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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To the English subscriber: rapeseed oil is just another name for canola so he is using the same thing. To the allergy sufferer: perhaps it is the GMO canola to which you are allergic. Try a small amount of organic and see what happens. The U.S. organic standards do not permit the use of genetically modified seeds in any crops, including rapeseed (canola)


10/13/2010 - 3:38pm

Canola oil and rapeseed oil are the same thing. Canola just sounds cooler. There's nothig wrong with genetcally engineered foods.....except, I suppose if you have a food allergy. That sounds like the symptoms one gets with peanut allergy. Maybe your sister bought the canola oil where they also process peanut oil. For taste I actually prefer the corn oil/canola oil blends.


10/14/2010 - 10:56am

Canola oil helps me to reduce my excessive cholesterol level.......


11/01/2010 - 12:11am

I think Canola oil is a good oil


02/04/2012 - 1:19am

Lots of people make bad comments about genetically modified foods but I have never heard anyone say what's wrong with it.Crops can be modified in ways that make them better,too.For example,plant modification has resulted in development of rice plants that produce much greater offspring,allowing the feeding of millions of people who might otherwise have starved.


02/04/2012 - 4:19am

Just thinking - Olive oil - came from olives,
corn oil - from corn,
almond oil - from almond,
walnut oil - from walnut,
canola oil - came from ????? what seeds?


02/19/2012 - 8:31pm

There is no such thing as a canola plant growing anywhere thus this oil does not occur in nature.Canola oil is manmade..and during the manufacturing process the healthy omega-3 fats are denatured making it unrecognizable and unusable by the body..
For high temperature cooking grapeseed oil and coconut oil are the best..


02/24/2012 - 8:51am

I thought 'canola' just meant 'Canadian Oil/?


02/26/2012 - 4:36pm

Canola oil is genetically modified rapeseed oil. Insects do not bother it. It is farmed in cheap abundance and sold as food. It was used in Canadian machine shops. It is a great lubricant. It was never meant for human consumption. Canada paid the United States FDA fifty million dollars to approve it. It is farmed so easily that the rest of the money you spend on it goes to propaganda to keep you believing it is good. Wake up folks, it is ok to burn it in your diesel car, or use it to lubricate your bicycle chain, but please do not eat it.


03/06/2012 - 10:35pm

I have used Canola for many moons and am quite happy with the results.I also use Extra Virgin Olive Oil...first press.


03/17/2012 - 8:57am

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