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Study: Canola oil is bad for your brain

Commonly called canola oil because "rapeseed oil" is not a marketable name, it's the go-to cheap cooking oil and it's everywhere. It is different from vegetable oil, but is often incorporated into vegetable oil.

In a separate study, olive oil was shown to be beneficial for brain health.

Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) associates the consumption of canola oil in the diet with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer's disease. The study is the first to suggest that canola oil is more harmful than healthful for the brain.
replies 98Dec 7, 2017 6:28 AM +00:00

Rapeseed oil has been asked to resign.8

replies 1Dec 7, 2017 6:29 AM +00:00

I bought cold pressed which studies proved to be fine but I’ll just toss out the Canola.

replies 2Dec 7, 2017 6:30 AM +00:00

Wow - almost every list puts Canola oil at the top for health and cooking (high smoke point). Those Canola oil people must really have good marketing. I don't use a lot of oil, but periodically do need to use it. Is pure vegetable oil the best overall - olive oil has a strong taste that sometimes overpowers whatever you're cooking.

Sunflower is bad and apparently has higher incidence of cancer in tests.

Soy Bean is high in Omega 6 which compete against Omega 3 for heart health benefits (lowering them).

Light olive oil is chemically processed.

replies 3Dec 7, 2017 6:41 AM +00:00


replies 4Dec 7, 2017 6:46 AM +00:00

I've been using avocado oil for a few years now; I started back whenever Costco started selling big bottles for $10. I thought you weren't supposed to cook with olive oil (beyond low heat, anyway) because it oxidizes quickly, making excessive free radicals.

replies 5Dec 7, 2017 6:48 AM +00:00

R4, I love butter, too.

replies 6Dec 7, 2017 6:49 AM +00:00
For one thing, the canola-fed mice gained weight, while the mice fed olive oil did not. All of the mice were fed the same number of calories. The mice that ate canola performed 40 to 45 percent worse on working memory tests than those that ate the regular diet. Short-term memory, which improved by 40 percent in the EVOO mice, was 50 percent worse in the canola mice than in control-group mice (those that got no additional oils). The connections between brain cells were considerably reduced in the canola mice. While tau was not affected, the mice that had eaten canola had more clumps of amyloid than the control mice.
Pratico said he considers the study a “red flag” for canola oil users, though he would not tell people to stop eating it. However, he said, he doesn’t think there’s adequate evidence to claim it’s a healthy alternative to olive oil.
In both studies, the mice ate the human equivalent of about one tablespoon of oil a day.
Pratico now would like to study corn oil and a diet richer in animal fat. He also wants to alter doses of canola oil to see how much is needed to induce brain changes and whether changes are reversible.
As to why canola might affect the brain differently than olive oil, Pratico said he is not sure. He said olive oil is richer in phenolic compounds, which “are well known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”
A researcher said the results were a "very big surprise."
replies 7Dec 7, 2017 6:57 AM +00:00

I had read canola oil wasn't great, then a few days ago I was looking up omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratios in oils and fats and canola had a good enough profile where I was reconsidering my position. Reading canola oil helps with bone mineraliztion in "Canola oil vs Coconut oil" in SFGate's "Healthy Eating" complicated the matter. Apparently it's not the omega-3:omega-6 ratio that's the culprit but the industrial processing of the rapeseed into canola oil that makes it toxic to the brain. The rapeseed is washed in hexane, which is an air pollutant and neurotoxin.

Neither the solvent-extraction of canola oil nor hexane is mentioned in today's newspaper items about the Temple University study.
replies 8Dec 7, 2017 7:15 AM +00:00

Why didn't they call it Canova oil?

--Diana Canova
replies 9Dec 7, 2017 7:35 AM +00:00

I use Ole oil.

replies 10Dec 7, 2017 8:19 AM +00:00

The documented benefits of olive oil sure outweigh the extra expense for me. It's too bad so many mass market foods contain canola. Reading the labels in my pantry was a bit shocking today.

replies 11Dec 7, 2017 9:19 AM +00:00

When I was 3 my mom was worried when she saw me reading labels on boxes of food. She took me to a doctor who got me diagnosed with high-functioning autism. This was in the 1980s when you actually had to get a diagnosis. Over the next decade, things just got worse.

The rise of autism correlates with the rise of obesity. How often do you see people on the autism spectrum who are physically fit?

replies 12Dec 7, 2017 9:48 AM +00:00

It causes canolingus.

replies 13Dec 7, 2017 10:16 AM +00:00

If you're determined to never use canola oil in your diet don't ever buy Italian olive oil. The Italian olive oil industry is rife with corruption, and many of the brands that are sold have only 50% real olive with the rest being a mixture of different oils but mostly canola.

replies 14Dec 7, 2017 10:31 AM +00:00

Have you actually read the ingredients list for "Beyond Meat"? It has canola oil in it. South Park was right; that stuff is crap.

I prefer the paleo version of Beyond Meat: it's called meat.

Cartman introduces Heidi to some "vegan" food options.
replies 15Dec 11, 2017 5:17 AM +00:00

True R14 a lot of Italian, Greek, and Spanish olive oil is fake like that. Unless you know exactly where the olives were grown, harvested, and processed in Southern Europe, and know the people who make the olive oil, it's probably fake.

replies 16Nov 14, 2018 12:22 PM +00:00

I only use extra virgin olive oil and only buy certified. Just as an interesting tidbit, corruption in the olive oil trade has been a thing since ancient Roman times.

replies 17Nov 14, 2018 12:27 PM +00:00

I’ve never used Canola. Not once.

replies 18Nov 14, 2018 12:29 PM +00:00

It goes rancid between recipes. I have only ever used olive oil.

replies 19Nov 14, 2018 12:32 PM +00:00

I only agreed to go out to dinner with the rapeseed oil. I didn't mean for... I didn't agree to.... Oh! *Flees from room, weeping uncontrollably*

--No means NEAUX!
replies 20Nov 14, 2018 12:39 PM +00:00

It lacks Wessonality.

--Florence H
replies 21Nov 14, 2018 12:45 PM +00:00

if you are cooking on medium to high heat, butter. Or ghee. or peanut oil. Rapeseed oil is gross.

replies 22Nov 14, 2018 12:46 PM +00:00

I live in an area that grows a lot of canola. I have never used it. It tastes strange to me. I was once mocked by a local for saying I didn’t trust canola oil, which was “created”.

I use olive oil and sunflower oil from Ukraine. They don’t grow canola in Ukraine, and sunflower oil is cheap there.

I fry potatoes in sunflower oil, fry onions in butter, and use olive oil for salads.

replies 23Nov 14, 2018 12:53 PM +00:00

I keep cubes of bacon/lard - lardons in French - in little packs. Can fry many things in that. My cholesterol is fine.

replies 24Nov 14, 2018 12:56 PM +00:00

Why do people buy this unnatural poison?.. It is so simple to make your own all natural olive oil. Simply plant an olive tree. Wait five years. Pick the olives by hand under a new moon.You harvest the olives by knocking them out of trees onto fresh linen cloths laid on the ground You wash the olives and separate out as many leaves as you can. Purchase a half ton rolling stone..You crush the olives by hand into a paste using your large rolling stone. If you've ever seen an olive as it comes off a tree, you know that it has a very hard seed inside, sort of like a miniaturized peach pit. These seeds get crushed too.You then spin the paste in your handy centrifuge to separate the oil . You filter the oil through new muslin at least six times. You bottle the oil in hand blown tinted glass bottles.. Sealed with new cork stoppers.. Note unless you are a virgin you can not label your oil Virgin. Easy peesy.

--Martha Stewart
replies 25Nov 14, 2018 12:58 PM +00:00

R25 is an extra virgin.

replies 26Nov 14, 2018 12:59 PM +00:00

They even have nitrite free lardons. Though I tend to wonder if nitrites are fine. Nutritional scientists haven't pass judgement on them. They could be bad, but humans consume a lot naturally and could be good, and the body even makes and uses them.

replies 27Nov 14, 2018 12:59 PM +00:00

How’s peanut oil? That’s what I’ve been using. Canola tastes bad to me. Also use safflower oil. Maybe mixing it up a bit is better.

replies 28Nov 14, 2018 1:08 PM +00:00

R4 Yes, butter, butter, butter! I lived to 91--a few days short of 92--so I know what I'm talking about.

--Julia Child
replies 29Nov 14, 2018 1:10 PM +00:00

R20 #metoo

replies 30Nov 14, 2018 1:17 PM +00:00

I use Olive oil and sometimes Sunflower oil.

Olive oil isn't a lot more expensive here in Europe and Sunflower oil is the same price (or cheaper) than Canola (Rapeseed) oil as the Canola is better for Biodiesel.

replies 31Nov 14, 2018 1:20 PM +00:00

I use peanut for high heat, corn for ordinary use, and olive oil for delicate flavoring/Italian foods.

replies 32Nov 14, 2018 1:31 PM +00:00

Haven't done any high-heat/deep frying since the Air-Fryer was launched almost 10 years ago.


replies 33Nov 14, 2018 1:45 PM +00:00

R29 For frying, Peanut oil is one of the best tasting..

replies 34Nov 14, 2018 2:00 PM +00:00

I used canola for about 5 years, because of the claim that it was good for you. I finally gave up on it because of how it made my kitchen stink with it's smell, I hated the smell of it. Now I use a sunflower oil that I buy at Trader Joe's. Olive oil for other things. For extra virgin olive oil needs I use California Olive Ranch. Butter always works, too.

replies 35Nov 14, 2018 2:08 PM +00:00

I don't like the smell of it either. I use Californian olive oil for most things now.

replies 36Nov 14, 2018 3:30 PM +00:00

I hate the taste of olive oil.

Either canola or sunflower oil for me.

replies 37Nov 14, 2018 3:38 PM +00:00

A lot of rape is grown in East Anglia in South-Eastern England near where I was at university. That stuff absolutely stinks. It smells of rotting cabbage, or old wet socks that have been left in a bucket to go mouldy. The local kids are told to steer clear of it because it's pollen causes allergic reactions, and the sap from the plants can cause skin irritation. It's hard to see this stuff as health food.

I don't agree about the reliability of Italian olive oil, incidentally. Olives are mostly grown in the self-disciplined North, around Tuscany, Umbria and Liguria; well away from Mafia-land in the South. The growers and the local authorities are well aware that it would be a commercial disaster if Italian oil got the reputation for being adulterated, so controls are pretty tight. If you buy your cooking oils from a well-known brand like Filipe Berio, you won't be getting great-tasting oil, but you will be getting genuine Italian olive oil. If you want the great-tasting stuff as a salad dressing or condiment, go to a deli and get a special bottle. You will pay $50 - 70 for a nice locally pressed oil, but it will be really good. It is equally expensive in Italy, and you can taste that it is not adulterated.

replies 38Nov 14, 2018 4:16 PM +00:00

Wrong about Filipo Berio, R38; in a test, that oil was also not what it was supposed to be. Same with Carapelli. I live in southern Europe and buy olive oil directly from the producer at the farmers' market. It's dark green, opaque and with an inch of olive sludge at the bottom. Tip - put olive oil in the fridge; if it solidifies, it's olive oil. But it may not be extra-virgin however.

replies 39Nov 14, 2018 5:17 PM +00:00

All right, now I'm confused.

Tell me, the bottom line, DL: what oil should I use for the pan-frying that I sometimes do?

replies 40Nov 15, 2018 12:33 AM +00:00
what oil should I use for the pan-frying that I sometimes do?

I use olive oil. I can't stand cleaning up after pan-frying, so I really don't do it more than four times a year. And I'm just talking sauteeing, not deep-frying.

replies 41Nov 15, 2018 12:38 AM +00:00

Sauteeing is what I'm talking about, r41.

I don't deep-fry anything, but I thought that olive oil shouldn't even be heated to the point where you can really fry out a nice steak?

replies 42Nov 15, 2018 12:40 AM +00:00

Canola gets its name from canada-oil. Another shitty product from that frozen wasteland along with ice hockey and Tim Hortons.

replies 43Nov 15, 2018 12:45 AM +00:00

For steak, I would use butter. For potatoes, sunflower oil, but not domestic brands, as they are too refined. For anything else, sunflower oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, or avocado oil.

replies 44Nov 15, 2018 12:45 AM +00:00

When baking, if a recipe calls for vegetable oil, I substitute coconut oil.

replies 45Nov 15, 2018 12:50 AM +00:00

Yes, I forgot coconut oil! I use it when I prepare Thai stir fry curries. It gives a very subtle sweetness.

replies 46Nov 15, 2018 12:52 AM +00:00

Bad effects of sunflower oil

Offsite Link
replies 47Nov 15, 2018 1:10 AM +00:00


You're at least on the right track

--Judy "the actually famous" Canova
replies 48Nov 15, 2018 2:10 AM +00:00

Is pig lard any good?

--Fat Fat The Water Rat
replies 49Nov 15, 2018 2:11 AM +00:00
If you're determined to never use canola oil in your diet don't ever buy Italian olive oil. The Italian olive oil industry is rife with corruption, and many of the brands that are sold have only 50% real olive with the rest being a mixture of different oils but mostly canola.

It's old news. Italy has cracked down on fraud in the last 2 years in a big way. New strict legislation has been passed. Even so, if you want good Italian olive oil, you have to know that it's expensive and you have to go the small producers. Check labels and go to their websites.

Anyway, if I lived in the states, I'd go with Californian oil. I've had olive oil from California that was excellent.

And BTW: good olive oil does not smell.

I've never used canola oil...I only use olive oil, butter or lard. I also save the fat if I'm cooking pork or beef and use it later.
replies 50Nov 15, 2018 2:43 AM +00:00

If you want a mild tasting oil then try rice bran oil. It has a high smoke point and is ok for cholesterol levels. I started using it to cook for my parents as my mother dislikes the taste of olive oil.

replies 51Nov 15, 2018 2:59 AM +00:00

What does the DL suggest for baking and stir-frys? I need something with a high smoke point and that doesn't have a flavor.

R51 where do you find rice bran oil?

replies 52Nov 15, 2018 3:25 AM +00:00

Banned from my kitchen after one (awful-smelling) use.

8 parts peanut oil, 1 part sesame oil for Asian stir-fry.

replies 53Nov 15, 2018 3:27 AM +00:00

Doesn’t all oil solidify in the fridge? Good olive oil doesn’t smell...?!

replies 54Nov 15, 2018 3:51 AM +00:00
As to why canola might affect the brain differently than olive oil, Pratico said he is not sure. He said olive oil is richer in phenolic compounds, which “are well known to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”

Is that all they have for a theory...?

I think r8 is on to something.

replies 55Nov 15, 2018 4:00 AM +00:00
Good olive oil doesn’t smell...?!

No, it doesn't "smell". It has a light scent. The same intensity as a good sweet butter.

replies 56Nov 15, 2018 4:02 AM +00:00

I only ever use ole.

--Simply Sara
replies 57Nov 15, 2018 4:18 AM +00:00

It's only bad for my brain?

replies 58Nov 15, 2018 4:21 AM +00:00

Is it worse than palm oil?

replies 59Nov 15, 2018 4:25 AM +00:00

It does NOT cause canolingus, r13!

--Anne L Lingus, MD
replies 60Nov 15, 2018 4:31 AM +00:00


Offsite Link
replies 61Nov 15, 2018 4:47 AM +00:00

I've always thought canola oil tastes horrible, so I don't use it. I mainly use olive oil. I also keep sunflower oil, butter, coconut oil, and bacon fat for use in specific recipes. I like peanut oil, but peanut products cause inflammation in me, so I avoid it. Second to flavor nastiness after canola oil is soybean oil, which ruins the taste of anything. It also causes inflammation. That mean I don't eat a lot of processed foods.

replies 62Nov 15, 2018 4:56 AM +00:00

wtf is wrong with my typing skills. You get the gist.

replies 63Nov 15, 2018 4:58 AM +00:00

What’s wrong with good old Crisco??

replies 64Nov 15, 2018 5:06 AM +00:00

Sally Fallon is a good reference for anyone who needs to learn about oils and healthy cooking. So much of what she advocated is turning out to be true. Per her recommendation, I use animal based oils for cooking - bacon fat is my favorite. Good quality butter gets used, but only in the last stages of cooking. We get uncured, naturally raised bacon up this way, so I'm fairly confident of the quality and yes, there's a huge difference. I wouldn't dare try it with CAFO bacon.

I learned that overheating oils creates toxins that the body doesn't deal with too well (cellulite is one result), so olive oil is only used in my house for salads and as a dressing at the last minute AFTER cooking. I store it in a dark, cool place in the pantry, and yeah, I buy a brand from Tuscany because I know it's really good. It's from a Biodynamic farm and though it's crazy expensive, I use it sparingly, so a small bottle lasts about 6 months.

I also took an Indian cooking class years ago and we had a whole day talking about the various cooking oils and it was understood that you never overheat them, no matter what you use.

replies 65Nov 15, 2018 5:28 AM +00:00

Would you come to my house and viciously slap my partner? I buy good oils and fats, but he overheats everything until it's a choking toxic cloud of death.

replies 66Nov 15, 2018 5:41 AM +00:00

Sure, R66, if it would help. Violence in the kitchen ruins the meal, tho', so I'll let you handle the rough stuff elsewhere.

Best advice I ever gave or received re: cooking: you control the fire and so you must TEND it. Relax and give yourself the time to cook a wonderful meal. Put on some good tunes and prep before you fire it up.

I used to turn off the heat if things got too rushed or I forgot to prep something ahead. As a kid I learned a lot from Julia Child about getting things ready and having a joy around cooking meals that never left me. Run a few of her tapes with your partner, with a great glass or two of a good red, and talk about how we are what we eat so not matter what we cook - canned, fresh, or frozen - should be done with love. Organic goes a long way, but love makes up for a lot when you have to live on a budget.

--Eat well!
replies 67Nov 15, 2018 5:56 AM +00:00

Can someone here recommend a good unadulterated brand of extra virgin olive oil?

replies 68Nov 15, 2018 7:02 AM +00:00

Any word on grape seed oil? It is always recommended for high temperature cooking. I have a bottle of it in my pantry that I got to use in a salad dressing recipe, and it's just sitting there.

replies 69Nov 15, 2018 8:35 AM +00:00

I've always stood by the classics. Olive oil, butter, and animal fat. It is what we have used through all of humanity.

replies 70Nov 15, 2018 8:41 AM +00:00

The Greeks and Southern Italians eat tons of olive oil and those places are fucked up! So much for it being good for your brain.

replies 71Nov 15, 2018 9:12 AM +00:00

Over 70 threads, and no one's commented yet on epic gayface in the picture at OP's link?

replies 72Nov 15, 2018 10:26 AM +00:00

^70 posts, duh.

replies 73Nov 15, 2018 10:30 AM +00:00

R52, I am in UK and just get it at the local supermarket but it is the oil that is used in a lot of East Asian cooking for stir fries etc so if you can’t get it in your local supermarket I imagine you can get it in a Chinese food supplies type shop. I just assumed it would be widely available there too.

replies 74Nov 15, 2018 10:50 AM +00:00

Read Fats that heal, fats that kill by Udo Erasmus.

replies 75Nov 15, 2018 5:38 PM +00:00

Foods cooked in canola oil gives me horrible gas (I've seen it happen to other people). If you check the labels on most pre-prepared foods (e.g. Trader Joe's salads, sandwiches, etc), almost all of them will have canola oil.

replies 76Nov 15, 2018 7:33 PM +00:00

You’re going to die anyway whatever you do. Use the oil of your choice.

replies 77Nov 15, 2018 8:07 PM +00:00

Canola oil can impart a fishy odour to potatoes and chicken. I noticed this years ago before reading about it. The first time I was celebrating Hannukah with a friend who fried the latkes in this toxic industrial oil. It vaguely smelled of fish and chips! All of these vegetable seed cake oils are unhealthy. I'll take the risk of adulterated olive oil before I ever buy canola, soybean, or mixed vegetable oils. I use butter, ghee, schmaltz, beef fat, and bacon fat when not using olive oils. Coconut for baking desserts. I'm not sure on the science, but on the rare occasions my mum fries, she uses safflower and grapeseed from La Torangelle. She was a trained chef, and smarter than most when it comes to healthier choices. She has given up preaching to her friends about the evils of canola and soy, as they think she is a fanatic.

replies 78Nov 15, 2018 9:01 PM +00:00

Canola is a shit GMO oil. Best avoided.

replies 79Nov 15, 2018 9:35 PM +00:00

R43 sounds black.

replies 80Nov 15, 2018 9:39 PM +00:00

Indeed R79. It contains Glyphosate residue too. Before it was genetically modified, it was "naturally" toxic on its own due to the high Erucic acid content.

replies 81Nov 15, 2018 9:42 PM +00:00

R71, such a Karen Walker comment. Came here knowing I'd find it😅

replies 82Nov 15, 2018 9:48 PM +00:00

I am not a mouse

Scientists should be lauded for investigating health claims used to a market a product. But when preliminary findings are reported to the public without appropriate context, that’s a problem. And it’s one that we’ve seen twice in the past six months at Temple University. In June we criticized an overreaching university news release: “Temple study: …
replies 83Nov 15, 2018 10:08 PM +00:00

You're not a whiff smarter than a mouse if you believe Canola is healthy R83. Rather than argue against animal models in studies, you should research the history of turning canola into an edible oil. If you still believe it is a health food, continue to enjoy your GMO Rapeseed, Glyphosate and Hexane cocktail my friend.

replies 84Nov 15, 2018 10:16 PM +00:00

California Olive Ranch brand oils are no longer made from purely Californian olives. They claim its due to shortages and changing climate.

replies 85Nov 15, 2018 10:21 PM +00:00

R83 If I were you, I would check and double check whether there isn't a conflict of influence with the writer. The only one to comment positively on her article is "THE" Kevin Folta. He is a big time biotech shill, and in addition to a podcast, has a prominent place on Genetic Literacy Project. A bogus website for Big Ag and Biotechnology. ALL MONSANTO SHILLS.

replies 86Nov 15, 2018 10:24 PM +00:00

Ghee (clarified butter) has quite a high smoke point and tastes good too. But (apart from butter) the best tasting fat is duck or goose lard. Lip-smacking good.

replies 87Nov 16, 2018 4:00 AM +00:00

You can't fry latkes in bacon fat.

replies 88Nov 16, 2018 4:48 AM +00:00

What's the consensus on safflower oil ? Safflowers are so pretty.

replies 89Nov 16, 2018 4:54 AM +00:00

Safflower oil is great for baking because it has very little flavor of it's own, that it won't impart it into what you are baking. I have found it difficult to find where I live. I use to use it a lot, but now, no where to be found here.

replies 90Nov 16, 2018 5:39 AM +00:00

R88 Sure you can. Jewish food doesn't have to be Kosher for most of us. I use light olive oil or schmaltz personally.

replies 91Nov 16, 2018 6:53 AM +00:00

Ew, schmaltz? You wouldn't have that problem if you got a shower wand.

replies 92Nov 16, 2018 6:56 AM +00:00

R92 You're confusing schmutz with rendered chicken fat my goyish friend.

replies 93Nov 16, 2018 6:59 AM +00:00

I use butter or ghee for light pan frying. Peanut oil for deep frying. Coconut oil or butter for baking. Olive oil for everything else.

replies 94Nov 16, 2018 8:37 AM +00:00

Ugh. So many people seem to use so many different oils for different purposes. Is there not one (or two) that can be used for mostly everything?

replies 95Nov 16, 2018 3:34 PM +00:00

Not a good idea R95, as they are not suitable to every use. You need a high smoke point (can tolerate high temps without breaking down) for deep frying, baking, and medium-high for sautéing, and some have flavours that are too strong for certain things like baking. It is healthier to consume a variety rather than solely relying on one type. Better to inform yourself so you can make the best choices.

replies 96Nov 16, 2018 3:42 PM +00:00

I've found some really good tasting olive and other oils at Homegoods. You have to check the label date, though, to make sure it isn't old. A lot of their stock is extras from trade shows. But I've had generally good luck there.

replies 97Nov 16, 2018 4:09 PM +00:00

R97 Many great food items and condiments too.

replies 98Nov 16, 2018 4:17 PM +00:00