Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

What About Olive Oil?

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Canola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an interesting study on how dietary fats (namely vegetable oils) affect abdominal fat.  CLICK HERE.

After reading the results, I wondered who funded this study.  Sure enough, when checking further, the Canadian government, the Canola Council of Canada as well as Dow Agrosciences were listed in the Reference list.  There have been myths promoted by some on the safety of canola oil.  I found these myths mainly discredited by the Canola Council of Canada.  I was still concerned about the genetically modified aspect of canola oil.  Here is a quote from the Canola Council of Canada about this issue.

The question was “does Europe ban canola oil? The answer was NO.

The difference is that European farmers are prevented by law from growing genetically modified canola (or any GM crop). Europeans therefore consume canola oil from non-GM plants. Most of the canola oil from Canada can be exported to the EU and the EU has also approved some of the GM canola seed for processing.

Canola oil produced from GM plants is safe and healthy. And canola oil itself does not contain any GM ingredients. The GM modification is made to one canola gene and it is a protein. All proteins are removed from canola oil during processing so canola oil made from GM plants is no different from conventional canola oil.

By the way, canola oil contains 58% of these healthy monounsaturated fats.  Other good sources are olive oil (77%), peanut oil (45%),  cashews (62%), peanuts (52%), and peanut butter (50%).

Bottom Line:

  • It is always a good idea to check the funding of any nutrition study.  There were a few red flags on this one due to the fact that olive oil was not mentioned at all.
  • Canola oil appears to be a healthy oil, but there are also some good  alternatives as well.
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