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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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COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

GMO modified

Anonymous

03/20/2013 - 4:23am

Canola = "Canada Oil Low Acid", it seems a heavily processed oil, can be used to lubricate machine. I will never eat this kind of "oil".

Anonymous

03/13/2013 - 1:58pm

You need to read the scientific literature on canola oil. Anyone can say ANYTHING on the internet and say that it is true. Check reliable sources. Is the person discussing Nutrition - really a nutrition professional such as a registered dietitian or a self proclaimed "Nutritionist" without any science background.

Anonymous

03/12/2013 - 3:26pm

They have not been able to breed all the poison out of the Rape plant's seeds (canola sounds like a beautiful flower doesn't it).

Dave Loewe

Anonymous

03/11/2013 - 12:27pm

I prefer grape seed oil, myself, as olive oil has a low smoking point and is not good for frying or browning foods. I use it mostly on cold foods like salads, or hummus, etc. Grape seed oil is healthy, light, not overpowering in the taste, and has a high smoke point. I recently bought canola oil for some purposes, but we use very little of it. I wish I'd known there was such a thing as organic, or I'd have gotten that one, instead. I have learned to keep my oils out of light and cool, so they do not go bad. All my oils went rancid on me before I did that. You can tell by the sour smell they get, not nice. I also think people need to be warned more about vegetable oil, which is made of GMO soy, which being GMO, and being soy, in no way is good to be using. If we are buying any type of food that contains oil or is fried, it is most likely made with this oil.

Anonymous

03/08/2013 - 2:21pm

Don't eat it. Don't you get it, They want you sick. There is no money in healthy people, and no money in Dead people. The money is right in the middle and lots of it. "THE SICK people are worth the most money. Cancer, heart deisease, obesity .....
Do all your selves a favor......plant a gerden this season. U won't regret it :)

Anonymous

03/08/2013 - 1:25pm

Personally I am at a loss, having read through 10 pages of counter opinion I am still at a loss. I opened this web page for information which I got a plenty, but I'm no further in understanding whether "Canola Oil" is beneficial or carcinogenic.

What I do know is that I have been using this oil or variants thereof since 1970, I am now 68 yrs old and still working a 50 hr week in heavy engineering,( hands on ), therefore the counter arguments don't stand up.

Anonymous

03/05/2013 - 8:49pm

Mayo clinic, Snopes and other sources debunk the myth of danger in Canola oil. Before blindly believing what strangers post, do research. Who you gonna believe, Mayo Clinic or Anonymous?

Anonymous

03/04/2013 - 2:31pm

Rapeseed itself is not edible. The process is has to through is scary to me. Add this chemical, bleach it, add another chemical, heat it up etc., etc. It is like casein. It was a byproduct of milk processing and considered a toxic waste. What a great Idea! Clean it up and sell it to the public. Protein powder that is for most people inedible and causes constipation and real bad gas. We are now deluded to the fact that canola oil is supposed to be safe. It is still heavily processed oil that is very plentiful and makes a few people very rich in Canada. It is no comparison to organic extra virgin OLIVE OIL. It is like saying raw honey and white sugar are the same thing. They are not. Carbohydrates yes. Equal, no.
Canola oil is not natural and I avoid any food that contains it. Unfortunately, it is in everything now.

Anonymous

02/28/2013 - 6:17pm

Best is to check your blood group type and know what you should and not

Anonymous

02/19/2013 - 12:11pm

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