So what is the deal with Rapeseed oil (aka canola oil)? Isn't it a healthy oil!?
In my opinion, no. Rapeseed oil is pretty high in Polyunsaturated fats which are not heat stable. They should not be used for cooking at all, despite the fact that it is touted as a healthful cooking oil. It also oxidises easily meaning it goes rancid quickly. Like any seed oil it is pro-inflammatory and not something I am keen to add into my diet.
Secondly unless cold pressed, rapeseed oil has gone through a highly refined process which involves the addition of chemicals and deodorisers to reinstate colour and flavours removed during processing.
Did you know that rapeseed oil was originally so high in an acid called erucic acid (a toxic monounsaturated acid) that it was considered unsafe for consumption? It was then cross bred to develop a strain which contained higher levels of oleic acid instead. The effects of genetically modified foods is of yet unknown but I wont be enticing me to try it any time soon!
I can't help but think that the Rapeseed boom is just a ploy by Irish and UK markets to produce an oil which they hope can rival the olive oil industry. It is easy to grow and very profitable with sales up 11% in 2013. But don't be fooled by marketing!
What Fats Should I Use?I get asked this question quite a lot. "What kind of oil should I use to cook with".
There are a few important things to remember when choosing the correct fats to use and the correct choice can differ greatly depending on what you want to use them for - cooking vs dressings.
First up, fats are important in the diet and should not be avoided!
Your body needs fat and our brains are made up of roughly 60% fat. If you don't feed your body the RIGHT fats it can increase your chances of developing dementia and alzheimer's disease. Fats also make up our cell linings. Having the wrong fatty acids in our diet can lead to our cells becoming too rigid or too fluid. We want the right balance. Fats also play a role in skin health, hormone balancing fertility and mental health.
Saturated Fats for Cooking
- Coconut Oil
- Sustainable Palm Oil
- Butter (not too high temperatures)
- Duck Fat
- Goose Fat
Unsaturated Fats for Cold Uses
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Nut oils (avocado, walnut)
- Flaxseed oil (do not overuse if supplementing with Omega 3)
- Nuts & seeds
- Nut Butters (not peanut)
Avoid these Fats: The Killers
Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
Man made "Butter Spreads" (Benecol, Cant Believe It's Not Butter)
Get Your Facts Right: Get The Right Fats!