Canola Oil

Canola was developed through conventional plant breeding from rapeseed, an oil seed plant already used in ancient civilization as a fuel. The word ‘rape’ in rapeseed comes from the Latin word rapum meaning turnip.

Consumption of the oil has become common in  industrialized nations, and it is claimed not only to be completely safe for people to eat, but also to be a health-promoting plant-derived oil having a relatively low amount of saturated fats, a substantial amount of monounsaturated fats, with roughly a 2:1 mono- to poly-unsaturated fats ratio. Health concerns center on the fact that standard production may leave trace amounts of chemical solvent and that non-organic canola may be made from plants that have been genetically modified. It is also used as a source of biodiesel.

Canola oil

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Health Benefits of Canola

A review in 2013 of health effects of this oil came to overall favorable results, including a substantial reduction in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and an increase in tocopherol levels and improved insulin sensitivity, compared with other sources of dietary fat.

Regarding individual components, this oil is low in saturated fat and contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2:1. It is high in monounsaturated fats, which may decrease the risk of heart disease.

This oil has been given a qualified health claim from the United States  Food and Drug Administration for lowering the risk of coronary heart disease resulting from its significant content of cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fats; the allowed claim for food labels states.

Although wild rapeseed oil contains significant amounts of erucic acid, the cultivars used to produce commercial, food-grade this oil were bred to contain less than 2% erucic acid, an amount deemed not significant as a health risk. To date, no health effects have been associated with dietary consumption of erucic acid by humans; but tests of erucic acid metabolism in other species imply that higher levels may be detrimental. This oil produced using genetically modified plants has also not been shown to explicitly produce adverse effects.

The erucic acid content in this oil has been reduced over the years. In western Canada, a reduction occurred from the average content of 0.5% between 1987 and 1996 to a current content of 0.01% from 2008 to 2015. Other reports also show a content lower than 0.1% in Australia and Brazil.

Nutritional Facts of Canola

Type of AcidPercentage of Total
Oleic Acid61%
Linoleic acid21%
Alpha-linolenic acid 11%-9%
Saturated fatty acids7%
Palmitic acid4%
Stearic acid2%
Trans fat0.4%
Erucic acid0.01%<0.1%