The Nourisher - Editor’s Blog

When we got married the registry wouldn’t let me put Super Hero as my occupation, they put Home Duties on our marriage certificate instead. But I AM a Super Hero and my Super Hero name is…… The Nourisher.

Is Canola Oil Healthy?

By Joanne Hay

I’ve just read a post called “When did you last eat a shirt” on, an enjoyable read about the inappropriateness of cotton seed oil in the human diet. In the comments section following, a discussion about canola oil included a comment from the author of the post which greatly disturbed me. She says, “There’s nothing wrong with canola oil, it’s actually quite healthy - as long as you buy organic.”

I beg to differ…

The first Big Con

Some of you may remember the unprecedented increase in Heart attack mortality from the 1930s onward. Some may remember the media freak out the mortality figures caused. Some may remember, mid 1980s, Agribusiness coming to the rescue. In collusion with the American Heart Association, government agencies and corrupt university nutrition departments, big brother Agribusiness finally convinced the American public that polyunsaturated oils were a “heart healthy” alternative to saturated fat. (No mind Heart attacks didn’t exist at the turn of the century when vegetable shortening began replacing butter in commercial baked goods.)

Some may remember questions emerging around consuming oils which had never been used in the history of humanity, oils which needed stainless steel and chemical processing to extract, concerns that soy and corn oil were causing numerous health problems including cancer.

Big brother Agribusiness and the Food Giants’ money machine was beginning to come off the rails. Convincing consumers of the value of these new fangled oils was getting difficult.

Where could they go? They certainly couldn’t go back to using old fashioned fats like coconut oil, lard, tallow and ghee, which have been used for millenia. They are just too expensive and there’s too much money to be made from mechanised agriculture. So the next best thing was to find a new miracle oil.

Studies had shown that olive oil, a traditional oil used by mediterranean and middle eastern people, was “heart healthy” because it contained monounsaturated fats. But of course, the cost and difficulties with using olive oil made it just as prohibitive as traditional fats.

Canola Oil to the Rescue!

The new wonder oil, Canola oil, was born - well not born, not even grafted but GENETICALLY ENGINEERED. Canola, or CONola as Sally Fallon and Mary Enig call it, was also high in monounsaturated fats and Omega 3 - the new darling of the Heart Association. COnola was originally engineered from Rape Seed using a seed splitting technique to create it’s mutant sister, LEAR or Low Euric Acid Rapeseed. (Euric Acid is associated with heart lesions and other ailments) Before it could be marketed LEAR had to be renamed Canola to be sellable. ‘Can’ stands for Canada where most LEAR was grown and ‘ola’ meaning oil makes the word sound suspiciously like “Cashola” to me.

While Rape seed has been used for millenia in asian cultures, it was always used in small doses and immediately after crushing. They certainly did not deep fry in it. Lard or Ghee was used for that. Nor did they genetically engineer it, use solvents to extract it (hexanes solvents are still present in the end product), deodorise it (rendering most Omega 3 rancid) and hydrogenate it (turning it into trans fats). They didn’t have to worry about the Euric Acid content - associated with fibrous legions of the heart, vitamin E deficiency, undesirable changes in the blood platelets and shortened life-span - because they included quality saturated fats in their diet which protected them. The connection between Omega 3 fats and the protective factors of Saturated Fats has only recently been proven - late 1990s.

But how can the food industry go back?

They have spent billions of dollars bribing governments, convincing nutrition experts and conning consumers. “One informant in the publishing industry told us that since the mid 1990s, major publishers would not accept cookbooks unless they included canola in the recipes.” (see Sally Fallon and Mary Enig’s essay, The Great Conola, for the dig on this.)

If Sheryl “When did you last eat a shirt” Kirby thinks cotton seed oil is every where - you’ll find it on labels cleverly disguised as ‘vegetable oil’ - she should check out CONola oil. Its even more insidious. Sold as a health food, it is commonly used in sterol-containing margarines and spreads recommended for ‘cholesterol lowering’. Biscuits and cookies are full of it. Almost all restaurants use it in hydrogenated form, and Asian countries import millions of tons of it. You can even by it “organic” in health food shops.

CONola oil may be a coup for Agribusiness but in the forms and amounts we eat it, it’s a disatster for human health. A disaster we may remember in centuries to come that brought our planet’s population to its knees.

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Joanne Hay, Editor of Nourished Magazine, Chief Nourisher and Mother of three is very grateful to live in Byron Bay and be able to share all she has learned about Nourishment. She has trained as an Acupuncturist (unfinished), Kinesiologist (finished) and parent (never finished). She serves the Weston A Price Foundation as a chapter leader. She loves sauerkraut, kangaroo tail stew, home made ice cream, her husband Wes and her kids Isaiah, Brynn and Ronin (in no particular order…well maybe ice cream first).

COMMENTS - 65 Responses

  1. I think soy oil is the best personally. The only thing is it gives some foods a very sweet taste, expecially fish.

    Now available in Australia

  2. This was an excellent article - I really hadn’t thought about it much. Which oil do you think is best? I was looking for an about you page but I didn’t see one … I am nosy!

  3. Tanya

    I’m not trying to be mysterious, maybe just a little. We are in the process of redevoping the site and we’ll include more info about us. Here is a list of traditional oils the Weston A Price Foundation recommends:

    The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:

    * Butter
    * Beef and lamb tallow
    * Lard
    * Chicken, goose and duck fat
    * Coconut, palm and sesame oils
    * Cold pressed olive oil
    * Cold pressed flax oil
    * Marine oils

    The following new-fangled fats can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:

    * All hydrogenated oils
    * Soy, corn and safflower oils
    * Cottonseed oil
    * Canola oil
    * All fats heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying


  4. Interesting article, but I was curious about the claimed increase in heart attack mortality, so I checked out CDC data. This shows that age-adjusted death rates from cardiovascular disease are far lower than they were in the early 1900s. There was an increase from 1900 to 1950, but a much greater decrease since then. Data on heart attacks is available only from the late 1950s, but it shows a 50% decrease. I don’t think this data supports the thesis that “traditional” fats like lard and butter are healthier than “modern” fats like canola.

  5. 5. Sally Fallon
    Aug 13th, 2006 at 11:39 am

    There has been a slight decrease in mortality in the last 20 years, due to better surgical techniques and more importantly, anti clotting medications given to heart attach victims. However, the morbidity has increased. . . more people are getting heart disease. Sally

  6. Check out this post of Chris Gupta’s for more information on the benefits of Saturated Fat.

  7. Stuart

    You may want to check out this article about Saturated Fat and why it’s not the demon it’s made out to be.

    Also Sally Fallon and Mary Enig of the Weston A Price Foundation have a lot to say about The Heart Diet issue.

    Joanne Hay

  8. I have to agree about GM and heating /pressing techniques, but how about organic, non GM cold pressed canola oil… has a good fatty acid profile, so could it be the way we adulterate it for quick and easy manufacture rather than the intrisic properties of the oil?

  9. Sarah,

    There are some much better sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Olive Oil is as good as Canola and has not been engineered to lower Euric Acid, a dangerous toxin found in traditional Rape seed. It is also a very large part of the mediterranean and middle eastern diet, unlike Rapeseed, which was used in very small amounts, freshly ground. My money’s on Olive oil.


  10. It’s more about how an oil is processed that is beneficial. You’re going to pay a premium for any cold pressed oil, including: extra-virgin rape seed and extra-virgin olive, and for good health reasons. Just like refined olive-pomace oil (sold in many US supermarkets) extracted with solvents from the last possible pressing is *barely* fit for human consumption. Sorry, but I just don’t trust the close-ended diatribe created by Enig and Fallon, or any source from which rhetorical terms such as “Conola” emanate. Don’t give me the contrarian viewpoint or politicized science, just give me well-founded truth followed by healthy debate.

  11. “I think soy oil is the best personally. The only thing is it gives some foods a very sweet taste, expecially fish.”


    did you miss the part about how it gives you cancer?

  12. Thought I would throw in my two cents worth. I only use rice bran oil. It is the most balanced of all the oils, in terms of poly, mono and unsaturated fats. It has loads of natural Vitamin E (antioxidant properties), gamma oryzanol (liver cleanser), contains omegas 3 and 6, is hypoallergenic and has virtually no flavour or odor. With a high smoke point of 250 degrees it eliminates the trans fat issue altogether and you can’t burn it so no stinky house. Low viscosity means the oil does not soak into your food. It is the healthiest oil available today and it is not expensive. Whats more it is easy to clean off your cookware. What more could you want!

  13. Lesley, I’m wondering how easy it would be to get the oil out of rice bran? Rice doesnt seem to be a very oily substance to me - unlike sesame seeds, or flaxseeds? Does the package tell you how it is extracted?

  14. Aside from all the good attributes of rice bran oil, I read that it also lowers cholesterol. If that is confirmed, perhaps it reduces the unhealthiness of deep fried foods, too.

  15. We do not recommend rice bran oil. It is high in polyunsaturates. It must be extracted at high temperatures so any unsaturated fatty acids would be ruined right off the bat. Plus they use hexane, a very carcinogenic solvent, in the extraction process. For cooking use extra virgin olive oil or animal fats such as butter, ghee, lard, tallow, duck fat or goose fat. All of these are stable and good for cooking, low in polyunsatures (which is desirable), contain vitamin E and anti-oxidants. Plus the animal fats are sources of valuable fat-soluble activators–vitamins A, D and K.

  16. Because of my belief that food available to the western masses is adulterated by the need to make money from it, I have set myself a very easy plan to follow. If I could not learn to make a food stuff with simple tools at home then I leave it alone. If you need complicated machines or chemicals to extract oils from plants then my theory is that we were probably not meant to consume them. I could churn my own butter, I do render down animal fats. I could press olives for olive oil. Actually when you think about it you could churn butter and press olives even with out electricity, and rendering animal fat could be done over a fire. This to me is meant to be eaten. Keep it simple. Humans make life to complicated, looking for the next big thing that will offer the answers to long life and happiness, stress and to many choices shorten life and leave people unhappy.

  17. 17. andy murray
    Oct 12th, 2007 at 8:12 am

    just to clarify a point- the development of low euric acid rapeseed was done by standard cross-breeding techniques and not by genetic modification. that happened after.

  18. ok i just bought a wok and have been using conola oil to cook with could some one tell me what is the best oil for this that will not kill me !?

  19. Traditional oils for woks, coconut oil, lard (pasture fed piggies), palm kernal oil (strong tasting though), peanut oil (expeller pressed), small amounts of sesame for taste.

  20. 20. Mark Lemanski
    Nov 20th, 2007 at 7:41 am

    No offense to any of you, but here is the deal that most of you are missing. Regardless of what Doctors say about the different oils, sooner or later they were sprayed with a chemical, either A. before planting or B. after. Now I know that most of the people posting here are probably more health conscience then I am, but to you I say this. I will use whatever oil I feel like. I use cottonseed for my deepfrying because of its long lasting abilty over peanut oil, and cost. Personal choices are important, but until something is published to prove me wrong, I will use it. If it kills me, well you were right, but if I out live you, I will laugh. Growing up on lard sandwhiches and dipping the bread into the cracklings of the bacon or side pork, i doubt that the oil I cook in will kill me. Besides, all the oils that have been discussed, well how are they fertilized? Most likely with some natural substance, aka animal waste. Interesting huh. So either I die of cancer, or I die from a heart attack. I choose both as long as I enjoy the food that comes from my workings.

  21. For Asian cooking, I use extra virgin macadamia nut oil - mostly monounsaturated (similar profile to olive oil). Lard and peanut oil are more traditional, but are out for me due to allergies in the family. Lovely flavour too!

  22. Allergic to piggy fat? never heard of that. Traditional fats like raw butter actually have components that heal the gut lining, a big step to healing allergies. Forgive my fat fetish again. : ) see for grass fed, organic lard. xx

  23. I have been a coconut oil tragic for the best part of two years now. I am frustrated by the fact we have been conned and deliberately misinformed about saturated fats. Your Heart will stop without a supply of saturated fat!Linoleic acid present in Canola and other veg oils (small amount in Palm) is used as an Imunosupressor in transplant patients to aviod rejection, but if given in too high strength causes cancer! Why is there an epidemic of breast cancer? MODERN OIL HABBITS , why is there not an investigation into this? Too much money at steak!Why , if saturated fat is so bad for you do hospitals feed it intraveniously to unconcious people to keep them nourished? Why do mothers feed babies monolauric acid derived from saturated fats in breast milk! Coconut oil contains the next richest source of Lauric acid after Mothers milk! Saturated fat carries coenzyme Q10 to your heart and other vital organs to energise cells , in turn coenzyme Q10 stops Cholesterol going rancid!Coconut oil contains no cholesterol however One third of your brain is cholesterol, so why starve your brain of a cholesterol containing diet!One half of cell walls are made of saturated fat to protect us from invasion by fat soluble viruse and bacteria. Please empower yourself and friends to research the truth about nutrition not media driven textbook nutrition which is killing innocent but ignorant people.Stay Well!

  24. I think Mark misses the point. Sure, go ahead and eat whatever you like, that’s your choice. I wouldn’t think it is a laughing matter though. Sure you might outlive me, but I will live my life to the full until I die. You on the other hand face the possibility of spending the last years of your life having no quality of life, waiting for impending heart attack, stroke… living in fear or agony.. but, thats your choice. The proof is out there, you just need to understand it.
    Incidentally, i don’t remember hearing about coconuts being sprayed. What about Cod fish? ahhh nuh.. I don’t think they have srayed either. Mercury I hear you say? Nope..
    I have been taking both for 6 months or more now. I have never felt more energetic and found it so easy to keep my weight at an optimum level. I have less muscle soreness after a workout and cycling.
    No offense to you Mark either… get your head out of the sand, this information has been published in many places. The marketing machines of the big corporates keep it buried… for now! It’s all about the money

  25. Canola is a very toxic oil, and I am very much in support of any education that informs the public of this fact. The Journal of Nutrition has an interesting article about Canola - it reduces the lifespan of rats by 8%, and that of their offspring by 20%! You can check that reference on my website at the following url:

  26. What an interesting article and debate. I think that this subject is similar to so many issues out there now. There is evidence that Canola and Cottonseed oils are contributors to health issues. It’s hard to pinpoint many times when someone is a victim of a heartache what the cause is. It may be the cigarettes, genetics, the diet, the lack of exercise. It’s probably all three. I find it disturbing when someone would chose to ignore evidence and say ‘prove it and then I’ll listen’. Where did common sense go? Where did simplicity and reason go? Instead of listening to our bodies, and to the facts from unbiased research we wait until it is set in stone. Which is usually too late. I completely agree with you Louise. I know that it may be viewed as traditional, or not wanting to keep with the times, but I believe in simplicity in our diets and in our lives. However, one must be at a place where they are ready to embrace that in order to see and accept it’s benefits.

  27. 27. Robert Greeves
    Jul 17th, 2008 at 12:13 am

    I’m not here to sing the praises of Canola. But Joanne your article is total bullshit, abstract information out of context, and some of it just totally untrue.

    Yes it was derived from rapeseed, and yes there are some health concerns including high blood pressure, but this is with excessive intake. Versions of Canola were later genetically modified, but it wasn’t created by genetic modification. The name came from CANada and LO Acid, but everything new needs a new name from somewhere.

    Get your facts right before righting articles Joanne. And people reading, find your self I more reliable source to get your information from.

  28. I personally only use rice bran oil. I have read so much about it that I am convinced that it is the healthiest oil available. I switched 2 years ago and my cholesterol levels have greatly decreased. Plus, it has more antioxidants and vitamin E than most oils. I have never liked the strange taste of canola and olive oil is too strong for me.

  29. In the first paragraph about canola oil, you have an “it’s” where you should have “its”–”it’s” stands for “it is” whereas “its” is the possessive. You also have several other typos including missing periods and inconsistent capitalization of this “CONola” word. Grammatical errors like this cause you and your blog to lose credibility.

  30. 30. Lynn Stanislaw
    Sep 20th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I like to do a lot of research on this issue because it is confusing. I like rice bran oil for many reasons. I called the company and got a good explanation on the process and they even sent me a lab report. Rice Oil is very nutritious and I like cooking at high tem[eratures so it works for me. I feel like I have enough info on rice oil and I will continue to use it. I starting all this when canola oil was discussed as being not a good choice. I agree and I don’t like the flavor of canola so I would never use it again.

  31. It’s taken me 8 years now to get my head around using sat fat in my
    diet. It’s been a slow process, first ghee, then butter, then coconut
    oil (fantastic for pan fried chips!), now duck and pig fats and
    drippings rendered down.
    Growing up in the 1970’s in Australia and the first “margarine”
    generation of my family. I have vague memories of a drippings container
    in the back of my mum’s fridge as a very young child, of course she
    never fed it to us….:(.
    Food now tastes better than it ever has in my life! But my mum always
    had real butter for baking, and it was this that I ate by the slab when
    no one was looking in my adolescence (I now know why) and my sister who
    did not but stuck to the margarine is infertile and has suffered
    lifelong from an eating disorder. Hmmmmm. Love this list! Thanks Joanne!

  32. I use lots of canola oil as recommended by the Australian Heart foundation. Switching from butters and saturated fats to lean meats, olive/canola oils (and being strict about it) lowered my cholesterol levels from over 7 to under 5 in only six months. No medication.

    This article is utter nonsense, poorly referenced without citing anything resembling a study or survey. You just pepper it with conspiracy-type references to big brother and “wonder oils” and scary terms like “genetically engineered”. You are plain wrong. Canola was not created by genetic engineering, but by hybridising. No more genetically modified than chihuahuas. It has subsequently been genetically engineered in some parts of the world, but you can still buy non-GM canola.

    I am an organic-vege-growing, chook-loving, grubby finger-nailed, tree-hugger. But I also have a head on my shoulders. Mount a convincing argument with properly sourced points, maybe cite a real study or do one yourself and I will consider your views. Articles like this have no value at all, except to give you your jollies for taking a stab at the strawmen haunting your own little mind.

  33. Not enough references here for you:


    1. MG Enig and SW Fallon. The Oiling of America.
    2. RK Downey. Genetic Control of Fatty Acid Biosnythesis in Rapeseed. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society, 1964;41:475-478.
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    4. Canola - a new oilseed from Canada. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, September 1981:723A-9A.
    5. The amount of the advance was $350,000. Personal email communication, Jo Robinson, co-author of The Omega Diet.
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    7. AP Simopoulos and J Robinson. The Omega Plan. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 1998.
    8. Canola - a new oilseed fromCanada. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, September 1981:723A-9A.
    9. M Purdey. Educating Rida. Wise Traditions, Spring 2002;3(1):11-18.
    10. When we contacted Dr. Wolke to provide him with evidence of canola dangers, he was dismissive.
    11. RO Vles and others. Nutritional Evaluation of Low-Erucic-Acid Rapeseed Oils. Toxicological Aspects of Food Safety, Archives of Toxicology, Supplement 1, 1978:23-32
    12. HL Trenholm and others. An Evaluation of the Relationship of Deitary Fatty Acids to Incidence of Myocardial Lesions in Male Rats. Canadian Institute of Food Science Technology Journal, October 1979;12(4):189-193
    13. JKG Kramer and others. Reduction of Myocardial Necrosis in Male Albino Rats by Manipulation of Dietary Fatty Acid Levels. Lipids, 1982;17(5):372-382.
    14. FD Sauer and others. Additional vitamin E required in milk replacer diets that contain canola oil. Nutrition Research, 1997;17(2):259-269.
    15. JK Kramer and others. Hematological and lipid changes in newborn piglets fed milk-replacer diets containing erucic acid. Lipids, January 1998;33(1):1-10.
    16. SM Iunis and RA Dyer. Dietary canola oil alters hematological indices and blood lipids in neonatal piglets fed formula. Journal of Nutrition, July 1999;129(7):1261-8.
    17. WMN Ratnayake and others. Influence of Sources of Dietary Oils on the Life Span of Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Lipids, 2000;35(4):409-420.
    18. MN Wallsundera and others. Vegetable Oils High in Phytosterols Make Erythrocytes Less Deformable and Shorten the Life Span of Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Journal of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, May, 2000;130(5):1166-78
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    25. JL Sebedio and WW Christie, eds. Trans Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition, The Oily Press, Dundee, Scotland, 1998, pp 49-50.
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  34. And from the Oiling of America cited above.
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    # D Groom, “Population Studies of Atherosclerosis,” Annals of Int Med , July 1961, 55:1:51-62; W F Enos, et al, “Pathogenesis of Coronary Disease in American Soldiers Killed in Korea,” JAMA , 1955, 158:912

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    # G Cristakis, “Effect of the Anti-Coronary Club Program on Coronary Heart Disease Risk-Factor Status,”JAMA, Nov 7, 1966, 198:(6):129-35

    12a. Researchers at the University of Florida at Gainsborough found trans levels as high as 4.6% in processed canola oil. (S. O’Keefe and others. Journal of Food Lipids1994;1:165-176.) The conversion of omega-3 fatty acids to trans fats can be prevented by certain careful processing methods. (JL Sebedio and others. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000 Feb;54(2):104-13.

    # “Dietary Goals for the United States—Supplemental Views,” prepared by the Staff of the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, United States Senate, November 1977, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp 139-140

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    # E J Hunter and T H Applewhite, “Reassessment of Trans Fatty Acid Availability in the US Diet,” Am J Clin Nutr, 1991, 54:363-369

    # F. A. Kummerow, “Nutritional Effects of Isomeric Fats: Their Possible Influence on Cell Metabolism or Cell Structure,” Dietary Fats and Health, (E. G. Perkins and W. J. Visek, eds), Americna Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, IL, 1983, pp 391-402; F. A. Kummerow, “Nutritional Aspects of Isomeric Fats,” Lipids in Modern Nutrition, M Horisberger and U Bracco, eds, 1987, Nestle Nutrition, Vevey/Raven Press, New York

    # Mann, G V, et al, “Atherosclerosis in the Maasai,” Am J Epidemiol, 1972, 95:26-37

    # Coronary Heart Disease, The Dietary Sense and Nonsense, George V Mann, ed, 1993, Veritas Society, London, p 1

    # A general review of citations for problems with polyunsaturate consumption is found in E R Pinckney, and C Pinckney, The Cholesterol Controversy, 1973, Sherbourne Press, Los Angeles, pp127-131

    # C V Felton, et al, “Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Composition of Human Aortic Plaques,” Lancet, 1994, 344:1195

    # D Kritchevsky, Medical Counterpoint, March 1969

    # B B Teter, et al, “Milk Fat Depression in C57B1/6J Mice Consuming Partially Hydrogenated Fat,” Journal of Nutrition, 1990, 120:818-824; Barnard, et al, “Dietary Trans Fatty Acids Modulate Erythrocyte Membrane Fatty Acid Composition and Insulin Binding in Monkeys,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 1990, 1:190-195

    # T Hanis, et al, “Effects of Dietary Trans Fatty Acids on Reproductive Perforamnce of Wistar Rats,” British Journal of Nutrition, 1989, 61:519-529

    # B Koletzko and J Muller, “Cis- and Trans-Isomeric Fatty Acids in Polasma Lipids of Newborn Infants and Their Mothers,” Biology of the Neonate, 1990, 57:172-178

    # D Horrobin, “The Regulation of Prostaglandin Biosynthesis by Manipultion of Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism,” Reviews in Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences, 1983, 4:339-383

    # G V Mann, “Metabolic Consequences of Dietary Trans Fatty Acids,” The Lancet, 1994, 343:1268-1271

    # L Kohlmeier, et al, “Stores of Trans Fatty Acids and Breast Cancer Risk, “Am J Clin Nutr, 1995, 61:896;A25

    # R P Mensink and M Katan, “Effect of Dietary Trans Fatty Acids on High-Density and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Subjects,” N Eng J Med, 1990, 323:439-445

    # M G Enig, et al, “Isomeric Trans Fatty Acids in the U.S. Diet,” J Am Coll Nutr, 1990, 9:471-486

    # W C Willett, et al, “Consumption of Trans-Fatty Acids in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Among Women,” Society for Epidemiology Research, June 1992, Annual Meeting, Abstract 249

    # W C Willett, et al, “Intake of Trans Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Among Women,” Lancet, 1993, 341:581-585

    # J J Kabara, The Pharmacological Effects of Lipids, J J Kabara, ed, The American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, IL, 1978, 1-14; L A Cohen, et al, J Natl Cancer Inst, 1986, 77:43

    # B A Watkins, et al, “Importance of Vitamin E in Bone Formation and in Chrondrocyte Function” Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, AOCS Proceedings, 1996; B A Watkins, and M F Seifert, “Food Lipids and Bone Health,” Food Lipids and Health, R E McDonald and D B Min, eds, Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, NY, p 101

    # J F Mead, et al, Lipids: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Plenum Press, 1986, New York

    # A A Nanji, et al, Gastroenterology, Aug 1995, 109(2):547-54; Y S Cha, and D S Sachan, J Am Coll Nutr, Aug 1994, 13(4):338-43

    # M L Garg, et al, The FASEB Journal, 1988, 2:(4):A852; R M Oliart Ros, et al, Meeting Abstracts, AOCS Proceedings, May 1998, p 7, Chicago, IL

    # L D Lawson and F Kummerow, “B-Oxidation of the Coenzyme A Esters of Vaccenic, Elaidic and Petroselaidic Acids by Rat Heart Mitochondria,” Lipids, 1979, 14:501-503

    # E M Cranton and J P Frackelton, “Free Radical Pathology in Age-Associated Diseases: Treatment with EDTA Chelation, Nutrition and Antioxidants,” Journal of Holistic Medicine, Spring/Summer 1984, pp 6-37

    # H Engelberg, “Low Serum Cholesterol and Suicide,” Lancet, March 21, 1992, 339:727-728

    # R B Alfin-Slater, and L Aftergood, “Lipids,” Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 6th ed, 1980, R S Goodhart and M E Shils, eds, Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, p 134

    # M Gurr, “A Fresh Look at Dietary Recommendations,” Inform, April 1996, 7:4:432-435

    # AIN/ASCN Task Force on Trans Fatty Acids, “Position Paper on Trans Fatty Acids,” Am J Clin Nutr, 1996, 63:663-670

    # R M Lemmon, D Kritchevsky, et al, “The Effect of Delta-7-Cholestenol Feeding on the Cholesterol and Lipoproteins of Rabbit Serum,” Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics (NY), July 1954, 51:(1):1161-9; D Kritchevsky, et al, “Effect of Cholesterol Vehicle in Experimental Atherosclerosis,” Am J Physiol, July-September 1954 178:30-32

    # R E Olson, “Evolution of Ideas about the Nutritional Value of Dietary Fat: Introduction,” J Nutr, 1998 128:421S-425S

  35. David,

    You almost sounded like someone that is seeking to develop a balanced and healthy discussion and help others to learn… until you blurted out those last 5 words.


  36. David, what makes you think that lowering your cholesterol from 7 to 5 is a good thing? Because the heart foundation says so?
    Maybe you should watch “Oiling of America” DVD to find out where the link between high cholesterol and heart disease originated from and whether the evidence they use can be trusted.

  37. What a ridiculous article… paranoia to the extreme.

  38. To the Nourisher, the citations need to be referred to in the body of the article to support its propositions, not just slapped onto the forum like paint. Did you think I would go and look up these articles or just be impressed because there are lots of them and some of them have really tricky titles with colons in them?

    To Katrina Armstrong, what makes me think lowering cholesterol is a good thing? The thing that finally did it for me personally, was lying on my back having an angiogram where the cardiologist showed me, in real time, the inside of my coronary arteries and the buildup of cholesterol that had almost occluded some parts and killed me. Not suspecting any ulterior motive in my cardiologist, I found that to be a convincing demonstration. If your DVD is sourced as is this precarious article, I probably won’t get around to watching it.

    I cannot actually contradict much of what this article contends as I have not done enough research, but plainly neither has Joanne Hay. However, I have done a lot of googling and yes I rely on bodies like the Heart Foundation to give me good information and, not being paranoid, I don’t imagine they have an ulterior motive either unless it is demonstrated.

    So I remain convinceable, but only by a convincing argument. What you have here will only convince those people who already love a conspiracy theory and don’t want to think for themselves.

  39. 39. Cathy Mifsud
    Feb 16th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    David, you would find the “Oiling Of America” dvd well worth your time to watch.

  40. David,
    What exactly do you know? Not much it appears if the best you can do is the Heart Foundation.

    How about you stop slagging off people who know something about nutrition and good foods and you stick to your commercial sources of information that run on funds supplied by big food companies. I suppose you believe all politicians are honest too.
    When you do decide to get serious about learning something, take a visit to Anthony Colpo’s website He does know what he is talking about and he does all his own research and you better believe its thorough.
    Another site for someone with “qualifications” is the the space doc

    Duane Graveline MD MPH Biography

    From US Air Force Flight Surgeon to NASA flight controller for the Mercury and Gemini program and on to selection as one of NASA’s six Scientist Astronauts in 1965.

    23 years as a Physician in Family Practice followed and then M.D. locum tenens in Virginia until retirement from medical practice in 1994 at the age of 63.

    Returned to NASA from 2003 to 2005 as a consultant specializing in the effects of cosmic radiation.

    Now retired and studying and writing on the effects of statin drugs.

    I will back these two against the Heart Foundation anytime.

  41. Well I clicked on the link expecting to find something convincing and, guess what, I have to buy his book to hear the argument. And folks if you buy now, you get a free gift of a set of steak knives. But wait, there’s more, if you’re not entirely satisfied with your purchase, simply return….. Oh dear me.

    No one profited by my reducing my cholesterol. I see my doctor less often. I never took any medication. I eat more food from my own garden.

  42. I am overweight by i fair bit (bout 60kilo) ( from years of “dieting” on 97%fatfree foods-I recently was put thru a bunch of tests for my heart.. i got the same lecture with each doctor about what i should be eating for good heart health… Everyone expected my results to be really bad and everyone was ready to have a go at me..Let me tell you what I do eat,started about a year ago..yummy fatty lamb chops,butter,coconut oil,cream,olive oil.. i have lost 30 kilo over the last year eating all this fat..i’m eating a low carb diet.with planty of good fats…. So i had a heart ultrasound , a heart monitor on for 24 hours and a stress test .. the doctor was SHOCKED he said my heart is in excellent condition my chol is 4.5.. i feel better too since eating this way.

  43. 43. Cathy Mifsud
    Feb 23rd, 2009 at 10:41 am

    David, this magazine, Nourished is FREE and it is full of information and links for further reading.
    A summary of “Oiling for America”. Next time you visit your local library ask them if they have this on DVD or if they could consider getting it in.
    There’s got to be something wrong with your diet (most likely lack of saturated fats), because a nourished person is generally happy and positive in themselves and towards others and you are the opposite.

  44. Well we live in an economy where profit will always be valued over people. Corporations and companies run completely on profit basis, regardless of social, environmental and health issues. I think we all know this. Corporations aren’t out to get us because they are inheritently ‘evil’ and ‘mean’. They want to make money. It’s common sense.
    If there was profit in eating healthy, the Heart Foundation would be citing foods such as joyful listed above. Doctor’s would then follow suit. Unfortunately there is more profit to be made from producing refined inferior foods, and then treating the diseases they create with made to profit pharmaceuticals.
    Todays food processing industry is merely a money making pyramid with the fat cats sitting on top, dictating to the health organisations and practitioners. Same as the oil industry, same as the pharmaceutical industry. Same as all the other billion dollar industries. I don’t understand why people find this so hard to comprehend.

  45. Joyful, That is great news. I have heard a fair bit about weight loss having a downward effect on cholesterol and the intake of saturated fats having less impact than previously thought. Other things clearly are reduced alcohol and increased exercise. The things that worked for me were olive oil, canola oil, plant sterols, more vegetables, exercise, weight loss and completely giving up on pastries, cakes, biscuits and batters.

    I still believe that high cholesterol is a factor in assessing risk of heart disease. Sorry folks.

  46. Cathy, are you blaming my diet to explain why I had the temerity to question this blog and to use phrasing that directly challenged the writers? For heaven’s sake!

    Yes, I have been pointed in my comments. I don’t like to see people fed overloaded unsupported opinions as utter truths. I can tell from the flavour of the magazine that readers are willing to seek its advice and adopt what it says. It therefore has a responsibility to present them with good quality information. Describing canola as genetically engineered is just rubbish. My open pollinated heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, are all carefully bred from ancient stock they no longer resemble. My apples, lemons, oranges, grapes, sweetcorn and beets are all hybridised but very healthy to eat. People have been breeding, selecting and hybridising fruit and vegetables for thousands of years; there is scarcely an edible flora on the planet untouched by this process excepting perhaps seaweed. But Joanne Hay uses words like genetic engineering for their emotive effect or to just make it sound scary. Referring to the fact that Canola sounds a lot like Cashola is another example of how utterly silly this article is.

    When I asked for good information I was referred to advertisements for books rather than to quality articles such as this one: And yes I have learnt a lot from reading this blog, but mainly because it has prompted me to go and do a little digging.

    Have a think about it Cathy, I really think that the paranoia and conspiracy theories in this magazine say a lot more about being negative towards your self and others than do my comments chalenging this blog for its blatant misinformation.

  47. I am grateful that the moderators have so far let me say my piece. And I am sure many of you will be grateful to hear that I probably won’t post on this subject again.

    But my back gets up at people claiming to state a truth without the accompanying responsibility to rigourously check things out and present all valid points. If you put yourself up as a source of truth in a public forum, you must firstly do the hard work and secondly respond appropriately to challenges. If you don’t want to do the hard work then just present your case as point of view. No problem.

    The internet is already laden with lame hunches and plain lies dressed up as truths - from the Stella Awards (they never give case citations so you can read the actual judgment) to warnings about formaldehyde leaching from PET bottles into drinks (proven to not happen). Panic and paranoia are the enemies of peaceful living and belong in the tabloid media where I can easily avoid them.

    I am totally convinced that the canola myth presented in this article is no more than a myth peddled by panic merchants. I have read a few de-bunkings of it. Here’s one presented by a not-for-profit consumer organisation:

    I am equally convinced that the causal link between dietary saturated fat and coronary heart disease is much less certain than commonly believed. (Yes, my reading has changed my mind on this.) I have read arguments both ways and think it is simply not settled, but I will start to include more saturated fat in my diet and continue to watch my LDL levels.

    One article I initially found persuasive was Gary Taubes’ “What if it’s all a big fat lie?” However I have read a fairly comprehensive debunking of that too, again from the fiercely independent Choice Magazine:

    Two things I take from this episode… Firstly there seems to be common ground in these debates: enjoy your food, eat unprocessed foods, don’t overeat, moderate alcohol, don’t smoke, stay active etc. Secondly, do not mindlessly accept what anyone (including this magazine) tells you, especially those with the condescending, cult-like response of, “there must be something wrong with you to challenge me and my views” (this magazine really does lose warmth for having that flavour about it).

    And so readers: Inform yourselves broadly and intuitively, and question those spouting unsupported ideas as truths.

  48. “If you dont like my fire, then dont come around, cause im gunna burn one down.”
    (Ben Harper)

  49. 49. Cathy Mifsud
    Feb 26th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    David, I am not saying there’s something wrong with you for challenging my views at all, I was saying there must be something wrong with you because you were continuosly slagging (as previously put) us off. How do you expect us to respond when you come across angry and accusing yet un willing to follow up any links forwarded on . I had read your link in your third last post which supported a lot of what’s been said here and I was wondering, will you now go and give your doctor and the Heart Foundation a big serve about their dangerous dietry advice?
    Next time you feel like chips, cook them in tallow or chicken fat in the oven, add good salt like celtic, they’re delicious!

  50. Chicken fat scraped off the top of bone broth (cool it first) and cooked slowly to evaporate any of the water component left will keep in the fridge for a long time and it’s so-o-o-o yummy when used for chips. Like raw milk, when your body tastes and feels organic chips cooked in animal fat, you won’t want vegetable oil chips ever again.

    Bone broth will help with digestion and mineral needs - teeth, bones and nervous system and saves waste from roast chickens.

    I don’t believe Canola is food. It never was. I’d prefer to listen to the wisdom of our ancestors who managed to live well for thousands of years than any modern day, disconnected scientist. Besides it tastes awful.

    I’m really glad, David, we could introduce you to Anthonly Colpo’s work. I hope you enjoy the skin on your roast chickens and the fat of your lamb. I’ve a hunch you’ll feel more energy and contentment and from my and many other’s experience, you’ll not burn so easily in the sun if you eat more sat fats and less pufas. Enjoy your garden David and I hope you continue to question and ask us to. Thankyou for your courage. I’m glad you joined the discussion.

  51. Whom did I slag off, apart from Joanne Hay for stating myth as fact? Slagging off sources of misinformation doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me; this magazine constantly does it.

    To say Canola is not food because it was bred into existence means sweet corn is not food, pineapple is not food. If we only used ancient food technology we wouldn’t have heirloom vegetables or hybrids, we wouldn’t farm honey or worms, we wouldn’t have biodynamics or permaculture, we wouldn’t have dynamic lifter or blood n bone or the compost research of Sir Albert Howard and so on and on and on…

  52. Recent email from Nina Planck, author of “Real Food”.


    We get fan mail good, bad, and scary – but the best ones lead us to new discoveries and greater expertise. Peter Duffin is the current expert in question, and he operates one of the most widely used bison recipe websites in the world: Early last fall, Peter asked us to justify our reasons for avoiding canola oil. To recap for those who don’t know, we don’t use canola because we have no culinary or nutritional reason to do so! We can get omega-3 fats from wild fish and monounsaturated fats from olive oil - both traditional foods. For a ‘neutral-tasting’ frying oil, we prefer olive oil or a blend of butter and olive oil. No, they don’t taste ‘neutral’ - but neither, in our view, does canola. What does? Water. And we should add one caveat: we don’t deep-fry at home, but if we did, we’d probably favor lard for that nutty taste. And we seldom heat oils to the smoking point, because that’s a sure sign of damage to delicate fatty acids.

    Peter, however, knows all about smoke points, recommends cooking with canola and knows of other experts who are fans as well. We reminded Peter that canola oil is not a traditional food – neither in the quantities consumed, nor in methods of production. And we don’t care for the flavor. But peter is a cook and scientist - think Harold McGee - so he put our skepticism about canola to the test in the kitchen, where it counts. We are happy to present:

    Peter Duffin’s Smoke Point Flavor Testing

    the test subjects:
    canola oil (refined and first cold pressed, organic)
    olive oil (extra virgin and light)
    coconut oil (expeller pressed, organic)

    the test equipment:
    12-inch high density Kitchen Aid sauce pan
    over a 15,000 BTU gas burner

    The biggest disappointment: refined canola oil. It can take the heat (around 400F before it started smoking), but it did have a slight chemical after-taste that increased when heated. The organic cold pressed canola oil was a completely different animal - it tasted fine to me before and after heat and had a lower smoke point (around 300F). However, it is hard to find, and five times more expensive than regular refined canola oil (about $16/quart). I guess I can thank Monsanto for that.

    I love extra virgin olive oil, but its distinct flavor can be a little overwhelming when used as a cooking medium for pasture raised meat. Especially when used for pan searing purposes. The light olive oil, I don’t know why it’s even made….a complete loss.

    The nicest surprise was the coconut oil…..completely neutral, both before and after heating. I was able to take it to 365F before it started smoking. Neutrality is very important in the world of cooking pasture raised steaks; it’s the pasture in the meat one wants to taste, not flavor coming from a distinctive tasting oil or fat.

    Still a lot of people like the taste of butter, especially if it’s organic, even better if it’s from grass-fed cows. Ghee is my preference in this case, not the actual butter. (Nothing worse than burnt milk solids. Even if I’m sautéing fish it will be done in ghee every time, not straight butter.) I’ve read in a few places that one can take ghee to 485F, but so far I have only managed to get it to around 400F or so before it starts to smoke.

    The conclusion: for pan-frying grass-fed bison tenderloin, the cooking medium, thanks to the information in Nina’s book, will be either ghee or coconut oil. If these are too expensive, or too hard to find, perhaps the best alternative is good old-fashioned unsalted (grass fed) butter. The first choice in frying oil is peanut, with canola a very distant second. Too bad coconut smokes out somewhere between 350F and 365F, otherwise I would give it a try - I find you need at least 375F to finish French Fries properly.

    A final tip on grass fed meat: the trick is, especially with bison and elk since the meat from both is primarily ’select’ grade, steaks can be seared in a pan, but they are best finished in an oven set at very low heat.

    Peter Duffin is an activist for small farming, especially grass fed bison farming. He runs Bison Basics as a non-profit.

    Mark your calendar: REAL FOOD for MOTHER and BABY comes out in April, and I’ll be headed to a town near you! Visit for updated tour dates.

    Best wishes,


  53. I might be a little late to this convo, but here are my two cents…

    Cholesterol — if your levels are high (whatever that means) DOES NOT mean you are at increased risk for heart disease.

    C-reactive protein, homocysteine levels and eating crappy man made foods including conola oil are, in fact, better signs of risk for heart disease. But before you ever get heart disease, you are guaranteed a lousy life of poor health and digestive or neurological disorders and increased risk of cancer…regardless of how long you live or in what format your life ends.

    Humans cultivating fruits & veggies is not the same as conola oil being a corporate crop designed to generate massive profits by corporations run by people who know NOTHING about health.

    Eat real food and avoid garbage…it works every time…conola is corporate garbage.

    …and yes, lack of saturated fat MAKES for an angry, depressed human. Simply go into any health food store and look at what you see, esp w vegetarian employees. Moody, weak, pale looking and usually chubby or sickly skinny

    Want to be healthy & strong? Look at what healthy and strong people eat — Nutrition & Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price sums it up for y’all

  54. I will love to know about peanut oil or what would be good for deep frying.

  55. You are all over-thinking nuts. The government is not trying to poison you with “made-up” oils. Get a life…

  56. 56. Cathy Mifsud
    Jun 20th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    If you have to deep fry its best to use lard or tallow. Ghee should be ok too.

  57. i’m an old fashioned person, i let my taste-buds decide for me.
    give me saturated fats over canola or cotonseed anyday.
    coconut oil, butter, lard and even vegetable shortening for the occasional plate of chips
    rapeseed used to be used as cattle food in the UK..
    i have a mate who swears by canola, he runs his car on it……..

  58. Olive oil has to be the greatest, but no good for cooking over 180 degrees. So you need other types. Canola GM? That’s a myth, it is only done in traditional ways- most plants we eat are genetically modified through selective breeding, grafting, cross-pollinating. There’s too much rubbish contianing as much spin as an agri-business in this article to for it to be a decent basis for a discussion on Canola oil.

  59. 59. Renate Habermann
    Apr 4th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Is virgin hempseed oil good or bad for your health?

  60. If any person reading the above article think that it is crazy, all you need to do is type into Google “Is Canola Oil Carcinogenic” and you might be surprised at what you find.

  61. How is is possible to have Certified Organic canola oil; I thought all organics were supposed NOT to be GE or GM foods?!

  62. I would rather grass fed butter than canola oil when I’m cooking. i’m into a total health kick. I try to only eat grass fed beef plus any ingredients from the grass fed cows. There are some good tips for cooking grass fed beef. The two most important things in making a great meal, is finding the right” rel=”nofollow”>steaks that makes for a great meal and finding the right recipe. LaCense Beef has some great recipes, as well as high quality, delicious, mail order, grass fed beef. While I now work for them, they honestly offer everything you need to make a really great meal.They are definitely worth checking out.

  63. Canola oil is must for all heart patient……..

  64. I’m confused. If you don’t eat any canola oil does that mean you won’t die? I’ve always wondered why nutritionists get so crazy about everything. My grandfather was huge into this stuff and he is suffering from Alzheimers (severely) right now. Life is short, who cares if it’s a tad shorter because you aren’t super careful about what you eat. You’re gonna die no matter what. I say live life in the meantime. If you dig cigarettes, wine and coffee then have at it. Stop worrying about polymonosaturated unoils and move on to bigger things.

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