Today’s post is another requested food, Canola Oil. Oils are a contentious topic in the paleo/primal community. While Coconut Oil seems to be the most highly touted oil in the paleo/primal universe, sometimes it is not always the right oil to use in terms of flavor. I’ve also found it to not always be the best at preventing food from sticking to the pan, which is why I use oil in the first place. Let’s dig a little deeper into Canola to see if it is a good alternative oil. As always we welcome your submissions on here and via the Is It Paleo mobile app.
Canola Oil is produced from the rapeseed, which is not a marketing friendly name! Conventional store bought canola oil probably should not be considered paleo due to the methods in which it is produced. BalancedBites has a good blog post on the use of chemical solvents and high temperatures that oxidize the oil and can ultimately render them carcinogenic.
Mark’s Daily Apple also delves into the Canola Oil debate mentioning its poor cooking properties. Canola oil is a terrible candidate for cooking because of its largely unsaturated fat content and tendency to oxidize quickly. Instead opt for more stable oils like the heralded coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, lard or ghee. If you are looking for a salad topper choose a nut oil like avocado oil, walnut oil or macadamia oil.
But they have Omega 3s!
Mark also mentions that canola has become highly marketed for its Omega-3 fatty acid content. Processing largely renders the Omega-3 useless and the oil rancid leaving it more harmful to you than good. Add the genetically modified and pesticide sprayed component and you have a pretty unhealthy seed oil.
The bottom line: It might be paleo if you get some cold-pressed organic canola/rapeseed oil, but I’d bet that you would be hard-pressed to find it. Steer clear and choose one of the preferred oils mentioned above.