I’ve been totally consumed lately with transforming my kitchen into a warm, healthful place for me and my children. Everywhere I turn, I read about good grains and bad grains, gluten and gluten-free, eliminating food coloring, getting rid of nitrates, reduced fat vs. fat free, why sugar is bad for you, why Splenda is good, why Splenda is bad, and which oils to use. It’s really a lot to take in. Depending on which propaganda you chose to believe, everything is safe and healthy for you AND it will all kill you. It is difficult to wrap your head around.
For me, it is best to just know the facts. Today, I found myself trying to decide if I need canola oil in my kitchen. Why? Because I got a new cookbook (that I’m super excited to tell you about) that has many recipes calling for canola oil.
I have never purchased canola oil and honestly, I had no idea what exactly a canola was. So I went and visited my trusty friend Google for some answers. Here is what I learned:
- Canola oil is a product of a hybrid rapeseed plant that was created by scientists in Canada- hence it’s name. Canola stands for Canadian oil, low acid; source Wikipedia
- Canola oil is low in saturated fat, a source of Omega-6, high in Omega-3, high in monounsaturated fat, and cholesterol and trans fat free; source canolainfo.org
- There are critics who say that canola oil may be hazardous to your health because it is derived from the rapeseed plant. Rapeseed is high in an toxin called erucic acid and detractors believe that it is still present in canola oil. The FDA has deemed canola oil safe and it is generally recognized as safe around the world.; source truthorfiction.com
The bottom line is, for every report that says something is good for you, there is another saying it isn’t. The best thing you can do as a consumer is to read up and make the choice that is best for you. So back to my original question, do I need canola oil in my kitchen? I decided no. I currently use olive oil. Olive oil is also a source of Omega-3 and 6, is also high in monounsaturated fat, and studies show it can lower your bad cholesterol. In my humble opinion, it seems “more natural” than an oil from a scientifically created plant and I just learned that it can be used interchangeably with canola oil in my baking. So why buy yet another thing to fill my cupboards?
image courtesy of Google Images