Ever heard of canola oil? It’s this vegetable oil that is supposed to be healthy (that’s what the ads say). But the truth is this:  there is no such thing as a canola plant.

Canola oil is actually made from hybridized rapeseed. Rapeseed oil was formerly used for food and other industrial applications until health problems were reported in the consumption of this oil. Eventually, in the 1970’s, hybridized rapeseed oil was rebranded as “canola oil”, to make it more consumer-friendly.

Canola oil was promoted as “one of the healthiest of all cooking oils” by The Canola Oil Council of Canada. Others tagged it as an alternative to olive oil. However, studies show that the two are not even equal in any respect.

Under the “anti-saturated fat” label, canola oil looks great as it is, but it really isn’t. New research shows that Canola oil can actually affect the brain and increase memory loss.

The Science Behind Canola Oil

Even if it’s organic, canola oil is definitely not good for mental health because it affects your brain and increases your memory loss. This is indicated in a recent study from Temple University which investigated the impact of canola oil on brain health. Coming from the university’s Alzheimer’s Center, the team looked at the effects daily consumption had on mice whose brains were showing the common signs of Alzheimer’s (all the tangles and plaques).

As the lead researcher, Dr. Domenico Pratico said: “Canola oil is appealing because it is less expensive than other vegetable oils, and it is advertised as being healthy. Very few studies, however, have examined that claim, especially in terms of the brain.” He is very proud that his study has been able to establish that.

From the studies, the research team found out that when mice were fed canola oil daily, they showed fast weight gain, as in gaining at least one-fifth of their weight when they started the program about six months back. But it’s not just weight gain which the mice had to contend. They also showed major significant cognitive impairments.

From the study, the lab mice which were fed canola oil exhibited decreased problem-solving capacity. All the mice performed poorly on all of the tests across the board when compared to the control subjects. The researchers concluded that the canola oil had affected the synaptic integrity of the brain which is instrumental to memory and brain function.

Scamming the Public on the So-called Benefits of Canola

Aside from the fact that rapeseed oil is hiding under the identity of the new name “canola oil”, modified rapeseed used to make canola oil was one of the first products to undergo genetic modification, and almost all canola oil on the market now. Which also means most of the canola-based products have been exposed to herbicides and pesticides created to go with GMO plants.

And of course, canola oil goes through a lot of processing, which means it might have been exposed to toxic substances like hexane.

So, what do you think of canola oil? Do you believe it is as good as virgin or unfiltered coconut oil which I advocate and recommend among my patients? Share your opinions in the comments below.