Canola oil is not a healthy choice for cooking-Disputed!

  Canola Oil Is Not A Healthy Nutritional Choice-Disputed!

Summary of eRumor:

There are several emails making the rounds of the Internet warning consumers not to buy or consume Canola oil.  (See full version below).

The Truth:

This is one of whose “it depends on who you ask” topics. 

The emails that are the most alarming about Canola oil point out that it is actually processed from rape seed, which everybody agrees is a toxic plant.  The makers of Canola oil, however, say that to equate rape seed with Canola oil is inaccurate because the toxic qualities of the original plant have been virtually eliminated in the final product.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration certified Canola oil as safe in 1985.  In its certification, the FDA said that rape seed oil has been used for cooking for centuries in certain parts of the world, but the problem has always been that 30 to 60 percent of it was erucic acid, the most offending substance.  Canola oil, which comes from Canada, contains between 0.3 and 1.2 percent.  Critics of Canola oil say, however, that the main reason rape seed oil is popular with the manufacturers is that its cheap to grow and harvest and that because of its toxic nature, insects don’t bother it.  The critics say that even with the lower levels of erucic acid, there are other nutritional concerns that prompt them to recommend against using it.  The defenders say that almost all the criticism of Canola oil is based on the qualities of rape seed oil, not Canola, and that many of the claims of harm are anecdotal and undocumented.

For more information:

FDA document about Canola oil

Canola oil manufacturer’s page

Canola oil page with includes both information and recipes