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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

I think that they tell us it is good for us just to make us spend our money and they get rich. Natural is best. Processed food is so bad and all the additives like salt and sugar. Just look at all the fat and unwell people around, then they rush to the doctor to get him to fix them and they get more poison, pills.

Carolyn

Anonymous

03/28/2015 - 5:54am

I love to use canola oil as a pesticide in the garden. It (rape oil) was a key ingredient in mustard gas in World War I. If you want to eat that, go for it and good luck.

Anonymous

03/26/2015 - 2:37pm

Since this site is owned by a large corporation, they will steer you to eating things that are less than healthy for you. GMO and GE foods are pure pesticides - geared to keep you sick. Science has proven this with their lab tests. If you care about your health, grow your own food or choose local organic (or non-pesticide sprayed) foods where you know the farmer. If you don't care - eat whatever the hell you want, since it won't matter anyway. Do your own research - but I opt for organic and nature produced foods that have not been altered by a mega corporation in it for the money and control of your food source.

Anonymous

03/19/2015 - 2:47pm

Canola was not created as a GMO, it was developed by careful selection and breeding, the way farm plants always have been improved. Trans fats are poison. Canola is not, it has no trans fats unless it is processed to create trans fats. Today processors (mostly) do not do that, and labels must state the amount of trans fat. You want to see 0%.

The ones who get sick from canola may be allergic to it, or, they may have eaten rancid oil. I have read that canola goes rancid easily, but I have seen no scientific study of that.

The use of GMOs may cause social or ecological problems that we cannot foresee. But to claim it is unhealthy to eat them is quite unscientific; there is no evidence of that. There is every reason to expect them to be just as healthy as the domesticated farmed hybridized foods that we have eaten for thousands of years.

Anonymous

03/16/2015 - 1:15am

Absolute junk. This site should be embarrassed promoting crapola oil.

Anonymous

03/15/2015 - 1:45pm

As some posters have suggested which I personally believe is to use what nature has already provided us. Our bodies will be more in synchronicity when we eat the naturally supplied oils or foods which has a more beneficial intent to keep us healthy.

Anonymous

03/14/2015 - 4:49pm

Hmmm i have an observation on the world anonymous.. and the people who are.. i would not use the term afraid because that's stupid.. i'm not afraid on GMO foods because i wont eat them.. nothing to fear.. now why wouldn't i eat something like GMO because its not natural.. it cannot reproduce itself.. much like a mule its the buy product of something that does not exist in nature.. and that my friend is something to avoid.. if its not natural then its unnatural.. and unnatural does not belong to a class that i call food.. its a mule and maybe they can find a use for it but i can't.. .

Anonymous

03/12/2015 - 5:51pm

As someone below mentioned, my wife also totally cramps up and has to go to the bathroom within 30 minutes of consuming even small amounts of canola oil. She also develops hives around her joints over the next day. It tooks us forever to figure out what was causing the problem, until one of our good friends suggested we consider the type of oil in the ingredients list, as one of their friends had a similar reaction. This highly processed/manufactured crap is garbage. I don't know why we think it is so necessary to meddle with nature instead of cooking with natural products that have been used for centuries. We think we're being so smart and creating products that will make us so much more healthy rather than just doing what nature intended and watching our diet. Again and again now, recent science is showing us that we've been fooling ourselves with these fancy, highly processed foods and supplements and that going back to the basics of our predecessors (when it comes to cooking) always made the most sense. Just look at all the fat people everywhere with tons of allergies and other maladies, and it should be completely obvious to anyone that we've been joking ourselves with all of this snake oil.

Anonymous

03/01/2015 - 5:25pm

What they do to food in the US is Amazing. I am glad I live in Europe.

Anonymous

02/25/2015 - 10:35am

I'm amazed by the ignorance of people. Controlled double blind studies don't lie. Any body can have a different reaction to food and drugs. It doesn't mean it will have the same effect on most people. These insane Nazi's with their GMO propaganda are devoid of common sense and suffer from mental neurosis.

Anonymous

02/21/2015 - 4:06pm

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