Canola Oil benefit, information
June 24 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The word "canola" is derived from "Canadian oil, low acid." Canola oil began to be marketed in the 1980s as a vegetable oil for use in salads and for cooking. Canola oil contains about 55 % of the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid, 25% linoleic acid, and 10% alpha-linolenate [polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)], and only 4% saturated fatty acids. Canola oil is expressed from a cultivar of rapeseed that was selectively bred to be very low in erucic acid -- a fatty acid suspected to have pathogenic (causing harm to the body) potential in diets high in the original rapeseed oil in experimental animals.

Canola Oil benefit
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration say that canola oil is eligible to bear a qualified health claim on its ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) due to its unsaturated fat content. The claim, which canola oil bottlers and makers of eligible products* may use on labels, states: Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains [x] grams of canola oil.

Nutr Reviews. 2013. Evidence of health benefits of canola oil. Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Departments of Food Science and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Canola oil-based diets have been shown to reduce plasma cholesterol levels in comparison with diets containing higher levels of saturated fatty acids. Consumption of canola oil also influences biological functions that affect various other biomarkers of disease risk. Previous reviews have focused on the health effects of individual components of canola oil. Here, the objective is to address the health effects of intact canola oil, as this has immediate practical implications for consumers, nutritionists, and others deciding which oil to consume or recommend. A literature search was conducted to examine the effects of canola oil consumption on coronary heart disease, insulin sensitivity, lipid peroxidation, inflammation, energy metabolism, and cancer cell growth. Data reveal substantial reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as well as other positive actions, including increased tocopherol levels and improved insulin sensitivity, compared with consumption of other dietary fat sources. In summary, growing scientific evidence supports the use of canola oil, beyond its beneficial actions on circulating lipid levels, as a health-promoting component of the diet.

Q. I love mayonnaise. I have read that soybean oil is bad and that canola oil is better. (Mayonnaise made with only olive oil does not taste good to me.). How about omega 3 and omega 6? And methods of extraction? Should I just do without mayonnaise altogether?
   A. Small amounts of mayonnaise intake is fine as long as there is enough omega-3 oil intake in the diet.