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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

Rapeseed is where canola oil comes from. It isn't vegetable oil, but comes from the seed of a damn weed. Rapeseed was once ban in the US, because of it's toxic properties. I would imagine Monsanto, who makes the most money from their modified rapeseed, are the ones who pay for a phony paper, to be written, and posted on the internet, by a phony scientist, to fill their pockets with cash, much the same as everything else they are involved with.

Anonymous

07/29/2013 - 10:51pm

I really don;t know who to be leave anymore everyone seem to be an expert !!!!!!

Anonymous

08/04/2013 - 12:12pm

IMHO the healthiest option is the most natural one. So I use coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. That is to say, there are plenty of other delicious and healthy options, so I avoid the GE/GMO products as well as I can.

If you have to debate whether its good or bad, its probably bad.

S

Az

Anonymous

08/13/2013 - 1:16pm

What will be will be.

Anonymous

08/16/2013 - 9:31am

Genetically modified rapeseed means Canola oil is GMO.
Before you think this is good for you some research is in order.

There is NO such thing as good GMO's.

Anonymous

08/25/2013 - 3:44pm

All you smart folks scared to identify yourselves

BSPrice

Anonymous

08/31/2013 - 11:27am

The complaints about canola are not over the top. My boyfriend can not eat foods containing canola oil because he feels like he is going crazy and after he quits eating the canola oil cooked foods for a few weeks he feels normal and good. Studies have shown that dogs and other animals go crazy after eating a diet cooked/rich in canola oil-the GMO type of canola oil. So its up to you. Cancer is on the rise, heat attack, and altruism in kids has risen in the United States--what is that all about? Yes healthy organic food is very expensive-what is your option--brain cancer-allergies-diabetes and more? So if are over the top with hysteria-so what----We can eat what we want and so can you. My mom died of brain cancer-I'd like to not die this way!!

Anonymous

09/02/2013 - 6:09pm

No such thing as good GMO? Almost every single plant you consume has been genetically mofified in the same fashion as Canola. The rape seed plant was cross-bred naturally. It was not developed in the lab. Commercially-availble canola is free from the rape-seed toxins thanks to genetic manipulaion. The poster who had the Canadian lab story posted is misinformed. Every dog is genetically modified. Every cow as well. Corn used to be 12 ft high so we naturally genetically modified it to make it easier to harvest with less "chaff". What this anonymous poster does not understand is there MIGHT be a significant difference between natural gene modification and artificial. Natural modification involves breeding while artificial uses laboratory-developed mechanisms to change the DNA. So now, I ask this poster to steer us in the right diecrction by naming the specific studies and clininical trials that indicate the dangers of GMO foods so we might all benefit from his/her expertise in the field.
By the way, this natural is okay belief is simply stupid. The following grow naturally: nightshade, peyote, marijuana, poison ivy, deadly mushrooms; poppy plants, cocaine leaves; need I go on? Finally, organic means a compound that has carbon. It's a misnomer when applied to foods. Nearly everything we eat is organic--even calcium carbonate supplements--one step above an ordinary pebble!

Anonymous

09/02/2013 - 6:52pm

Altruism in kids has risen? Lol

Anonymous

09/06/2013 - 8:23pm

I also choose to use the alternatives. Fortunately I have been a fan of Coconut Oil, grapeseed oil, and now rice bran oil. I mix and change it up using butter. So fed up with foods being allowed and approved by our FDA, which now most consumers do not trust anymore. I was totally in the dark till my daughter in law shared this concern about rapeseed oil.
Suzanne in Roseburg, Or.

Anonymous

09/07/2013 - 1:51am

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