Canola Oil Side Effects + Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/12/22 •  11 min read

What are canola oil side effects and benefits every ethical consumer must know? Here are canola oil pros and cons and how buying it will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

canola oil benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on canola oil benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about canola oil benefits and side effects. This will include canola oil benefits for your health and potential risks, canola oil water footprint and canola oil carbon footprint, canola oil sustainability, if canola oil is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if canola oil is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be prepared to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about canola oil side effects and benefits that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Canola Oil Side Effects And Benefits

Health

Canola oil side effects may include:

Canola oil health benefits may include:

Additionally, canola oil is…

Environment

Water footprint: moderate, it takes 4,301 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rapeseed oil / 515 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rapeseed oil

Carbon footprint: low, 1.70 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of canola oil, a car driving equivalent of 4 miles or 6.5 kilometers

Destruction: high, canola oil is not a natural plant, rather a modified rapeseed plant, canola is rapeseed that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the toxic herbicide RoundUp, 90% of the world’s canola crops are GMO and therefore resistant, there is an ever-growing dependency for canola crops to need more and more toxic RoundUp

Canola oil is…

Animals

Kills: none, canola oil production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, canola oil production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: wildlife and ecosystems, animals are indirectly killed or harmed from canola oil production, as toxic chemicals are often and almost always used, RoudUp harms and kills wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Additionally, canola oil is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals, and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that RoundUp was “probably carcinogenic”, laborers of canola oil may be exposed to RoundUp since the majority of canola oil requires it

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Canola oil has…

Where does most canola oil come from?

The world’s top canola oil producing country is Canada, followed by China, India and Germany. Canada produces more than 25% of the global supply of canola oil.
The world’s top canola oil exporting country is Canada, followed by Germany, Denmark, Belgium, USA, Netherlands, UK Estonia, Austria and Australia.

Is canola oil good for you? Nutritious?

Canola oil is high in healthier unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) but has high levels of trans fats.

canola oil is neutral.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is canola oil alkaline or acidic?

Canola oil is neutral.

What is the pH level of canola oil?

Canola oil has a 7.0 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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canola oil is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is canola oil gluten free?

Yes, canola oil is gluten free. Canola oil does not contain gluten. Canola oil is a type of oil, therefore making it a gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

canola oil is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is canola oil a common food allergen?

No, canola oil is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to canola oil but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

canola oil has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does canola oil have a high or low water footprint?

Canola oil has a moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of canola oil?

It takes 4,301 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of rapeseed oil / 515 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of rapeseed oil.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

canola oil has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does canola oil have a high or low carbon footprint?

Canola oil has a low carbon footprint.

What is the carbon footprint of canola oil?

It takes around 1.70 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of canola oil, a car driving equivalent of 4 miles or 6.5 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

canola oil is moderately sustainable. canola oil side effects include having a worse environmental impact than other oils.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Is canola oil sustainable?

No. Canola oil production is relatively unsustainable. Canola oil is not a natural plant, rather a GMO rapeseed plant.canola is rapeseed that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the toxic herbicide RoundUp, 90% of the world’s canola crops are GMO and therefore resistant, there is an ever-growing dependency for canola crops to need more and more toxic RoundUp.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

canola oil is vegan. however, canola oil side effects include being harmful to wildlife.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is canola oil vegan?

Yes, canola oil is vegan. Canola oil is the oil from a GMO rapeseed plant and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. However, canola oil is harmful to wildlife and ecosystems due to high usage of the toxic herbicide known as RoundUp.

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

canola oil is a product that has known laborer issues (toxic pesticide exposure). canola oil side effects include being harmful to workers.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is canola oil a product that has laborer issues?

At this time, there are reports of worker mistreatment regarding canola farming regarding toxic pesticide exposure.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about canola oil side effects and benefits.

Sources:

Oil, canola – FoodData Central

Ask the Expert: Concerns about canola oil | The Nutrition Source

Evidence of health benefits of canola oil – NCBI

Why you should toss the vegetable oils ASAP

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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