Is Canola oil bad for your health?
No, it is not. There is a lot of confusion as to whether canola oil is good or bad for you. Some of this confusion comes from myths about the canola crop.
Some people think canola oil is bad for you because the canola seed is often confused with rapeseed. Rapeseed, however, is not used for human consumption. Canola is not rapeseed; it may look the same, but it is very different on the inside with its own unique biological composition.
Saturated and trans fats:
Excess consumption of both trans and saturated fats can raise the levels of LDL cholesterol (otherwise known as “bad cholesterol”) in the blood. Remember, canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fat of any vegetable oil. Significantly less.
This type of fat is known as a “good fat” because it lowers LDL cholesterol when it replaces saturated fat. and is also essential to your health. This fat contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are “essential” nutrients because your body cannot make them in sufficient amounts.
This is also known as one of the “good fats”. Monounsaturated fat is found in canola and olive oils, as well as in avocado and some nuts. According to Health Canada, replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fat (and polyunsaturated fat, as mentioned above) can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Monounsaturated fat is more stable during cooking than polyunsaturated fat. Canola oil is primarily made up of this type of fat (62%). This is why canola oil is a recommended oil for cooking.
How does canola oil compare to other vegetable oils?
It is first important to remember that the daily inclusion of two to three tablespoons of any liquid vegetable oils that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is recommended by Health Canada, while the consumption of solid fat is recommended to be kept low.
Canola oil vs. Olive oil and soybean oil
Olive oil contains 14% saturated fat and Soybean oil contains 15% saturated fat, while Canola oil only has 7%. Less than half that of soybean oil and half that of olive oil.
Canola oil vs. olive oil
Canola oil and olive oils have a similar composition as they are both high in monounsaturated fat and they are recommended for cooking. Olive oil is a Mediterranean favourite, but it contains significantly more unhealthy saturated fat (14%) than canola oil (7%).
Canola oil vs. corn oil and sunflower oil
Corn and sunflower oils contain more polyunsaturated fat than canola oil, but they also contain higher levels of saturated fat.
Canola oil vs. coconut oil
Lately, coconut oil has garnered a reputation of being the hero of all oils but it’s difficult to understand its popularity. Coconut oil contains over 90% saturated fat, so it’s a mystery why anyone would use coconut oil instead of canola oil!
Canada’s Food Guide recommends limiting solid fat such as coconut oil, and choose oils higher in unsaturated fat such as canola oil.
When we consider the potential health benefits, fat content and versatility, canola oil is an ideal choice for your health…and don’t forget, it’s a Canadian innovation!