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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 LOVE Canola oil, if it's good to lubricate machinery then it's good to lubricate me too.

Anonymous

08/28/2012 - 6:41am

Just use natural fats animal like lard instead of the heavily processed crap that is vegetable oil.

Anonymous

08/27/2012 - 11:23am

I agree! I'm sure Monsanto wrote and paid for this article. If GMOs aren't a big deal then why have 40 countries required labeling and out right banning of GMOs if they are so safe???

Support Prop 37!!!

Anonymous

08/26/2012 - 10:49pm

LOL, all of these people who are screaming about how unhealthy Canola oi is because it's GMO. The whole GMO scare is nothing but that - a ridiculous scare tactic that means nothing. All the food you eat is genetically modified. It doesn't matter if you eat pure organic stuff from your local farmer. Not an animal or plant on the planet exists that hasn't been genetically modified in some way from its original.

And thank you, i will enjoy my heart healthy fats in Canola oil.

Anonymous

08/17/2012 - 10:55pm

Seriously? Did Monsanto fund this?

Anonymous

08/17/2012 - 9:34am

We love butter, coconut oil, olive oil, dripping and lard. We have been scared into believing that saturated fats are bad for us. The above are wonderful natural foods. If you saw how margerine was made you would never buy it again. Unfortunately we don't really know what goes into our foods on the supermarket shelves.
The more we cook at home the better off we'll be.

Anonymous

Anonymous

08/17/2012 - 1:09am

The Great CONola Oil - It's a con. It's gmo - be an experiement - or use an oil that is not GMO or highly processed - high heat, chemicals like hexene. Oh by the way, GMO crops require more water - isn't there a big drought in the Midwest... and more Round up pesticide and yet more Round-Up.
So eat use that Canola oil with all those pesticides. Good luck to you

Anonymous

08/14/2012 - 10:54pm

I PLANTED A SQUASH SEED AND A CUCUMBER SEED CLOSE TO EACH OTHER,SOMEHOW THESE SEEDS BLENDED TOGETHER AND THE RESULT WAS A MELON LIKE FRUIT THAT I COULD NOT RECKONIZE. HAVING SAID THIS, YOUR ARTICLE SAID THAT CANOLA OIL IS FROM A CANOLA SEED. NOW WHAT IS A CANOLA SEED ? THE ARTICLE ALSO SAID IT IS FROM THE RAPE PLANT.APPARENTLY YOU ARE NOT SURE YOURSELF WHAT CANOLA OIL IS ! ONE THING I DO KNOW IS THAT RAPE SEED OIL IS NOT A HEALTHY OIL. I DID NOT TRY TO EAT THE STRANGE MELON LIKE FRUIT AND I CERTAINLY WOULD NOT ASK ANYONE ELSE TO EAT IT !MY QUESTION HERE IS " WHY ARE YOU SUGAR COATING THE POSSIBLE HEALTH ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF CANOLA OIL " ? AND ANOTHER ,DO THE MAKERS OF CANOLA USE HEXANE TO EXTRACT THE OILS FROM WHATEVER TYPE OF SEED YOU WANT TO CALL IT ???

Anonymous

08/09/2012 - 12:32pm

Eating Well, have you ever heard of coconut oil and all the health benefits? It cooks better than canolaQ

Anonymous

08/01/2012 - 11:02am

I have been using canola oil and canola/sunflower blended oil. I'm not sure of the source, maybe China, or whether it has been 'properly refine' to be considered safe. Maybe I should shoot an email to the manufacturer on this.

However, I'm very sure that I avoid palm oil (Elaeis guineensis). I can still recall the result of an experiment conducted by a friend during my university day and somehow the result never see the light of day. I don't think I want to elaborate on this and get myself into trouble as palm oil is a multi billion dollar industry today. So, for those of you who are interested, I'm sure you can replicate the study on in the lab (my friend feeds palm oil to rats), and see what happened to them.

Anonymous

07/31/2012 - 4:02am

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