It seems not all manufacturers are practicing ethical strategies. Some have instead chosen to rely on clever, deceptive marketing of their products.

Case and point: canola oil.

Manufacturers market it as the healthiest salad and cooking oil you can buy. That’s an absolute lie – one of many canola oil myths organizations like the Canola Council of Canada perpetuate.

The deception begins right from the start, at the manufacturing stage.

Where Canola Oil Actually Comes From

Let’s take a little quiz.

Olive oil comes from olives. Sesame seed oil comes from sesame seeds. Avocado oil comes from avocados. So based on that logic, where does canola oil come from?

It has to be canola seeds, right?

Wrong.

What we know of as canola oil is actually a Canadian invention derived from the rapeseed plant. Rapeseed oil was originally used industrially as a lubricant, in insecticides and in fuel.

Pretty sneaky, eh?

Wait till you hear what health risks canola oil poses.

The Dangers of Canola Oil

Canola oil is a genetically modified product. As such, it comes with all the complications of GMOs.

A 2011 study published in Environmental Sciences Europe found that GMO foods resulted in significant kidney and liver disruption.

But that’s not the only danger canola oil raises.

Before genetic modification, rapeseed oil contains high levels of erucic acid, which causes lasting heart damage. The modification process that turns rapeseed oil into canola oil aims to reduce this erucic acid content.

The result is an oil with less amounts of erucic acid (still enough for concern) and higher levels of oleic acid. Oleic acid poses a number of risks on its own, including retardation of growth. That’s why it’s illegal to use canola oil in infant formulas.

Canola Oil and Cancer Risk

When canola oil is heated to high temperatures, free radicals are released. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that play a major role in causing cancerous cell mutation.

To make matters worse, canola oil also keeps cancer cells going strong.

Researchers have found that cancer cells feed on the oleic acid in canola oil. The acid causes the cells to become stronger and maintain malignancy.

Additional research has also found that oleic acid promotes tumor progression.

The Dangers of Hydrogenation

The hydrogenation process, which makes genetically modified oils like canola more stable, poses additional risks.

According to the American Heart Association, trans fats increase a person’s risk of suffering from heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

What to Use Instead

Canola oil preys on health-conscious consumers who don’t take the time to conduct research. But now that you know the risks, you can make healthier choices.

Healthy oils you can use:

*Not to be confused with oil made from the palm kernel, which is detrimental to the environment and your health.