4

votes

Is canola oil/margarine ever okay?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 16, 2010 at 7:50 AM

I have always been a firm believer that as canola oil is a frankenfood, it should certainly be avoided. The heat involved in the processing of the oil is usually blamed for the unhealthfulness of the end product - omega 3 fats are rancid, etc.

However, a colleague of mine is claiming that it is scientifically possible to extract the oil from rapeseed without hydrolyzation etc, resulting in a healthful end product. The next stage of damage is usually during deoderisation through heating, but I can't find any expeller pressed oils that don't seem to be deoderised.

Try as I might, I cannot find anything reputable online to support this. Fallon & Enig's The Great Con-ola is wonderful, as are many other resources, but they don't seem to rule out the scenario that my colleague suggests. While I can't imagine a way to removing erucic acids, refining and deoderising the oil, in an effort to make it palatable, maybe it has been done...

His wife is vegan, and uses margarine as her source of omega-3. With cold-pressed canola, this seems technically possible; however, I see no evidence of any research in this area (but I don't subscribe to many study websites).

I'm curious about this mainly because I have a relative who is utterly fat-phobic, thanks to his high school education teaching him that animal fats are bad (blah, blah). If he's going to use margarine, I'd like to find the least damaging option for him, if such an item exists.

Thoughts?

Edit 4th August - from the lack of evidence, I'm left with a pretty strong sense that VERY few producers, if any, are making canola oil and products without risking the integrity of the fats via heating for various purposes. So canola will remain on my blacklist, and my respect for my colleague forever tarnished ;)

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 02, 2012
at 05:21 AM

I smell a troll.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Clary-sage oil for eating? I used to distill clary sage oil at work, but for an essential oil. It's a pretty strong smell, does that come out when you eat it?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:28 AM

I agree on suggesting coconut oil and olive oil as alternatives to canola oil and margarine. Sure, you can't spread it on your health whole grains, but it would be much better for frying/salad dressings/baking/roasting. Do you think they'd be willing to try ghee? Still animal fat, but less well known so the person might not connect it as strongly with the saturated fat fright.

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 04, 2010
at 06:20 AM

Does anyone have any comments of eating ALA for taste (even though its not biologically available in great amts) so it decreases your n6 consumption to keep your ratio in balance?

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:03 PM

Well I'm afraid you're up against it then. If he is increasingly stubborn in spite of your arguing instead of your arguments then I guess there is not much you can do except keep being a positive role model and hope he sees the light before too long.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2010
at 11:10 AM

There are a few brands of margarine made without any hydrogenation now, at least in the UK. They use a small percentage of coconut or palm oil and various emulsifiers to mix the other oils used (soy, sunflower, canola or olive) into a soft spreadable fat.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:46 AM

Well, even leaving the heating process aside: because most (or all?) of the n3 is ALA, even any undamaged n3 will be converted inefficiently to EPA and DHA in the body. Even if you find a cold-pressed non-GMO supplier, the effective amount of n3 used by the body is less than 10% of the ALA content. That said, I hope you do find a cold-pressed canola that works. It's probably much better than soy or corn oil, anyway. Dubious whether it's better than high-quality olive oil IMO. Even if the canola' PUFA numbers are better on paper, at least olive oil is not a seed oil.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:37 AM

I see your point. I'm with Alan but I understand what you're trying to do (find better alternatives that fit within your relative's self-imposed parameters, even if those parameters are seemingly illogical). I am in the same boat with some friends/clients myself. =)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:35 AM

Thanks, we're half-way! He promises that his margarine is just like your oil, but so far no one has pointed to a producer, so I'm not convinced...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:32 AM

One of the claims that he makes that I'm looking to verify is his belief that margarine can be made without ANY hydrogenation, but I've yet to find evidence of any companies making margarine this way...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Ok, FINALLY someone's answering the question - so there IS someone out there making cold-pressed canola? Do they deoderise the oil? How?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:22 AM

Jae, this isn't about 'helping him' per se, but finding out whether there are canola products that are avoiding the usual problems.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:20 AM

Of course, Alan, but the more I argue that his choice is hurting him, the more stubborn he becomes. If there's a better option out there, that's what I want to know about.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 17, 2010
at 02:48 PM

I see! Thanks for the explanation :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:19 PM

I think algae omega-3 is probably the future as there isn't enough oily fish in the oceans for everyone who will want it.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:13 PM

Trans-fats result from the incomplete hydrogenation of fats. Many margarines now mix totally hydrogenated fats with liquid fats and emulsifiers and so can have zero or almost no trans-fats. It is the "partially-hydrogenated fats" used in so many other food products that contain the trans-fat.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 17, 2010
at 12:40 PM

Oh snap, another Primal Aussie. Where do you live? I'm in WA.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 17, 2010
at 02:56 AM

Exactly. Canola oil is widely touted as a good source of omega-3, but it seems that the heat-driven refining process damages the fatty acids, neutralising any potential benefit. There are some brands that seem to add omega-3 back into the mix, but I don't want to know how and from where...

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:40 AM

"uses margarine as her source of omega-3" -- I don't get this. Am I missing something? Are there margarines out there high in n3?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:39 AM

Some people can't be helped....

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 17, 2010
at 12:16 AM

I know... And I know him. He doesn't take supplements.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 16, 2010
at 01:37 PM

The algae derived omega-3 is in capsules or gel caps, no actual seaweed involved.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:17 PM

I know, and I'm in Australia. We are just starting to have GM issues here.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:16 PM

Yes, that's my opinion too, but that doesn't answer my question...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:15 PM

My relative has a stubborn bias against any of my "weird" health foods - if he's not ready for butter, he's certainly not going to touch algae!

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15 Answers

4
D5db204527668aa712504995c0f8f96f

(551)

on July 16, 2010
at 12:32 PM

IMO, just stay away from fake foods. If you have to add something to a food to make it ''good'' then it means that they are probably really bad in the first place. Butter from healthy cows has omega 3 too.

Plus, Olive oil taste better than canola.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:16 PM

Yes, that's my opinion too, but that doesn't answer my question...

3
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on July 19, 2010
at 04:37 PM

Sorry - this would not attach as a comment under yours so here goes:

There are some Canolas labeled Cold Pressed but he is the rub: If cold pressed in Europe (doubtful) is is pressed without generating heat or it can't be called "Cold Pressed" BUT... In the United States, oil labeling is not regulated, so ???cold pressed oil??? may not actually be cold pressed oil at all. There are 'expeller pressed oils that use high pressure and does generate heat so my GUESS is yes all Canola oil needs to be de-oderised. I'd go with coconut oil- I use a ton of it. btw- California has strict requirements for Olive Oil. As does Spain but not Italy. I buy only Spanish Olive Oil and use for salads. Good Luck. Let us know what you find.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:28 AM

I agree on suggesting coconut oil and olive oil as alternatives to canola oil and margarine. Sure, you can't spread it on your health whole grains, but it would be much better for frying/salad dressings/baking/roasting. Do you think they'd be willing to try ghee? Still animal fat, but less well known so the person might not connect it as strongly with the saturated fat fright.

3
D88a6268af92c72494358d5ddd94f630

on July 16, 2010
at 08:35 AM

One thing I do know is that, if you are based in the US or Canada, canola is best avoided altogether, due to the fact that it is highly likely to come from a Genetically Modified source (according to Jeffrey Smith in Seeds of Deception).

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:17 PM

I know, and I'm in Australia. We are just starting to have GM issues here.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 17, 2010
at 12:40 PM

Oh snap, another Primal Aussie. Where do you live? I'm in WA.

2
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on July 18, 2010
at 12:55 AM

Quick answer - NO. yes you can get Canadian Oil in a old press version but it is expensive and still a seed oil. Use the money and buy a totally natural oil like coconut or olive oil or better yet a grass fed butter or lard or beef tallow. Industrila seed oill is NEVER the right choice- paleo or not.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:28 AM

Ok, FINALLY someone's answering the question - so there IS someone out there making cold-pressed canola? Do they deoderise the oil? How?

2
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:04 PM

It is a conincidence that you should ask this as I bought some rapeseed oil (as canola oil is called in Britain) today to try from my local farmers market.

http://www.summerharvestoils.co.uk/about_oil/about_oil.htm

100 Calories of oil contains:

8.3g monounsaturated

0.7g saturated

1.9g omega 6

1.2g omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid)

It is cold pressed and filtered without any deoderisation or heating. Maybe this fits the bill for what your colleagu was thinking of. It's abit pricey for me to use much of but I like to try new things. I wouldn't use it as a major source of fat. The idea of making cold pressed rapeseed oil is quite new and on a small scale, it's only available in a few places.

It wouldn't be genetically modified as GM crops are still not grown in Britain. The rapeseed oil plants used now are naturally already low in euric acid and gluconsinolates due to conventional plant breeding, not GM. The GM plants have simply had a herbiside resistance gene added.

Margarine is a separate issue as it always requires a lot of processing and I dont't really know any details when it comes to canola oil margarine. There would not be much point using cold pressed oil to make maraerine anyway.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:35 AM

Thanks, we're half-way! He promises that his margarine is just like your oil, but so far no one has pointed to a producer, so I'm not convinced...

2
70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:02 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong... but doesn't the margarine manufacturing process involve hydrogenation of the oil, resulting in production of trans fats (which is just about the most harmful fat known)?? Or are some margarines entirely free of trans-fats?

Just surprised no-one's mentioned this yet. Maybe it's just me who automatically associates the word margarine with trans fat.

Also, if he's going to rely on plant sources of O3, why not explore linseed (either whole, or as linseed oil) or walnuts? Not sure how great their O3-O6 ratios are, though.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on July 17, 2010
at 02:48 PM

I see! Thanks for the explanation :)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:32 AM

One of the claims that he makes that I'm looking to verify is his belief that margarine can be made without ANY hydrogenation, but I've yet to find evidence of any companies making margarine this way...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2010
at 11:10 AM

There are a few brands of margarine made without any hydrogenation now, at least in the UK. They use a small percentage of coconut or palm oil and various emulsifiers to mix the other oils used (soy, sunflower, canola or olive) into a soft spreadable fat.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:13 PM

Trans-fats result from the incomplete hydrogenation of fats. Many margarines now mix totally hydrogenated fats with liquid fats and emulsifiers and so can have zero or almost no trans-fats. It is the "partially-hydrogenated fats" used in so many other food products that contain the trans-fat.

1
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on March 02, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Margarine has a "colorful" history and dairy producers were able to put all margarine producers out of business at a couple of points in time but they kept coming back.

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/the-war-on-margarine/

1
5b0f25610421dc54a8373e7d3e4a0f94

on February 02, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Let all your vegan and fat-phobic friends watch the movie "Fat Head". (Since we know they won't actually read a book that threatens their current paradigm) Perhaps then they will quit pestering you with such silliness... My response to those folks who think animal fats are bad and super-modern industrial products like corn, canola, soy oils are ok is usually like this: "What kind of fats did your grandma and my grandma, and every person over 100yrs ago on the planet cook with?" (lard, tallow, chicken grease, duck fat, butter, coconut, olive) "OK, so why do you think we should't use those?"

1
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on February 02, 2012
at 02:10 AM

canola or rapeseed oil low acid is generally considered safe. that means nothing but it also means its not illegal. ha ha ha. just look up the dangers on the internet and decide yourself.oh buy the Way , canola is the least expensive oil meaning its the highest profit oil. billions of dollars means millions can safely pay people and politicians to make an oil that was banned as cattle feed find its way into the human food chain. im not in the habbit of buying an oil that would make a man vomit if it wasnt deoderized.

1
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 17, 2010
at 12:52 PM

I think you just point out just how wretchedly evil all these franken foods are, canola, corn and soy etc. There is ample information available on the web to print for them. Point out that margarine is just an artificial construct and the real thing is far more healthy. It seems futile to take something inherently unhealthy and refine and deodorise and then try to add healthy things and imagine it can be good for you. Just eat real food that has one or two ingredients and you can't go wrong.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:03 PM

Well I'm afraid you're up against it then. If he is increasingly stubborn in spite of your arguing instead of your arguments then I guess there is not much you can do except keep being a positive role model and hope he sees the light before too long.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:20 AM

Of course, Alan, but the more I argue that his choice is hurting him, the more stubborn he becomes. If there's a better option out there, that's what I want to know about.

0
Ba5ade5fc0e369bd0f3b6d46094a3fa7

on June 03, 2013
at 01:12 PM

Omega 6 is found in almost all foods and Omega 6 eats Omega 3, so to high Omega 6 no more Omega 3. As for trans fat, there is no minimum limit, its a killer in any %. As for Omega 9 that is seen on some labels for get it, your body makes Omega 9 so you dont need it, it just a sales pitch. If your looking for Omega 3 then buy Cod liver oil, not the capsule as most are filled with flower oils and a little cod liver oil. You see 1000mg Cod liver oil capsule, yet on the back of the box it states 70% flower oil 30% Cod liver. Oh yes you dont need Trans fats but you do need saturated fats, its a myth that its bad for you (Mr Keys) your brain and liver are made up of this item. Sorry but that is the facts.

0
3a8fab6b81c72167e1466470501d090e

on July 20, 2010
at 03:59 PM

archaea, clary-sage oil is another option, and has a good n3:n6 ratio of 3:1 (see http://blog.ohmyomega.com/research/salvia-sclarea-fatty-acid-composition/)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 02, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Clary-sage oil for eating? I used to distill clary sage oil at work, but for an essential oil. It's a pretty strong smell, does that come out when you eat it?

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 16, 2010
at 12:19 PM

They could take omega-3 derived from algae, which is where the fish obtain it to begin with. I can't recommend brands, but the source should be acceptable to fat-phobes and vegans.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:39 AM

Some people can't be helped....

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 17, 2010
at 12:16 AM

I know... And I know him. He doesn't take supplements.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 16, 2010
at 01:37 PM

The algae derived omega-3 is in capsules or gel caps, no actual seaweed involved.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 18, 2010
at 01:22 AM

Jae, this isn't about 'helping him' per se, but finding out whether there are canola products that are avoiding the usual problems.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 17, 2010
at 01:19 PM

I think algae omega-3 is probably the future as there isn't enough oily fish in the oceans for everyone who will want it.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on July 16, 2010
at 01:15 PM

My relative has a stubborn bias against any of my "weird" health foods - if he's not ready for butter, he's certainly not going to touch algae!

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on July 19, 2010
at 02:37 AM

I see your point. I'm with Alan but I understand what you're trying to do (find better alternatives that fit within your relative's self-imposed parameters, even if those parameters are seemingly illogical). I am in the same boat with some friends/clients myself. =)

-1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 04:48 AM

Funny reading that some folks think pressing oil out of seeds is an industrial abomination while eating industrial grown and slaughtered and manufactured butter/meat. You guys are TOO MUCH! Its is truly a hoot coming here.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on March 02, 2012
at 05:21 AM

I smell a troll.

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