The Rojak Pot

The Canola Oil Bullshit By Anya Vien Debunked!

A personal health coach called Anya Vien has made some preposterous claims about Canola oil. We will take a look at her nonsensical claims and debunk them one by one.

 

Anya Vien Claims Canola Oil Is Unnatural + Bad

In at least two articles, Anya Vien has claimed that Canola oil is unnatural and bad for health, pitching for coconut oil instead.

Well, I personally do not care if she prefers to drizzle coconut oil or canola oil over her salad, but I detest it when “health bloggers” tell outright lies.

Let’s examine her claims one-by-one and show you why they are lies :

Claim #1 – There Is No Such Thing As A Canola Plant : False!

Canola plants are newly-developed cultivars of the rapeseed plant. They are different sufficiently that they warranted a new name.

It’s no different from another member of the Brassica family – broccoli, which is a new cultivar of the humble cauliflower!

Claim #2 – It Was Created In A Lab By Dr. Baldur Steffanson : False!

The Canola plant was actually bred using traditional plant breeding by Dr. Baldur R. Stefansson and Dr. Keith Downey in the early 1970s.

Claim #3 – Canola Is Genetically-Modified Rapeseed : False!

The Canola plant was created from Brassica napus and Brassica rapa using traditional plant breeding, not by the introduction of DNA through genetic engineering.

Claim #4 – There Is No Such Thing As Organic Canola Oil : False!

The original Canola plant was bred using traditional plant breeding methods and is thus, organic by every definition of that word.

Much later – from 1995 onwards, genetically-modified variants that added disease tolerance and other qualities were introduced. However, genetically-modified canola suffers from a price penalty of 7% over “organic” canola.

The 2011 Biotech Canada study found that only 26% of the world’s canola crop are genetically-modified. The rest are, naturally, organic.

Claim #5 – Canola Oil Depletes Vitamin E : False!

It’s quite the opposite – Canola oil is actually rich in Vitamin E, although not as high as sunflower oil and palm oil.

Here is a comparison of the nutritional profile of various oils by Finglas et. al., 2015.

Nutrients Unit Canola Oil Palm Oil Soybean Oil Olive Oil Sunflower Oil Corn Oil
Linoleic acid
(Omega-6)
g/100 g 20 10.1 52 8 63 50
α-Linoleic acid
(Omega-3)
g/100 g 9.6 0.3 7.3 0.7 0.1 0.9
Oleic acid
(Omega-9)
g/100 g 57.6 37.1 20.8 71.9 20.2 29.4
Phytosterols mg 250.7 38.8 330.0 113.8 290.0 842.0
Vitamin K Phylloquinone µg 112.5 7.9 131.0 57.5 6.3 3.0
Vitamin E mg 22.21 33.12 16.06 5.10 49.22 17.24

Claim #6 – Canola Oil Raises Your Triglycerides By Over 40% : False!

She did not quote any study, but here is a 2017 Iranian study that noted significant reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, with significant elevation in HDL-C levels with a canola oil diet.

Claim #7 – Consuming Canola Oil Causes Lung Cancer : False!

The consumption of canola oil has never been associated with lung cancer. She confused it with the dangers of inhaling cooking oil fumes.

In 1987, the National Cancer Institute suggested that the abnormally high rate of lung cancer among Chinese women could be partly caused by inhaling cooking oil fumes while stir-frying food.

Chemical tests that they did in Shanghai showed that the cooking oils used were not capable of causing cancer, but their vaporised components were. And the most common cooking oil in China at that time was rapeseed oil.

Now, rapeseed oil is different from canola oil, because it has higher levels of Erucic acid which is toxic at high doses. Just like how a broccoli is different from a cauliflower, even though they are from the same species!

Claim #8 – Canola Oil Easily Turns Bad Because Of Its High Sulphur Content : False!

Canola oil is the only known vegetable oil with a sulphur atom in some fatty acid structures, but this does not mean it turns rancid easily.

It has similar shelf life to other vegetable oils – about one year when stored at room temperature.

Claim #9 – Canola Oil “Opens The Door” To Free Radicals : False!

That’s a meaningless, nonsensical statement. But for Miss Vien’s information – free radicals are produced NATURALLY in our body through NATURAL metabolic processes.

Whether you consume Canola oil or other kinds of oil, our body produces a steady stream of free radicals.

Claim #10 – Rancid Canola Oil Has No Foul Taste : False!

That’s utter nonsense. All vegetable oils will turn rancid if being exposed to the air, heat and sunlight for a long time.

TosTinMan EasyCooking actually had an episode on rancid canola oil that smelled and tasted bad.

 

Did You Read Anya Vien’s Disclaimer?

Like many natural health advocates, Anya Vien is secretly aware that her advice is not only worthless, they are potentially dangerous.

That is why she has a disclaimer that runs counter to the bombastic style of her articles :

The information on This Website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on This Website is not medical advice, nor is it a substitute for medical advice or for consultation with a qualified physician; if you have medical concerns or symptoms, or are considering use of herbs or supplements, please seek advice from a qualified physician.

This Website makes no actual recommendations or claims whatsoever as to the use of herbs, nor makes any guarantees whatsoever as to either the efficacy of such products nor as to the accuracy of any claims made about them.

This Website and its contents are provided for general information, reportage, background research and entertainment purposes only.

This Website’s owner specifically disclaims responsibility for any consequences of using This Website and its contents.

In other words, Anya Vien hopes that this disclaimer will protect her legally, if anyone is harmed by her baseless advice. It’s just entertainment, folks!

 

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