Canola Oil Benefits and Dangers

What is Canola oil? Canola is not a natural plant; it is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada (that is how it got its name Canola “Canada” and “oil”) from crossbreeding several types of rape plants. The result was canola, a yellow flowering plant; pressing the flower’s tiny seeds yields canola oil.

The rape plant is part of the mustard family, along with turnips, cabbage, watercress, horseradish, and radish.

Canola Oil Characteristic: Canola oil has a light flavor and smooth texture and it has a high heat tolerance.

canola plant flower
canola plant flower / image source:en.wikipedia.org

Canola Uses: Canola oil works well in salad dressings, sauces and marinades, and it also provides a good base for sautéing, grilling or stir-frying meat and vegetables. For bakers, canola fulfills dual purposes, as both a substitute for solid fats, such as butter, and as an effective non-stick agent for pans.

Canola Oil Benefits:

  • Manufacturer said that Canola oil is among the healthiest of cooking oils. It has the lowest saturated fat content of any oil commonly consumed, at just 7%. By comparison, sunflower oil has 12% saturated fat, corn oil has 13%, and olive oil has 15%.
  • Canola oil is an excellent source of the omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, and it is higher in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other oil commonly used. These fats are particularly important in the diet because the human body can’t produce them. Omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) has beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation.

Canola Oil Dangers:

  • Canola plant contains a high percentage of erucic acid, a toxic fatty acids. According to studies this substance can lead to ailments ranging from respiratory problems to blindness in humans.  But according to canola oil manufacturers these levels have been reduced significantly through the process of cross-breeding, which replaces the erucic acid with oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat); but even after the processing to reduce or as they said replace the erucic acid content, it is still a penetrating oil. Because of this some health organizations do not recommend use of canola oil in infant formula largely because of concerns over possible accumulation of triglyceride in heart as a result of the small amounts of erucic acid.

Testimonial that Canola oil may be harmful for human:

  • A friend, who worked for only 9 mo. as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems.