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CPT & Certified Nutrition Specialist, is the author of the international best-seller, The Truth about Six Pack Abs (TruthAboutAbs.com), with over 263,000 readers in 154 countries. Mike is also the co-author of the popular nutrition program, The Fat Burning Kitchen. In addition, Mike publishes the popular Lean-Body Secrets ezine with over 710,000 subscribers worldwide.

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The Truth About Abs
by Mike Geary, Best-Selling Fitness Author

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Have you been lied to about the health benefits of canola oil?

I NEVER include canola oil in any of my recipes or any of my lists of healthy foods.

Many people have asked me why, because all they hear in the mainstream media is that canola oil is "heart healthy" and a good source of monounsaturated fats similar to olive oil.

Well, first of all, you need to realize that much of what you hear in the mainstream media has been influenced by heavy handed marketing tactics by big food companies. Canola oil is cheap for them to produce so they want to fool you into thinking it's a "health oil" so that people, restaurants, etc will buy it up as their main oil of choice.

The dirty truth about canola oil

Yes, it's true that canola oil is high in monounsaturates, but let me explain why canola oil is anything but "healthy".

Canola oil is made from something called rapeseed. Rapeseed actually had to be bred over the years to reduce the percentage of a problematic component of rapeseed, which is erucic acid.

Important note on canola oil "urban legends":
There is a problem with most websites that DEFEND canola oil, saying that internet "urban legends" on the dangers of canola oil are unfounded. The problem is that these websites that defend canola oil ONLY talk about the issue of erucic acid. The issue of erucic acid IS an urban legend, because erucic acid has been bred out to very low levels over the years, so it is a non-issue.

However, these websites that defend canola oil are barking up the wrong tree because they don't address the issue of the processing of canola oil and oxidation of the polyunsaturated component of canola oil, which is what makes it unhealthy for human consumption. THAT'S the real issue that they either don't understand (because they are not nutrition experts) or are simply ignoring.

Let's look at the REAL issues with canola oil:

Canola oil typically ranges between 55-65% monounsaturated fat and between 28-35% polyunsaturated fat, with just a small amount of saturated fat.

While we've been led to believe that high monounsaturated fat oils are good for us (which they are in the case of virgin olive oil or from unprocessed nuts or seeds), the fact is that canola oil has more detriments than it does benefits.

As you may have heard me talk about in my Truth About Abs book, one of the biggest problems with highly processed and refined vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and yes, even canola oil, is that the polyunsaturated ...    Continue

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@ 10:20am ET on January 23, 2010 in terms of baking, when a recipe calls for canola oil what is the best option to replace it with? obviously olive oil is typically not used for baked goods... would coconut oil give it an odd taste? or would butter be the best substitute? thanks!
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