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High Oleic Oils Like Canola May Help to Reduce Stored Fat in Belly and Improve Public Health

obesity week 2016

“A research result released at the Obesity Week 2016 on 2nd November, 2016 suggests including canola oil or high oleic canola oil in healthy diet can help decrease abdominal fat in as little as four weeks, which may improve metabolic syndrome (1).”

Abdominal obesity

What are Abdominal Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS)?

Abdominal obesity, also known as central obesity, is when excessive abdominal fat around the stomach and abdomen has built up to the extent that it is likely to have a negative impact on health. It is associated with a statistically higher risk of heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type-II diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a group of at least 3 of 5 medical conditions, in which abdominal obesity is the main signs:

  • Abdominal (central) obesity (Central adiposity)

  • Elevated blood pressure (Hypertension)

  • Elevated fasting plasma glucose (Hyperglycaemia)

  • High serum triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)

  • Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels

MetS is a serious long-term health problem, and it is highly related to many other chronic diseases, particularly coronary heat disease and other cardiovascular disease (CVD), Stroke, and type-II diabetes (2,3).

People affected by diseases such as type-II diabetes (4), coronary heart disease, lipodystrophy (abnormal fat tissue) and psychiatric illnesses have higher risk of getting MetS. Yes, you can see diabetes and heart disease are both the causes and the results of MetS, it means once you have got one of these diseases, you are likely to have the others.

But for general public, the major causes are sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise), stress and aging. These causes are very common, in addition the lifestyle changes have lead the population to obesity. Actually there is 43% of adult population in United States having MetS.

Metabolic Syndrome – Global Public Health Crisis

For China, the world’s largest developing country is also experiencing an epidemic of MetS (5). Just in Beijing, MetS is affecting 27.9% adult population (aged 18-69, Men 27.8%, Women 28%) (6) and it is expected to keep rising if no actions are taken.

1 in 4 HK adults has metabolic syndrome

(Graph from

In Hong Kong, a study in 2015 shown 1 in 4 (28.8%) adults has metabolic syndrome, compare to less than 1 in 10 (9.6%) in 1990 (7).

Scientific reviews suggested the high prevalence of MetS in global population indicating serious public health crisis. Researchers urged that more attention should be paid to the prevention and control of MetS (8).

Research Shown the Importance of Healthy Oil (Summary of related articles 9,10)

“These result are likely due to the monounsaturated or ‘good’ fat that make up a large part of canola and high-oleic canola oil,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State University, who oversaw the study.​

She also pointed out this result complies to the growing number of scientific evidence showing that monounsaturated fat decrease abdominal fat and improve markers of cardiovascular health. There are also beneficial effects on body composition, especially in people with obesity.

In fact, there is strong correlation between visceral or abdominal fat and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and even diabetes.

While monounsaturated fats in canola oil decrease this fat that bring bad impacts to our body.

The research tested the effects of five different oil blends in 101 participants’ diets. All participants had abdominal obesity, or increased waist circumference, and were either at risk for or had metabolic syndrome. They were fed with controlled diets for five 4-weeks periods in random order. There was a 2-4 week breaks between each period. As part of the caloric-controlled diet, each participant had two cups of formulated smoothies that contain specified treatment oil, in volume that based on their energy needs.

The five kinds of oil tested are:

  1. Conventional canola

  2. High-oleic acid canola

  3. High-oleic acid canola with DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid)

  4. Corn/Safflower

  5. Flax/Safflower

“As a general rule, you can’t target weight loss to specific body regions, but monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specifically target abdominal fat.”

In order to incorporate canola oil into the diet, Kris-Etherton suggests using it when sautéing foods, in baking, adding it to smoothies, and in salad dressings.

The researchers point out that further studies should be conducted to look at the long-term effects of a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, like canola oil.

This study shown how a healthy oil, particularly high monounsaturated oils can help with our health, and probably help us prevent MetS and others related diseases.

What does Enjoi Do?

Enjoi is dedicated to improve public health, and that is why Enjoi encourages changing to High Oleic Sunflower oil (even better than High Oleic Canola oil) and Extra Virgin Olive oil, which are all high in Oleic acid – the healthiest, Omega-9, monounsaturated fatty acid.


  1. “Effects of Canola and High-Oleic-Acid Canola Oils on Abdominal Fat Mass in Individuals with Central Obesity”, Obesity (2016).

  2. “A comprehensive review on metabolic syndrome”. Cardiology Research and Practice (2014).

  3. Felizola SJA (2015). “Ursolic acid in experimental models and human subjects: potential as an anti-obesity/overweight treatment?”

  4. "Hypoadiponectinemia: a risk factor for metabolic syndrome". Acta Medica Indonesiana (2009).

  5. “The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a 11 provinces cohort in China” Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi (2002).

  6. “Prevalence and characteristics of the metabolic syndrome among adults in Beijing, China” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr (2010).

  7. "Poor diet blamed for rise in metabolic condition" SCMP 28, May 2015.

  8. “Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in mainland china: a meta-analysis of published studies” BMC Public Health (2016).

  9. “Research Suggests Canola Oil May Help Reduce Belly Fat and Improve Metabolic Syndrome Faced by Nearly Half of U.S. Adults” PR Newswire

  10. “Trimming the spare tire: Canola oil may cut belly fat” Penn State University.

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