Canola oil has been touted as one of the world’s most healthful oils, but there is a great deal of controversy surrounding it. Evidence indicates that the method of processing the oil results in a very unhealthy product. Canola oil is found in many products, including salad dressing. Is it good or bad for your heart and brain? Let’s take a closer look at the controversy.

Canola Oil Was Invented In A Lab – Which Is A Good Thing

Canola oil is basically an invention of scientists — a genetically modified food. It’s derived from rapeseed oil, which contains high levels of erucic acid, which has been shown to damage the heart muscle. However, in 1974, after developing a crossbreed of rapeseed oil that contained lower levels of that substance, canola oil was born.

Critics Claim Extraction Of Canola Oil Exposes Consumers To Toxic Chemicals

When making canola oil, a chemical called hexane is added to the crushed seeds to extract the oil. Are trace amounts of hexane still contained in the oil? Some experts say yes, and some say no. Expelling oils using the cold press method excludes hexane from the process of making canola oil, and may be safer. However, cold-pressed oils are more expensive.

Are The Fats In Canola Oil Healthy Or Unhealthy?

Canola oil has high levels of monounsaturated fats, which are also found in olive oil. Of all oils, canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fats – 7%. Saturated fats are the ones that cause heart disease and clog arteries. Canola oil is high in the Omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, it has 11% ALA. Omega-3’s actually protect the heart and prevent heart disease.

Does Canola Oil Cause Coagulation In The Blood?

According to some sources, yes. However, other scientists point to a 2010 study that shows the oil decreases the level of fibrinogen (a glycoprotein related to coagulation of the blood), which is a good thing. Too much fibrinogen in the blood causes high levels of inflammation, and that leads to strokes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.

Recent Study And Alzheimers

A study was released in late 2017 suggesting that canola oil increased amyloid plaques in the brains of lab rats. The rats were given a diet rich in canola oil for 6 months and showed a marked decrease in memory function. There are some who feel the extraction of rapeseed oil using high heat caused this result, and the findings have been questioned. Others claim normal amounts of Omega 3’s reduce Alzheimer’s.