Advertisement

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.)

Download a Free Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

Great to know. I use it in all my cooking.

Anonymous

03/03/2010 - 2:16pm

Being GMO should be a concern for everyone.

Anonymous

05/03/2010 - 2:53pm

I use it in cake.

Anonymous

06/02/2010 - 5:45pm

It's great for frying eggs. You never get that skin on the bottom of sunny side up egg. Joe.

Anonymous

06/02/2010 - 6:35pm

I really like Canola oil, and I have bought it many times. I even have some now in my pantry.

Anonymous

06/03/2010 - 1:53am

Iam using it almost 30 years we love it.

Anonymous

06/03/2010 - 12:57pm

I use it for baking my cookies and I know it is a healthy cooking oil. Thanks Canola Oil Company.

Peggy.

Anonymous

06/03/2010 - 5:26pm

Doesn't canola oil oxidize easily especially when heated? Doesn't the omega 3's turn into transfat if heated? Aren't the farmers trying to alter the genetic code so that there will be less than 2% transfat in canola oil?

Anonymous

06/23/2010 - 8:39pm

I will never use canola oil. It has a bland taste in foods compared to fresh extra virgin olive oil..
In addition, there is nothing more healthy for the human body and natural than extra virgin olive oil....Having lived in the Mediterranean area for a while, I never use butter or any other type of oil in any of my cooking ...There is a reason the ancient Greeks and Romans considered it a great commodity and called it 'liquid gold'. Amen!

Anonymous

09/01/2010 - 5:10pm

Why use Canola oil when you know it is GMO? Olive oil is a better choice for sure. I agree with the person who lived Mediterranean area for a while. I will not use canola oil and I find it hard to believe that you use it in so many recipes!!! I guess it is the same with sugar and HFCS. I don't use either one of these either and read all labels because HFCS is in everything now days because it is cheap.

Anonymous

09/24/2010 - 4:52pm

Connect With Us

20 minute dinner recipes
Advertisement

EatingWell Magazine

more smart savings
Advertisement
20 minute dinner recipes
Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner