Dangers of Modern Vegetable Oils

Can I vent a little bit? Will you mind? I’m so tired of hearing about how “heart-healthy” canola oil is! This is the newest cooking oil on the market today. It didn’t even exist until the late 1970s, and the variety of canola grown today wasn’t invented until 1998! Not only is it a genetically-modified herbicide-resistant crop, but it’s the prime example of a modern vegetable oil.

Doctors tell you this is a fantastic cooking oil because it’s low in saturated fats, high in polyunsaturated fats, and has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s considered favorable (about 3:1). Yet what they don’t tell you is that polyunsaturated fats are fragile and oxidize in heat. So cooking with canola oil (and other modern cooking oils) will create huge amounts of oxidized fatty acids (which are carcinogenic and lead to inflammation). Is it any surprise that since our culture started following conventional dietary wisdom by embracing these modern cooking oils in the late 1970s that our heart disease, obesity, and cancer rates have skyrocketed?

Yesterday, the second lesson in my new Beautiful Babies online course went live. The lesson attempts the impossible — an overview of the Dangers of Industrialized Food, including the dangers of modern vegetable oils.

In the sneak peek video below, you’ll get an inside look at one of the 6 videos shared in this week’s lesson. This video’s title? The Dangers of Modern Vegetable Oils.

The complete lesson include 5 other videos covering a host of subjects, including:

  • About Kaizen: or Making Changes
  • The Dangers of MSG
  • The Prevalence of Corn in Industrial Food Production
  • The Dangers of GMOs
  • Industrial Meats

It also came jam-packed with informative reading materials, including:

  • Excerpts from an Interview with Dr. Russel Blaylock
  • A Guide To Ingredient Labels
  • 76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health
  • Becky’s Birth Story

And finally, the lesson was rounded out by a lesson workbook that walks students through the lesson’s materials while asking challenging questions that will help students leave processed foods behind and opt out of the industrial food system.

To find out more about the Beautiful Babies online course including a course schedule and an FAQ, click here. Remember, the $50 discount for early enrollments ends next Tuesday, November 15th!


  1. says

    Yes!!!!! I was thinking the same thing! Every time I read a recipe anymore online or even in so called health magazines they either fry in canola oil or olive oil! Drives me crazy!

  2. says

    I try to do most of my cooking with olive oil. I know it’s not the best, but it’s a hair better than canola.

    A lot of people will swallow anything their doctors tell them. It’s a shame that our culture has come to a point where in order to understand food they also have to have an accurate knowledge of nutrition, biology, cell structures, etc.

  3. says

    @Misty Ditto. Thanks for sharing this info., re-shared on FB. I’ve been suspect of these so called healthy oils for some time and have attempted to steer clear, at least in my own kitchen. Since we’ve adopted a more primal lifestyle in our household, it’s all grassfed butter, beef tallow, coconut oil, some olive oil, and bacon drippings (yum!) – from compassionately raised pigs and no nitrates, of course. How about some hexane with that grass seed oil? ewwwwww….

    Love your website, BTW.

  4. Dillon says

    “the variety of canola grown today wasn’t invented until 1998! Not only is it a genetically-modified herbicide-resistant crop…”

    I don’t think that canola oil is grown. It stands for CANadian Oil, Low Acid. It’s a name given to the Rapeseed because no one would by “Rapeseed Oil.” It seems like a nit-picky thing but it makes a difference when arguing with someone who will discredit you for those nit-picky things. The actual crop grown is rapeseed.

    • A. says

      Another little bit of interesting trivia about canola oil. It was invented at the University of Manitoba. I grew up in southeastern Manitoba and the prairie fields might be full of wheat but more likely they are full of the electric yellow colours of the rapeseed plant…
      Having grown up there, it is easy to see how many people would have a strong ecomonic investment in pushing the sale of canola oil.

    • KristenM says

      In the e-course, the video credits show that the clip is taken from Fat Head and students are given the opportunity to buy the full DVD at Amazon if they want to see more. And no, there is no redistribution going on. I address this in the FAQ page of my e-course when I answer the following question:

      Why can’t I buy a compilation of the videos in DVD format?
      Most of the videos include clips of copyrighted material from various documentaries or films. While we can make use of this video content for educational purposes under Fair Use laws, we can not actually reproduce this content for sale without violating copyright laws.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Monica says

    What are your thoughts about light olive oil? Is it a step above canola, or not any better? Any other ideas, we have allergies to coconut, dairy(butter) and ghee. We use tallow for cooking, but could a good oil for putting on popcorn (light flavor).

  6. Karen says

    Won’t have canola or soy oil in my house. Not on it’s own or as an ingredient in anything else. Period. I’d cook with 10W-40 first.

  7. Christina says

    A link to one of my fav articles exposing Canadian Low Erucic Rapeseed Oil (canola oil). For those new to the subject I recommend reading through it.

    a quote from the article:
    “….An initial challenge for the Canola Council of Canada was the fact that rapeseed had never been given GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A change in regulation would be necessary before canola could be marketed in the U.S. (Canola – a new oilseed from Canada. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society, September 1981:723A-9A). Just how this was done has not been revealed, but GRAS status was granted in 1985. Why? Because the Canadian government paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as “safe” (Source: John Thomas, Young Again, and others).”

    I agree w/ Karen above. “I’d cook w/ 10w-40 first”.

  8. Christina says

    Oh, forgot to add: If anyone out there can get ahold of ghee made from the milk of organically fed cows, that is what I recommend cooking with. Ghee is refined butter, it does not burn, no matter the temp. I get it from a small local dairy.

    • KristenM says

      Olive oil is good for you. I don’t think anything in this post contradicted that. It is not a modern vegetable oil that’s only possible because of the industrial revolution. It’s an ancient vegetable oil. Just be sure to by REAL olive oil (as most sold in the U.S. is diluted with cheap veggie oils) that’s stored in a dark, cool place, AND don’t use it for cooking as it’s not very heat stable.

    • says

      Lindsay, there are many excellent cooking oil options … lard and beef tallow, for one thing. It may take time to wrap your head around that, since we have all been so mis-led by our government’s dietary “advice.” But lard and tallow are excellent choices for cooking. Also, coconut oil. Olive oil is best left for raw uses, such as in salad dressings. Lard, tallow, and coconut oil don’t necessarily leave a strong flavor in your food but they do make it taste oh so much better!

      Kristen, Thanks for this EXCELLENT explanation of why canola is bad. I have had a hard time putting it into words to explain to others. Now I can simply refer them to your site.

  9. Susanne says

    In the video you mentioned that ancient cultures were exposed to minimal amounts of polyunsaturated fats in the form of seeds and nuts. Since I rely on my bag of nuts for daily snacks, I was wondering if eating nuts daily was okay? How much nuts can I consume before I am ingesting too much polyunsaturated fat?

  10. Andrea says

    What oils do you recommend for consumption while cooking? I know not to use anything like Canola or Olive when cooking, in fact only using Olive to make salad dressings with… but what should I cook with if I need to create a barrier between the pan and the food?


      • angela says

        So your saying Crisco in the tub is better for us.Isnt that cooking grease? Or buying lard in the tub? what about sunflower oil?

        • KristenM says

          Crisco is a hydrogenated vegetable shortening, an industrial food not invented until the 20th century. So, no, I don’t think that’s what Rebekah’s advocating. She’s talking about the old-fashioned fats people have been cooking with for thousands of years.

  11. Levi says

    Canola is a specific cultivar of rapeseed. It was originally developed through traditional plant breeding in the 70’s. You don’t have to buy GMO canola. If you buy organic expeller pressed canola oil then you eliminate the GMO factor as well as the industrial chemicals used to extract canola oil that is not expeller pressed. Yes canola fats oxidize if cooked with high heat, but olive oil does too. So, I would say organic expeller pressed canola oil used to make homemade salad dressing would be heart healthy as its not exposed to heat (I use 50/50 canola and olive oil in my dressings).

  12. Zach Rusk says

    What do you define as an industrial oil? Canola is from a seed, not a vegetable, so are all seed oils bad? Like sunflower? I think so, when subject to heat. Denise Minger goes over this in Death by Food Pyramid, but doesn’t directly define industrial oils.

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