What is Canola oil?

Canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of the canola plant, which is a member of the Brassica family that includes broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It was developed in Canada through traditional plant breeding to remove two undesirable components (erucic acid and glucosinolates) found in rapeseed to create better oil for humans and healthier meal for animals. To acknowledge these differences, the new plant earned a new name, canola – a contraction of “Canadian” and “ola” meaning “oil.”

 

While their plants look similar, canola (with less than 2% erucic acid and about 7 mmol of glucosinolates) and rapeseed (containing about 40% erucic acid and 120-150 mmol of glucosinolates) are very different. In fact, there is an international standard for canola that differentiates it from rapeseed based upon it having less than 2% erucic acid and less than 30 mmol of glucosinolates.

"It is one of the healthiest, most versatile and best values for quality of all oils in the marketplace."

 

Features:
  • Ideal fat profile

  • High heat tolerance

  • Neutral taste

  • Light texture and color

  • Versatile in about any culinary application – salad dressings, sauces and marinades, baking, sautéing and deep-frying

 

Health Benefits:

Not all fat are created equally. In fact type of fat matters as much, if not more, than the amount.

 

Canola oil is lauded for:

  • High in mono-unsaturated fat (~61%)

  • The least saturated fat (~7%) – about half that of olive, sunflower, soybean and peanut oil

  • The most plant-based Omega-3 fat (~11%) of all common cooking oils

  • Good source of vitamins E and K

  • No trans fat

  • No cholesterol

 

Low saturated fat content is important in cooking oils because this type of fat is linked to increased risk of heart disease by increasing “bad” LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol.

 

Trans fat is even worse because it does the same while also reducing “good” HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol.

 

Healthy monounsaturated fat lowers LDL cholesterol and helps control blood sugar. Polyunsaturated fats Omega-3 (11%) and Omega-6 (21%) found in canola oil are considered “essential” because the body cannot make them on its own.

 

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.

 

Effects of Reducing Chronic Diseases

Heart disease and Diabetes are common chronic diseases faced by almost every country

Examples of studies:

 

A clinical study conducted in India, published in the April 2014 Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, showed that incorporating canola oil into the diet could help reduce the risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome (a group of five risk factors characterized by increased belly fat, low “good” HDL cholesterol and above average blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides).

 

US and Canadian research has shown similar effects with canola oil consumption. Research published in June 2014 in Diabetes Care noted that canola oil could help control blood sugar in people with type-II diabetes when included in a low-glycemic index diet.

 

In March 2013, research presented at an American Heart Association meeting showed that canola oil can lower belly fat when used in place of selected oil blends in a heart-healthy diet for weight maintenance among adults at risk for metabolic syndrome.

 

Studies conducted over the past 25 years about the health effects of canola oil, analyzed in the June 2013 Nutrition Reviews, confirm canola oil reduces the risk of heart disease and suggest that it may also protect against other chronic diseases.

 

Culinary Assets

Canola oil is very stable because it does not break down at high temperatures, so it’s ideal for sautéing, deep-frying and other high- heat cooking methods.

 

  • High smoke point – the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke and degrade – is one of the highest of all cooking oils at 242 °C. That’s well above optimal deep-frying temperatures (185-190 °C) and much higher than both refined and extra virgin olive oils (220 °C and 166 °C, respectively).

 

  • Neutral flavour, light texture & colour – allow the oil to blend beautifully in all cuisines and culinary applications.

 

  • Free flowing - Low saturated fat content, canola oil remains free-flowing in vinaigrettes, dressings and marinades in the refrigerator.

Reference:

1. FnBNews - Fat profile of canola oil, India’s new & healthy kitchen staple, ideal

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