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!


You should read "Canola Oil: Is It Healthy? by Bruce Fife, N.D., which appeared in the November/December 2012 issue of Well Being Journal. It makes a good argument for avoiding canola oil at all costs.


09/02/2015 - 4:08pm

re: re: re: re:


09/01/2015 - 1:57pm

I am 85 years old. I have been using Canola Oil for years and I have no health problems.


08/14/2015 - 6:37pm

It is such an eye opener despite billions spent to research medicine, they failed these past 50 years to say what fat is "healthy". The canola oil I use has a "Heart Healthy" sticker and now must dispute that claim. What I was trained as bad, butter more specifically ghee, is now the best oil of all. Obviously the medical community is to blame.


08/13/2015 - 8:12pm

concentrate on creating the menu, which features curry and teriyaki entre choices. Fakuda is a food


08/09/2015 - 3:07am

That stuff is DISGUSTING and requires so many chemical reactions and heating to extract the "oil" from the seeds. Do not even touch it.


07/31/2015 - 6:54pm

"The truth is there are no sound scientific studies suggesting a link between canola oil and any disease. "



07/16/2015 - 10:11pm

I just would like to know if there is a rice drink without canola oil?


07/10/2015 - 2:28am

Myth: Cooking in Olive oil Diminishes The Nutritional Value of the Food.

Another myth is that cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food. This a misconception. The fact is that heating food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying. We are not aware of any edible cooking oil which by itself diminishes the nutritional value of the food cooked in it. Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them raw. A touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. Such is the Mediterranean diet which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits


06/27/2015 - 10:21am

I went on a diet where I cut out grains and all oil except extra virgin coconut oil, a little butter and extra virgin olive oil only. No fried foods and lots of uncooked veg's. No boxed or processed foods.
I lost 18 lbs in 2 months and feel better than I have in yrs. I am 65 years old.
Somewhere we have lost our way ! We can argue about it, But I have buried for too many from Cancer and Heart disease. Our fast food, over processed and tasty foods are not all healthy. Eat as many
foods in their natural state GMO or not. That means raw food. And drink lost of good filtered water - Don't eat any bleached or boiled foods. All table salt, flour, sugar that is pure white has had the nutrients and minerals bleached out the then vitamins and iodine added back in. We are the toxic generation and that is why we are sick. We clean with toxic chemicals etc. Absorbed into our skin, I use all natural products and they clean better then chemicals, Vinegar, Lemons, Baking Powder, etc. We have to become somewhat radical to prevent early disease and death or 13 pharm. drugs a day. MB.


06/13/2015 - 3:20pm

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