Having received such a good reaction to The Salt Switch I decided to do a post on what I call The Oil Switch. So, let’s get started.
Canola Oil as well as Margarine are presented as “healthy oils”. By googling canola oil, we find that it’s “heart-healthy” and “reduces cholesterol and inflammation”. But what can we find if we dig a little deeper?
It’s true that canola oil comes from rapeseed, but it’s not simply about pressing seeds and extracting the oil; because rapeseed oil is so terribly smelly, it must be chemically processed with hexane. Hexane is the vapor portion of gasoline.
Were you aware of the fact that canola oil was created by a scientist at a laboratory in Canada? It’s a GMO food; the genes of the rapeseed plant have been bred so that they make less of the toxic compound erucic acid. This same scientist worked for a company called Calgene, which was later bought by – you guessed it – Monsanto. By the way, just for your information, this same scientist also developed Roundup.
Canola oil depletes your levels of vitamin E, as well as raises your triglyceride levels more than 40 percent. In studies canola oil shortens the lifespan in animals. Human studies have shown that it lowers the platelet levels in the blood and causes an increase in lung cancers.
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These are just a few “fun facts” about Canola Oil. Now, we’ll move on to his friend Margarine (if you’re not already scared…)
Margarine is made from something called a ‘trans-fat’. Trans-fats are found in very low levels naturally in the food chain and therefore we do not have a very good ability to break it down or digest it. It is now well proven that trans-fats are even worse than saturated fats. They affect cholesterol levels, increase the risk of diabetes, gall stones, and inflammation. Consumption is now associated with an increased risk of heart disease!
A trans-fat is produced using a process called hydrogenation. This is the process that turns a ‘good oil’ (healthy plant based oil) into a fat that is solid at room temperature– like butter.
To produce margarine, manufacturers begin with the cheapest oils-soy, corn, cottonseed or canola, and mix them with tiny metal particles-usually nickel oxide. The oil is then subjected to high temperatures. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed into the mixture to give it a better consistency. The oil is yet again subjected to high temperatures (thousands of degrees) to get a chemical change to the structure of the fat which turns it into a solid. This turns it rancid and it needs to be steam-cleaned to remove its unpleasant odour. Margarine’s natural colour, an unappetizing grey, is removed by bleach. Dyes and strong flavours must then be added to turn it yellow and make it resemble butter.
So, from the little bit of research we’ve done we’ve found that these oils though both presented as a healthy alternative are quite the contrary. So, what oil should we use? What do we do to replace these foods, which are not actually foods?
This is where the Oil Switch comes in. Instead of using Canola, Vegetable (which is incredibly hard to find research on as so many oils fall under this category), and Corn Oil, how about trying Avocado Oil.
WebMD says that Avocado Oil can help:
· Lower Cholesterol
· Lower Blood Pressure
· Improve Heart Health
· Improve Eye and Skin Health
· And can in some cases reduce symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The only risk factors or downsides of Avocado Oil are if you are allergic to Avocados or are taking Warfarin (Coumadin). For more on that click here.
Now as for an alternative for Margarine, the answer is simple. Butter! But not just any butter, Grassfed Organic butter is the best. Here are a few reasons why:
WebMD says that butter can:
· Help lower your chances of Cancer
· Help your eyes
· Strengthen your Bones
· Make your skin healthier
This article goes on to say that because better is high in calories and fat it can be linked to increased risk for heart disease. This is more in warning of slathering a piece of toast with a tablespoon of butter or overusing it. If used sparingly, as all oils should be, there shouldn’t be any increased problems.
I hope this information was helpful, let me know your thoughts in the comments! What oils do you use? Do you have any questions? Let me know if you are going to make The Oil Switch!