Most of us have heard the message that good, healthy fats are important for vibrant health, but not all fats are created equal.
When it comes to our hormones consuming this one fat can be disastrous.
It’s chemically manufactured, it’s deodorized and it’s bleached. Oddly enough, it’s also marketed as a one of the best fats out there. Any guesses?
It’s canola oil.
What is Canola Oil?
Contrary to popular belief there is no canola plant.
Canola oil is made from the rapeseed plant. The rapeseed seed does yield a high percentage of oil, but it also contains erucic acid which is unfit for human consumption. Not long ago, this oil was only used industrially.
Overtime and through hybridization, versions of the rapeseed have been grown to decrease the amount of erucic acid. But even if the erucic acid isn’t a concern, the oil is still so heavily processed that it hardly does any body good.
Canola oil undergoes high heat processing to increase it’s shelf life. It’s also chemically treated with hexane as a deodorizing agent and it’s bleached to improve it’s coloring.
Unfortunately, it is used over and over again in the packaged food industry because it is cheap to manufacture and it doesn’t tend to transfer flavors.
Take a look at the back of a tortilla chips bag and undoubtedly you’ll likely find that they are cooked in one of three oil options. If one of the options is canola oil, you can bet that those chips were fried in canola due to it’s price point (not it’s health point).
How does it affect our hormones?
You’ve heard me say before that there are 4 glands that are crucial to the endocrine system [pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and ovaries].
While these glands are important, there are other organs that play a major role in hormonal success.
Take your heart; your cardiovascular system needs to work efficiently to transport hormones in your blood.
While canola oil is touted as a heart healthy oil, animal studies show otherwise. Studies carried out in Ottawa, Canada have shown that rats fed canola oil as the sole source of fat have shortened life-spans due to cell membrane rigidity. Other studies show canola oil to be associated with lesions of the heart, decreased Vit E levels, and undesirable changes in the blood platelets.
The liver is another organ that needs to be prime for hormonal success. Canola oil with it’s intense processing and high GMO content presents a likely 30% disruption in liver function.
What are some healthy fat choices?
I encourage women to choose oils that are cold-processed with minimal fussing. Any high heat processing is sure to affect an oils’ chemical make-up. Here’s my recommended oils to use in everyday food prep:
1. Butter- I love butter. Ghee is even better. You can use this oil as a high heat cooking oil for everything thing from stir fry’s to baking.
2. Coconut oil- is right up there with butter. Read your label and don’t grab any old coconut oil. Some are heat processed. Look for the cold processed variety and you’ll do just fine. Again, you can use this oil in anything from sautéing to baking.
3. Avocado oil- Another oil that has a nutty flavor. It’s delicious on salads.
4. Olive Oil- Olive oil is a great everyday oil however it has a very low smoke temperature and can go rancid easily under medium temperatures. Make sure to drizzle it on to grains or use it as a salad dressing base.
It’s great to make the obvious change and toss out the canola oil, but the bigger move is to check your labels. Check your salad dressing, your chips, crackers, breads, deli foods. Canola oil has a rampant presence because of it’s low price point.
Here’s to making simple switches to help our hormones~