As a healthy living advocate, I’m always trying to encourage people to avoid processed, toxic foods. Those manufactured foods that do nothing but harm our bodies. Unfortunately, most grocery stores aren’t doing the same. They have aisles devoted solely to chips, cookies and soda, and carry products that utilize tricky labeling to appear healthy when they are anything but. This only makes beginning or maintaining a solid nutrition plan more difficult, especially for those shoppers whose knowledge of health and wellness might be limited. Fear not! The Post-It Note Patron is here to help! I want to catch you when you’re about to drop that unhealthy item into your cart and be the reason why you choose a different, more nutritious option. Together we can have a positive influence on the types of foods that our grocery stores carry!
THE MISSION : To infiltrate grocery stores and secretly place post-it notes on the back side of certain unhealthy products. The post-it notes will contain tidbits of information as to why the chosen item should not be consumed.
THE OBJECTIVE: To educate consumers (especially those who aren’t scouring the internet for nutrition information) of the harmful health effects of items on grocery store shelves, in hopes that they will make better purchasing decisions.
Today’s mission was Canola oil. I successfully placed 3 of the post-it notes pictured below onto canola oil bottles at a large grocery store chain.
If you start to pay attention you’ll notice that this cooking oil is in ev-er-eeee-thing! Salad dressings, pancake mixes, cookies, condiments, items at the hot food bar, etc. Cooks like it because it’s cheap and has a neutral taste. Consumers buy it because it’s marketed as one of the healthiest cooking oils, mainly for its low saturated fat content and high omega 3 content. You’ll see why this is a problem shortly. To be honest, up until a few years ago I hadn’t thought twice about Canola. Then I read “Deep Nutrition,” by Dr. Catherine Shanahan and my eyes were opened!
Where does canola oil come from? Hmmmmmmmm. We know for certain where olive oil and coconut oil come from but we’re not so sure about canola. Canola oil is actually a genetically manipulated version of the rapeseed plant. The modified version was created in Canada to contain less erucic acid, which many believed was harmful to humans. “CANadian Oil, Low Acid” was later coined for marketing purposes.
Why is it bad for us? In her book, Dr. Shanahan sheds some light on why canola and other vegetable oils are dangerous. She writes, “canola and other vegetable oils contain a big percentage of heat-sensitive polyunsaturated fats, which when heated, transform into toxic trans fats.” Trans fats are linked to weight gain, inflammation and atherosclerosis. The seeds that are used to make these popular vegetable cooking oils also contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Yes these are healthy for you, but when exposed to heat (during processing and cooking) they lose their health benefits and actually mutate and become toxic to our bodies.
How is canola oil processed? What’s most disturbing about Canola oil is that it’s processed using hexane. If you didn’t know, hexane is a vapor component of gasoline and is used in the formulation of glue for shoes, leather products and roofing. Also, the seed oil, having oxidized from exposure to heat becomes rancid and must go through various stages of deodorizing to remove the foul smell. That sounds delicious! *insert sarcasm
Do your body a favor and start buying and cooking with traditional fats. Some smart choices would be those that are higher in saturated fat that can resist heat damage. Coconut oil, butter and lard are my favorites. These are fats that our ancestors have used for centuries. Continue the tradition!
***Become a post-it note patron: It’s easy! Follow my lead and start secretly placing post-it notes on the backside of the products I feature. You can copy what I write or add your own flavor. Just think: A single note might be the stepping stone that sends a shopper on a quest for better health. That’s something to feel good about! You might even enjoy trying to execute the mission without getting caught by a store employee?! I know I do.