11 Cheshvan 5782 / Sunday, October 17, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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UN-Healthy Oils    

UN-Healthy Oils

Choosing the right oil is one of the most important choices you can make to oversee the health of your family. Guess what – it isn’t what you were taught by your nutritionist…


One of the realities of our world is that most of what “everyone knows” is a lie, and everything has been bought out. The yearly conference on nutrition is officially sponsored by – Mc Donald’s. If you’re lucky, your doctor took one semester of nutrition – and that fed them all the officially sponsored lies like canola oil is the healthiest oil possible. We all know the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” but when the prevention how to maintain health, doctors and Western Medicine doesn’t know the first thing about it. 


Just Google it – canola oil comes from a poisonous plant. During World War II, a form of refined canola oil was being used as fuel. After the war, they didn’t know what to do with acres of fields. So, they figured out a way to make the oil from the plant not poisonous, and started selling it as healthy! This is exactly where the much-debated heter about whether or not canola oil is kitniyot on Passover comes from! Because the seed itself isn’t even edible. 


Now, the next factor - nuts and seeds have trace amounts of poison on them, designed by G-d to keep birds and rodents from eating them. These are also bad for your body, and especially bad for your teeth. Soaking and sprouting can greatly reduce these poisons when you are cooking, but obviously the big food industries don’t care about that. So on top of everything else, canola oil is a seed – it’s bad for your teeth too! 


Canola oil is even worse, since over 90% of the canola fields in the US are GMO. Remember – besides the questions about how the modified DNA effects the body, it is a no-brainer that GMO foods are specifically modified to withstand incredible amounts of pesticides and not die – thus reaping higher yields for farmers. Hence the name “roundup-ready”! That means – GMO crops are loaded with dangerous pesticides. Only a few of these pesticides have been properly tested, and much worse, initial research has shown that these chemicals are much more dangerous when combined. The average GMO crop can have even 100 different chemical residues! And no one knows just what that will do inside the body. 


I hope this will also make you think twice when you look at almost every single item on the store shelves, which have sugar – most sugar in the US comes from GMO sugar beets! If it doesn’t say cane sugar specifically, it’s safe to assume that it’s loaded with pesticide GMO sugar beet sugar. So now on top of all the scary dangers of sugar – which was originally developed in France to be A DRUG – you can add all those pesticide chemical residues. 


I digress. Back to fats - against what the medical world thinks (although they are beginning to be forced to wake up, since with the Internet people are discovering the truth for themselves), unsaturated fats are actually extremely unhealthy. Yes, some years ago they finally had to admit that butter is healthier than margarine (although with all the hormones and other junk they put into butter now, it’s a bit of a crapshoot). Now, people are starting to realize that coconut oil – a very highly saturated oil – is the best you can get.  


What most people do not know is that unsaturated fats play a very big role in all sorts of diseases that you don’t want. People think that diabetes is all about too much sugar. But a major role is also played out by unsaturated fats throwing off the liver. Cancer is also fed not only by sugar, but by unsaturated fats as well. 


The fact that these fats are unstable at high temperatures leads them to oxidize, and by their nature, they are processed at high temperatures. Hence, they are totally rancid! But then they are deodorized, so you don’t realize that… Once they go into the body, the free radicals go wild damaging internal organs. 


Before I begin, I want to remind you of a rule I learned from someone who is involved with the Ministry of Health – and it’s the same whatever country you’re in – a product is called “safe” as long as it doesn’t kill you fast enough for someone to notice in a clinical trial!  


Let’s do a quick review of the major oil options out there. I’ve already discussed Canola oil, so let’s cover some more: 


Cottonseed Oil: I don’t know how it is possible granted how awful the other oils out there are, but this one is SO bad, that supposedly it is the absolute worst possible. This is a big problem during the Passover season, when the usual soy and canola oils are kitniyot and cannot be used by Ashkenazim. Many products, most notably mayonnaise, use cottonseed oil for Passover. This is a seed too, so bad for the teeth. 


Soy Oil: This one is a doozy because not only is it rancid, but it’s generally GMO as well, like canola oil. But because they are so cheap because the GMO crops are so stable – these two oils are in most processed products! Besides being the cheapest, most readily available products on the shelves. Don’t forget the estrogenic and hormone imbalance problems caused by soy products! I avoid soy like the plague for this reason, even if it’s labeled as non-GMO. 


Corn Oil: Corn is mostly GMO too! It is extremely sensitive to heat, so it’s also rancid. Plus, corn has been proven to be terrible for the thyroid, and is terrible for your metabolism. Corn products, including corn oil and of course the venerable corn syrup, are sure-fire ways right into being overweight and probably diabetic too, G-d should save us. 


I am not going to go into all the other options, but suffice to say they are all unhealthy. I thought avocado oil might be a good option, but I’ve read some scary research that it becomes very dangerous once it goes through the difficult, high-heat process to extract the oil. Eat an avocado a day – by the way, did you know that they are crazy high in fiber? One a day will keep the constipation away – but not good for use as an oil. The nut oils are also rancid, since nuts are very sensitive to heat (it’s recommended to store them in the fridge, especially during the summer, for this reason) plus the same problems with causing tooth decay. 


A final note about trans fats. Nowadays, everyone knows that they are bad. What most people might not know, is that they are often still hiding in our foods! Labeling laws differ between the US and Israel. In Israel, everything says “less than .50g for 100g.” The problem is, that a lot of companies are specifically putting in .48g! For some foods that are eaten in larger quantities, that can still add up to a few grams of trans fats per actual serving you eat. Compounded daily, that’s still dangerously unhealthy. It’s actually harder to avoid now that you don’t know how much is really there! But if I see margarine or partially hydrogenated oils, etc. on the label – I don’t risk it. 


What I can’t believe is what products have trans fats in them! I found partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list of the most popularly used ice coffee mix in Israel! I found it in tortillas, and much worse, in the “whole wheat bread of a major Israeli bread company. I discuss that later in my article on healthy flour but suffice to say, trans fats are everywhere – even in supposedly “healthy” foods. Beware! 


Now that we’ve discussed the bad and the worse, let’s get into the good oils and their uses in Part 2. 





Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel.  

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions, comments, articles, and personal stories to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il.


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