Canola oil, a health hazard?

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Louise Hay
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Rapeseed oil is a vegetable oil which is mainly produced in India, Canada, Pakistan from rapeseed.


Extracted from the bright yellow plant of the Brassicaceae family that grows in some hilly areas of the world, commonly rapeseed oil was used as early as the XNUMXth century for street lighting, for example in northern Europe; very popular in the 60s was its use as "ecological" fuel.


By dint of refining and genetically transforming it, it ended up also in food. 

 

Rapeseed oil: erucic acid versus polyunsaturated fatty acids

Thus, food use of rapeseed oil was born in the mid-nineteenth century, but studies on the effects on human health that relegated him to low quality product did not make him achieve great success

The cause would be theerucic acid, a cardiotoxic lipid, which would entail negative effects on growth and disorders affecting the liver, as well as the heart.

Given the problem, found the solution: let's eliminate it! The path that the manufacturing industries have taken was in fact that of artificially lowering the levels of this acid to make the oil more edible. Initially through traditional agricultural techniques, exploiting crossbreeding, environmental stress and selections; subsequently through transegic techniques.


Now, precisely because there is more choice in production, greater critical consumption and the desire to know what is best for health and the environment, the question is hotly debated.

Rapeseed oil contains, in addition to erucic acid, a slew of fatty acids, both monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic, gadoleic), polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega3 and Omega6 and saturated fatty acids (palmitic, stearic).


As it happens, in 2006 the FDA Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America approved a statement regarding the reduction of cardiovascular diseases linked to the consumption of this oil, or rather its mutant varieties, by virtue of its content of polyunsaturated fatty acids mentioned above.

Given this and the history of oil, perhaps we worry too much about where erucic acid is or is not contained - because with all the possible varieties and mutations of rapeseed, developed to modify the distribution of fatty acids, with the acid erucic in some cases equal to just over zero, we can speak of 6 main categories of oil - and to what extent polyunsaturated fatty acids are contained, rather than its composition recreated at the table and genetically modified.

 

Where is rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil, and its cousin, canola oil, they are therefore modified vegetable oils that are also obtained through countless refining processes, such as discoloration, deodorization for example, which make it clear and odorless thanks to the use of chemical solvents. Now: these solvents aren't really good for your health.


Snacks, snacks, biscuits, ready-made soups, breadsticks, margarine, frozen dishes of all sorts: it is useless to list the infinite number of foods that include the so much offending oil, and it falls there because it is extremely cheap.


Of course, in Germany, where it is appreciated and known as rapsöl, where the world's first eco-sustainable rapeseed oil is grown, it can also be found pure on the supermarket shelves. Probably here the erucic acid content is very low, it is probably obtained only through careful mechanical processes. But how can we go back?


Let's make our life easier. In fact, considering that Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are also present in other oils (such aslinseed oil, hemp oil or walnut oil, without mentioning the precious cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil), why not opt ​​for a less artificial choice?


Freedom to everyone therefore, for their own health, but also in respect for the environment. In fact, it seems that in countries like Canada, where rapeseed is grown in the genetically modified variety, the api, known sentinel insects, have reduced in number and also in pollination activity. (source: Esa article - Ecological Society of America).

 

Rapeseed oil among Omega 3 dietary supplements

 

To learn more:
> All the properties of rapeseed oil

> Vegetable oils and their properties

 

 

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