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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There are other oils much healthier AND safer than canola. Olive and peanut oil as two examples. The fats in canola oil that have been heated to.. say like 350'F or above will produce free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells as well as DNA. If you use canola oil, combine it with spices like dill, bay leaf, garlic, onion, or black pepper.


10/02/2016 - 11:55am

I got chest pains and real bad pains in my stomach. I almost passed out. I went to the emergency room and had all kinds of tests done. They came back okay. I stopped eating this one product that had canola oil in it and a few days later I was back to normal. Now I'll be looking at the ingredients to see if canola oil is listed.


09/14/2016 - 9:58am

I do get cramps, bloating and gas from consuming Canola in just about anything. Since figuring this out, I avoid it and have avoided the health issues. I'm surprised more people don't have this issue!


09/13/2016 - 6:31am

My Lord! I would not believe a word this "Anonymous" has to say about anything! Just look at all his negative comments.


08/15/2016 - 8:58am

Those that hate on canola oil are the same ones that hate on nuts except the one they see in a mirror.


08/11/2016 - 6:35pm

In answer to the comment that it depends on how much you consume I would say in most cases if you were to look at the ingredients on a lot of food stuffs there is more often than not Canola Oil as one of the ingredients. Therefore it would be very easy to consume a considerable amount over a relatively short space of time.
That's the problem with a lot of questionable ingredients that may in moderation not cause any problems but when present in foods that you wouldn't even think that they would be in can in fact be an overload to the system and in some people cause illness. An example would be peanut oil, it's been put into a lot of different products and now you see more than ever a higher amount of people with peanut allergies.


08/02/2016 - 10:14pm

Anyone who says GMO is safe or good or fine or ok
extremely lacks information, lacks the truth and in saying otherwise is clearly being affected mentally by eating this crap as part of it's lovely side effects are cognitive thinking as well as digestive and emotional problems

there is a mass health crisis due to this GMO Chemtrail crap
Open your eyes use common sense if you have any left.


07/30/2016 - 5:25pm

I am yet another victim of `explosive diarrhea` from eating food cooked in or containing canola.
Eating processed foods or fish and chips out is a lottery.
And KFC are proud to advertise that they use the cheapest and nastiest oil product in all their cooking.
At least I know not to eat there.


07/29/2016 - 12:56am

These people that discredit canola oil are either growers of other seeds such as sunflower, a LOT of corn or processers of same or investors of same or persons just plain jealous of this Canadian development. Rancid...baloney!! I had canola oil at room temp for almost 2 years at room temp and as fresh as when I bought it!! If those also are some of our American friends,let me tell you,canola is grown in North Dakota and those farmers are extremely unhappy how for no reason discredit this wonderful product!! Canola is also grown in Oklahoma!!! Speaking of Oklahoma, I was down there in April 2016 and saw Walmart shelves massively stocked with bottles of Canola oil!!! I am not ashamed of publishing my name and don,t have to be known as Anonymous!!!!


06/30/2016 - 11:13pm

I've often wondered why Scandinavian people, who generally seem to be intelligent and sensible people, are seemingly unconcerned about the high amount of canola oil they consume.


04/24/2016 - 2:43pm

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