as steam engines during the early- through mid-1900s, to being the third most utilized edible oil around the world. Now primarily extracted from low erucic acid rapeseed or LEAR, canola is not only a major crop in Canada but in the United States as well. This wide availability of canola oil makes it easy to include in one’s diet. However, steering clear of canola oil use is advised for a host of health concerns.
Canola Oil’s Risks:
High Caloric Content & a High Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio
Much like sunflower oil, canola oil’s caloric content is in the high range, with roughly 124 calories per one tablespoon serving. This widely used vegetable oil which is a common ingredient in a host of manufactured food products like mayonnaise, margarine, and commercial salad dressings, contain a two-to-one omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acids ratio as well. Too much omega-6 fatty acids intake is associated with cancer, hardening of the arteries, as well as insulin resistance, according to recent research.1,2
Long-Chain Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Another potentially undesirable factor about this edible oil’s fatty acids profile is its high long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids (LCMUFAs) content. LCMUFAs are to this day generally viewed as a good type of fatty acid. However, a recent study3 conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found a link between increased incidence of congestive heart failure to high dietary LCMUFAs intake.
Also, it turns out that canola oil’s unique fatty acid content may also contribute to the development of a host of other illnesses. In a Japan-based study,4 stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats were administered canola oil for thirteen weeks. After said period, the animals developed a host of worrying symptoms like kidney abnormalities, increased blood pressure, and lowered red blood cell count.
Extracted From A Hybrid Crop, Genetically Modified, & Sprayed Heavily with Herbicides
As was mentioned, canola oil is extracted from LEAR, a hybrid crop developed so as to ensure the least possible amounts of glucosinolate, an anti-nutrient, as well as erucic acid, a potent toxin. Aside from the hybrid LEAR, two genetically engineered rapeseed varieties were also created. One was developed to be tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, and the other resistant to gluphosinate.
These transgenic crops were made to endure and survive even the heaviest herbicide application during the planting season. Eating a food product that has been laden with petrochemicals is harmful enough as it is. But imagine ingesting herbicide-resistant genes from canola oil. It is noteworthy that extensive studies on the short-term and long-term effects of transgenic crops on humans are lacking to this day, even as practically all rapeseed varieties planted in the United States are of the genetically modified types.
High Heat, Chemicals, & Hydrogenation
Lastly, production methods like use of high-speed pressers that inevitably generate heat during the extraction process brings about alteration of the fatty acids makeup in the subsequent canola oil. Some producers use chemical solvents as well which almost certainly means additional chemical contaminants may be present in the canola oil. Not to mention the process of hydrogenation which increases this edible oil’s trans fats content, an undesirable type of fat that’s linked to manifold illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
No Sweat Recipe Of the Week
Crispy Paleo Fried Chicken
Recipe Via primalpalate.com
- 6 Pieces – Skin on Free-range chicken drumsticks
- 1 cup – Tapioca Starch
- ½ cup – Lard
- 1 ¾ tsp – Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp – Black Pepper
- 1/8 tsp – Turmeric Powder
- 1/8 tsp – Garlic Powder
- (Optional) 1 tsp – Fresh Thyme
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Dry all of the moisture off of the chicken pieces with a few paper towels. Set the chicken aside.
- Add the tapioca starch, sea salt, black pepper, sage, turmeric, and garlic power to a ziplock bag. Seal and shake until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Add 2 pieces of chicken to the flour mixture in the bag. Seal and shake until the chicken is evenly coated. Gently shake the chicken as you remove it from the bag to shake off the excess flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining chicken, two pieces at a time.
- In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the lard over medium-high. (Heat until it spatters when a drop of water is added to the pan) One by one, with tongs, add the pieces of chicken to the hot oil. *Do not crowd the skillet. Do this in batches if you’re using larger pieces of chicken.* Fry them in the lard until the breading is crispy and golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
- Remove the chicken to a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the chicken until it’s done all the way through, about 20-35 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.
- Sprinkle the chicken with fresh thyme leaves if desired, serve warm, and enjoy!