Advertisement

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.)

Download a Free Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

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

Canola oil is not for me. It does not come from the canola plant. It comes from rapeseed.
The word was created: Canada Oil low acid. Where did you get your information?
It was meant for mechanical lubrication.
It can cause emphysema, constipation and other health problems. Check it out on the web.
4 Health Style Facilities in the USA do not advocate the use of Canola Oil.
I prefer olive oil and coconut oil----coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial.
The Canadian government paid $50 million dollars for the right to raise Canola oil.
You can fool some of the people some of the time.

Anonymous

07/23/2012 - 10:51am

funny you can't post here untill you pay ,, but I know Karma very well .. You will all pay in one way or another .. good or bad :)

Anonymous

07/09/2012 - 2:12am

I think as an Eating Well .. you would tell the truth

Anonymous

07/09/2012 - 2:10am

I've discovered that I can replace cream in my coffee with a drop or two of canola oil and then add skim milk. I use the normal canola oil I get in the supermarket. I'm in my mid 70's and probably will die from other causes before any cancer (other people are concerned might result from generic engineering) had time to grow. My partially clogged arteries are a bigger concern for me. However most of the time I drink my coffee black.

Anonymous

07/08/2012 - 7:50pm

It's not the GE that I believe is bad. It is the heavy refining that is necessary to make this oil palatable that damages the fats and makes this terrible. The reason the smoke point on this oil is so high is that all the fats have already been damaged.

Anonymous

07/08/2012 - 12:06pm

As I understand Monsanto's product, RoundUp, it is a systemic herbicide meant to kill anything green that it touches. I use it myself to control weeds on my property, being careful not to spray it on my ornamental plants because it will kill anything with roots! If sprayed on rapeseed plants, the plants will immediately wither and die. Is canola manufactured from dead plants? Otherwise, I don't think we need to be concerned about fresh rapeseed plants having RoundUp on their greenery.

Anonymous

07/05/2012 - 6:34pm

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner