Canola oil has had a horrible reputation since the mid-1900s; many to this day condemn it as a genetically modified plant. It was originally a vegetable oil produced from crushed rapeseeds. This vegetable oil contained an enormous amount of erucic acid which is toxic to humans. So in the 1960s a group of Canadian agriculturalists used traditional plant breeding (not genetic modification) to modify the plant and got rid of its debilitating properties. This led to the vegetable oil being renamed as Canola or “Canada oil, low acid”.
The canola oil is perfect in any diet, providing numerous health benefits and incredibly low in saturated fats. It also provides a high amount of unsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. The oil is widely regarded as one of the healthiest cooking oils it may even contest olive oil.
- Canola Oil (1 tbsp): 124 calories, 14 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of protein.
- Olive Oil (1 tbsp): 119 calories, 13.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 0 grams of protein.
Canola oil has high-calorie content due to having better fats. This has been found to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). Recent studies of the oil have shown that its alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content helps lower the chance of cardiovascular disease and inflammation.
Even now the canola oil still has erucic acid (less than 2%, way below the FDA standards), causing some people to completely avoid it believing that the acid will cause negative side effects. Research has not found evidence of any harmful effects on humans. As always please consult your nutritionist or physician before any drastic changes in your diet. There is no real reason to avoid adding in oil into your diet it can be used in a myriad of ways:
- Cooking oil for stir-frying, baking, etc.
- Salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.
- Coating on pans for nonstick baking.
- Replacing solid fats in certain recipes.