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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From all I have read and research done on this oil it is one to avoid especially for people with Diabetes as it is highly processed and when we use this oil we are not doing our bodies any good with all the toxins from chemicals etc. that interact in our bodies none for the good!
I f you need oil for high heat use Peanut Oil is a good choice and use Olive Oil in recipes that don't call for high heat cooking.


09/08/2012 - 12:11am

My family's farm grows a NON-GMO strand of Canola here in Michigan. We cold press it and sell it. There is no high heat refining process, a process that causes the heart healthy mono/polyunsaturated fats to become trans fats. As far I I know, all of the canola you see on the shelves of your grocery stores is refined in some way, thus destroying the heath benefits associated with canola. Canola, cold-pressed, non GMO (very rare), is loaded with heart-healthy fatty acids, and great to cook with.

I have no agenda here other than helping educate on the subject. I am not linking to our farm's oil, I just want people to be informed about what they are eating.

All the bad things you hear about canola, if true, are related to using the store-bought, refined, GMO strands. Be smart about HOW things are grown and processed, and WHERE they come from. I urge you to do your own research as much as possible. Talk to farmers and buy local.


09/06/2012 - 2:26pm

I am sure Monsanto has a hand in all of these sort of articles...Sometimes it is not how it is grown but how it is processed that makes the product not good for us...And what I have read the process for canola oil is what makes it unhealthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


09/03/2012 - 9:22pm

Canola oil is derived from the Canola plant ( Canola hybridensis). This plant was discovered growing
in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. Its medicinal properties was discovered by the "Putur' tribes who used
the plant as an antidote to remedy most tropical diseases.

The 1949 British Expedition by Sir Harold McMicheal brought a sample of the plant to the Kew Gardens.
In 1967 the plant was commercially planted in Canada. The medicinal properties of the Oil was considered
a 'miracle' by TCM practitioners all over the world. Testimonies of those cured by the oil can be found in
the internet since circa 2001.

TCM Practitioner


08/28/2012 - 9:17am

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


08/28/2012 - 5:41am

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


08/27/2012 - 10:23am

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!!!


08/26/2012 - 9:49pm

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.


08/17/2012 - 9:55pm

Seriously? Did Monsanto fund this?


08/17/2012 - 8:34am

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.



08/17/2012 - 12:09am

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