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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

About 6 years ago we noticed that my son (2 at the time) would go to bed with stomach pains and would not be able to sleep. He also went from being a lovely little boy to a complete little **** within just a few minutes of eating something. We started by cutting out wheat and initially thought that he had a problem with gluten. After a year of removing foods from his diet we narrowed it down to oils. In the last few years companies are getting better with listing the oils in their products. Sunflower and olive oil were fine and over a year ago we have experimented with products with just palm and coconut oil. So it took time however we narrowed it down to Rapeseed oil. We have cut it completely out of his diet and he is now a lovely 8 year old (with just typical good and bad behaviour). However, there have been occasions when he becomes extremely aggressively and has the stomach cramps just before bedtime. And every time we look at what he has eaten recently and we find that its rapeseed; we stick to food products that we know that are safe, however, companies keep changing their ingredients and switch to rapeseed oils and we find the culprit and have to then remove this from the list of products that he can have. We have researched this and have found that some countries have banned rapeseed from animal feed as it makes them aggressive and farmers have larger vet bills due to animals injuring themselves and other animals. I would love for it to me removed from the human food chain. As my son ages we are hoping that as an adult he can control his aggression if he eats rapeseed by accident. As an 8 year old, its not easy for him to do this at present.

Anonymous

07/19/2014 - 5:06pm

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.

Anonymous

07/02/2014 - 6:56am

There have been many studies done that prove canola oil is dangerous. Deep frying with canola oil has been shown to cause lung cancer from the toxic fumes. Do some research and you will never eat this toxic man made poison.

Anonymous

06/26/2014 - 11:34am

Canola seeds????????? ROFL...

Anonymous

06/17/2014 - 1:39am

I do not approve of GMO. As a matter of fact : I hate it !! All it gave us so far is veggies and fruits that look picture perfect and have no taste. Don't anyone tell me they like biting into a strawberry that is crunchy ! I remember how great beefsteak tomato tested like ! Now a days if you eat them with your eyes closed you don't even know anymore what you eat. And that goes for a lot of other things. This is the day to day aspect and just for that alone I hate GMO. I cannot proof what else it did to our food but in my mind , it can't be better than what it did to the flavour.

Anonymous

06/12/2014 - 7:14pm

this is scary and totally crazy for our government not be doing anything about poisoning our people

Anonymous

06/08/2014 - 6:45pm

Rapeseed Not Canola seed. Haha you are a fool. BTW, carbs and sugars causes bad vldl Not healthy saturated fats. You might want to study "Wheat Belly" by Dr. William Davis.

Anonymous

06/08/2014 - 10:47am

Ugh I don't know what to do olive oil is so expensive but if it's better I'll switch I cut out butter or am trying.help anyone I need a healthy alternative for cooking my veggies eggs etc.I want to get healthy...why does it have to be so difficult.im eating things fresh but I like my veggies cooked and I do boil at times when I enjoy it that way

Anonymous

06/06/2014 - 12:08pm

No good can come from Canola oil! It is not natural!

Anonymous

06/03/2014 - 12:13pm

"Canola seeds"? Seriously? If you want an alternative to cooking with olive oil, there's sunflower, safflower, or coconut. I use safflower oil in my baking recipes and they turn out fine. I can easily substitute another oil in the place of canola but find it difficult to find products that don't already contain canola on the grocery shelves sometimes.

Anonymous

05/27/2014 - 1:17pm

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