The Fear Babe, Part 2: Canola Oil

Yesterday I wrote about an article called Think Twice Before You Buy This Type of Burger by The Food Babe, aka Vani Hari, which is basically a case study in chemophobia. Today I continue my 5-part series on this article. Let’s seem what we have next…


The second issue with veggie burgers pinpointed by The Food Babe is the use of “cheap” oils. Along with soy oil, corn oil, sunflower, and safflower oil, Hari illustrates this point with canola oil. But once again Hari plays the chemophobia card by invoking the specter of hexane. Like with soy, hexane is used sometimes in the processing of canola and some other oils. And also as with soy protein, hexane is present only in trace amounts in the finished product, if at all, and is likely of little concern. Beyond the repeat of hexane fears Hari further informs us that, “overconsumption of these cheap oils are causing an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids in our diets“, which, “increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and prostate and bone cancer.

While Omega 3/6 balance is important for vegans, canola actually has a decent 3 to 6 ratio when compared to other common cooking oils and is a healthy source of ALA. In general you should try to choose oils with a healthier Omega 3/6 balance such as flax, hemp, canola, or even soy, and it may be a good idea to supplement DHA. But, unless your diet consists primarily of veggie burgers, I feel the oil in a typical patty is not the greatest of concerns.
Check out the links below for more information on dietary fats.

Why Canola Oil Is a Safe and Healthy Choice by Shereen Lehman
Omega-3s in Vegetarian Diets by Jack Norris
Omega-3 Fats in Vegan Diets: A Quick Primer by Ginny Messina

One Response to “The Fear Babe, Part 2: Canola Oil”

  1. edanator Says:

    Aren’t solvents only used for the last stage of oil extraction? (=the cheapest and lowest quality oil). The first step should be mechanical cold-pressing at room temperature. There are several steps in between the first and the last, with degrading quality of the oil. I suspect the veggieburger manufacturers are not using the fine coldpressed oil, but I also doubt they are using the lowest quality.

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