There is just a plethora of contradictory information out there about dietary fats, and specifically, oil. I mean, LOTS of contradictory information. I looked on WebMD (WebMD) about canola oil and right there is a huge article about how using canola for frying, baking and just eating plain is great for your health. But then right along side this article about the health benefits are all these ads for products made with canola. Advertising dollars pretty much rule what sort of information is presented to us.Not just on the internet, but throughout all mass media. Oreo's are made with canola, as is most processed food. Their ads govern what you view on the news. And if you go to any mass media website and search for the major toxic constituent of canola, erucic acid, you won't find anything. That's because they, the producers and ultimate food manufacturers, don't want you to know anything about it. It's toxic. It's cumulative, and the human body is unable to break the stuff down and it accumulates in the organs and neuro network causing long term degenerative damage. It is number one on my list of fats to avoid. At all costs. It isn't the only one, most of the highly processed oils are very bad for your health, so I made a list of them and some, SOME of the reasons not to eat them. And there are a lot of reasons. First we need a little chemistry background, and that is to explain what fats really are. Fats and oils are comprised of what we call long chain fatty acids. These are chains of compounds with carbon atoms making up the base of the chain and the chains being in multiples of two carbons going from 6 to 24 in total, normally. The differences are in the oxygen and hydrogen attachments to the carbon groups. This is where we get MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acids and PUFA polyunsaturated fatty acids. And of course, Saturated fats. We used to consider saturated fat as being bad, not so much anymore. Good healthy organic saturated fats are very good for humans. Whereas we are learning that the longer chain fatty acids, those especially in the 22 to 24 carbon groups are now being looked at for their role in such diseases as Addison's and ALD. This is where it gets tricky, whereas most humans are able to breakdown very long chain fatty acids, people with these diseases cannot and the result is that there is definitive evidence that long chain fatty acids do in fact cause degenerative breakdown of the myelin sheathing on nerve cells and end up eventually destroying the central nervous system of humans suffering from these and similar conditions. There is no evidence at this time that a diet high in any fat that is comprised of mostly of very long chain fatty acids will in fact destroy your central nervous system. It's just that no one has done that study, no one will pay for it and if someone did, it would get buried, no rag would print it because of the money involved from those that make huge sums of money by making cheap oils. But it makes sense, if humans consume long chain fatty acids in quantities greater than their systems are capable of breaking down, then won't they enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the CNS? Anyway, here's the list
Canola oil. This product is touted as the healthy oil for everything. It is everywhere and in everything processed. It is in fact, not what the Canola Council of Canada claim that it is. Firstly, the stuff is given to us as the healthiest blend of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids available. It isn't, the testing is done on raw unprocessed rapeseed oil. (at least all the stuff I have read or heard about (Oil composition)) The actual stuff offered for sale goes through a huge chain of complex steps to make the stuff usable. Heating to over 400 degrees, deodorization and the use of hexane alters the makeup of oil converting most of the Omega 3s to transfatty acids. Here is a site with a cool video on how they manufacture canola (Canola) Then there is the erucic acid problem. The PTDI, (Provisional Tolerable Daily Intake) of erucic acid has been Federally set at 500 milligrams per day. This was set back in 1975 after a 60 day feeding study was done on mice and it was discovered the stuff accumulated in the hearts of the subject mice. I'm a simple man, I don't have a doctorate, (according to Big Bang Theory, a Masters is not good enough) and I cannot figure out how anyone can rationalize this information. If it accumulates in the body, is ANY amount safe? Well we can all see what factors override safety, it's all pretty simple. In 2013 the canola harvest excluding the amount grown in China, was estimated at 110 billion dollars. A lot of safety issues get overlooked when that amount of money is involved. Canola is the oilseed crop that yields the highest amount of oil and seedcake of any oil product available. It is the most profitable oil crop. The Canola Council right on their website states that canola or rape is in the same family as kale and broccoli and we eat those all the time and they are safe. This is just ridiculous, we don't eat oil pressed from the seeds. Then there is the GMO thing, which I personally don't want to eat any because there has not been adequate long term testing on plain GMO plants. Truth is, we don't know. What we do know is that because these GMO crops are herbicide resistant then corporate and even small to mid size farmers spray the crap on everything for uses such as dessication for which the stuff is not intended. This leads to herbicide residues being in just about every product made from any GMO crop, including canola oil. With the WHO just last week announcing they moved glyphosate to the probable carcinogen list it makes sense to limit what you ingest. Canola generally has a significant percentage of content in the c16, c20 and c22 range, a large amount as c18, with a small percent as c24 fatty acids. Raw canola has about one third Omega 3 to two thirds Omega 6. Be careful though, canola for commercial use is way way different with Omega 3 down to about one percent.
Soy Oil. GMO, herbicide residues, endocrine disruptor, that's about it. That's actually pretty bad in my book but realistically, organic would not be a bad choice, except that the Omega 3 content is minimal and is comprised mostly of Omega 6 oils. Tthe main constituents are in the c16 and c18 fatty acids with just traces of anything longer.
Cottonseed Oil. Again, GMO, herbicide residues and something we don't hear about much is the aflatoxin problem with the storage of the seeds before pressing the oil. Aflatoxin is a mold that grows in warm arid regions on seeds with the waste product of the molds not breaking down by heat. Most cotton is grown in the Southwest where it's warm, and pretty arid. Cottonseed is just about the worst mix of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, with it being extremely high in 6 and virtually no 3's to speak of. It also is comprised of mostly c18 and higher long chain fatty acids.
Non Domestic Peanut Oil. Used to be a good choice, but nearly all of the stuff on the store shelves is from China. Anything from the most polluted country on the planet is best to be avoided. Domestic is okay. Well, it's better than the above. But not great, it has no Omega 3. None. Most of it is in the c18 and c20 range with about 5% being longer chain fatty acids.
These are the main oils to avoid, but then again anything from China or Mexico is probably contaminated. We know for a fact that the FDA is overworked, understaffed and at this time only inspecting 2% of foods imported into this country. And of that 2%, almost a quarter are rejected. Scary stuff. Below is a graph showing the composition of common cooking oils. This one I like, but if you search for it on the internet, you will get hundreds of similar graphs and charts, and the scary thing is that most of them in fact have differing values.
As always, I present information to you that I glean from websites that I like. Yes, it's biased. Yes, that means do a little research yourself before you whine and complain and tell me I am an idiot for believing that agrigiant food and farming companies are trying to kill us all. They aren't, they just really believe the fallacy about a little bit won't hurt ya.