Q. How Healthy Is Canola Oil Really?

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., March/April 2010

How Healthy is Canola Oil?

A. Canola oil comes from canola seeds. They are a genetic variation of rapeseed that was developed in the 1960s using traditional plant-breeding methods to make the rapeseed more palatable.

But canola often gets a bad rap. For example, we get questions from people who’ve heard canola oil is toxic and can cause various diseases, from emphysema to Mad Cow. The truth is there are no sound scientific studies suggesting a link between canola oil and any disease.

We also hear concerns that canola oil is genetically engineered (GE). This is true—most canola (93 percent in the U.S.) is GE. If that’s a concern for you, choose certified organic.

EatingWell often uses canola oil in our recipes because it’s one of the healthiest oil choices. It’s a good source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that, when used to replace saturated fats like butter and cheese, can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health.

Canola is also versatile: it has a neutral taste, light texture and a medium-high smoke point, so it works well for sautéing and baking. (An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it begins to smoke. When it does, disease-causing carcinogens and free radicals are released, so you never want to heat your oil to that point.)

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if you all are contradicting each other on the validity of the safeness of Canola oils, what then becomes the fate of we African in the African continent who may not even have a clue on what canola is but are always excited when our brothers and sisters form overseas bring such products into our homes as present for Christmas? please tell us the truth
Delly , Cameroon


11/24/2014 - 3:42am

Anyone who refers to something as "GMO" as a slur has zero credibility. I wouldn't trust you to tell me the current weather.


11/21/2014 - 6:14pm

Canola oil should not be used for human consumption. It is nothing short of poison. When you look at studies, follow the money.


11/18/2014 - 10:27pm

for my opinion the olive oil is the best ever for all types of cooking(except deep frying witch is not recommended at all) with the smoke point of Extra virgin – 400 degrees F. Light: 450 degree F(source American heart association) smoke point of canola oil is 400 degrees.


11/08/2014 - 6:59pm

Can't trust the "USDA Organic Label" any more, as they endorse the use of Canola Oil....Oh well, just have to read labels....


11/05/2014 - 10:47am

I don't know about the GE or GMO part, but canola oil just plain stinks. Unless you buy oil that is 100% pure, like sunflower, peanut, or olive it will contain canola. I can regognize the stink as soon as it starts to heat up.


10/08/2014 - 11:11am

"You folks that seem to be completely paranoid about canola oil need to get your heads screwed on right. Aside for the fact that even 99.9% of all aversion to actual GMO foods, hybrid is not GMO, as the one rational commenter pointed out above. You can bet your booty that virtually 100% of all legacy animals, vegetables/seeds did not exist ages ago. Everything we eat is crossbred and selected for the qualities we prefer, whether the crossbreeding is natural or not. Stop being so gullible and paranoid or you will leave yourself nothing to eat whatsoever."
I just have to comment on this one. --> So, Mr. "head screwed on right" Anonymous, I do agree that legacy plant and animals is relative to constant modification, and yes cross-breeding and hybrid processes have been, and continue to be done. But what you state above conveniently leaves out the consideration that RAPESEED was never legacy-- and in it's original RAPESEED form, is toxic to human consumption. Your point is invalid without this consideration-- you nullify your own statement by comparing the historical practice of cross-breeding of "legacy" food stuffs to the modifying of RAPESEED. Essentially, it is modifying by yes, NON-GMO selective breeding etc., but none the less not a traditional LEGACY food substance. So hey, let's just choose any old stink-weed vegetation and modify it for human consumption.


10/03/2014 - 7:17am

I don't need a medical study. Every time I eat something with canola oil, the next day my vision is blurred and I am lethargic. Read your lables carefully. My latest disappointment is Lays potato chips Had to give them up.


10/02/2014 - 5:38pm

Crazy comments. I think you missed a few points.


09/16/2014 - 1:16am

it's cheap, it's GMO, it's highly questionable, it's in practically EVERYTHING... it's making some folks a lot of cash, and the bottom line is they don't care if it's healthy or not. I am guessing it's not healthy, therefore erring on the side of caution. What's sad is that the health food industry is putting canola oil in a large percentage of their products. Agave sweetener is another culprit, bad as or possibly worse than HFCS and they are using it in "healthy" products.


09/03/2014 - 4:48pm

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