Olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, and grape seed oil have held their place in the minds of chefs and home cooks around the world. In recent years, a new contender has emerged: canola oil. But another question rose: is canola oil healthy?
Canola oil has started quite a buzz in the healthy oils debate. It has a light, versatile flavor which makes it ideal for cooking. It also has a high smoking point which makes it great for frying. People enjoy the texture that works well in sauces and dressings. But with any fad comes the controversy: is canola oil healthy? This article will help you sort through the facts.
What Is Canola Oil?
Canola oil has a little known, fascinating history that started in Canada. When the country realized their only source of oils were the ones they were able to import, a team of scientists and botanists got to work. A special flower called the canola flower was specially bred by this team starting with a variety of another flower.
Each seed pod found on this plant contains 20-30 seeds. The team found a way to take the small seeds and extract canola oil from them. The seeds are squeezed to remove the oil. The Canadians also found a way to avoid wasting these empty seeds. The remaining parts of the canola plants and seeds are used in making livestock feed for cows and other large animals.
Where Is Canola Oil Found?
Canola oil is available in your local grocery store with cooking and baking supplies. Usually found near the olive or vegetable oils, canola oil has a distinctive light yellow color.
It is typically packaged in plastic or glass bottles.
The Dangers of Canola Oil
There are some myths that have been since debunked about this oil in the is canola oil healthy controversy. Some critics have claimed that canola oil has dangerous levels of erucic acid which can harm humans.
However, the amount found in canola oil is virtually undetectable and has been approved by the FDA.
Are there Benefits to Using Canola Oil?
There are some benefits to choosing canola oil for your kitchen needs. These benefits are both personal and economic in nature.
1. Low Fat Content
- When looking at other oils used for cooking and eating, canola oil is a competitive option with low levels of saturated and trans fats. How does this help us decide is canola oil healthy? Both of these fats can be harmful when consumed in excess. So, choosing oil that has very small amounts of them can be a healthy choice.
- Canola oil also contains zero cholesterol, which makes it a great option for those trying to lower or monitor their LDL levels. Keeping your cholesterol in check helps decrease your risk for clogged arteries, strokes, and heart attacks.
2. Vitamin Rich
- In addition to these benefits, canola oil also provides a hefty serving of vitamin E, which has many antioxidant properties.
- It also packs an energy punch with its nutrient dense profile. It helps support a healthy metabolism and avoids a carb crash later in the day.
When deciding is canola oil healthy you should consider how you want to use this versatile product. Canola oil can be used for many things ranging from cooking and baking to salad dressings and marinades. You can find great canola oil based recipes if you have already made your decision in the is canola oil healthy discussion.
Canola oil can be used for the following purposes:
- Making homemade dressings;
- Marinating meats and vegetables;
- Making sauces;
- Curing cast iron pots and pans;
- Treating wooden cutting boards.
4. Canadian Economy
Canola oil was a great benefit to Canada when it was developed. At the time, all of Canada’s oils were imported. Developing and producing their own unique oil put them on the map in terms of trade.
It not only provided Canadians with a local option, but it also added to the international food market as alternatives to butter and margarine become more and more popular. Despite those who wonder is canola oil healthy, the product is sold around the world just a few decades later.
In the End
If you are looking for a light and great tasting oil to use for cooking, sauces, or even baking, canola oil deserves your attention. The facts above have been compiled to help you make your own decision as far as the question is canola oil healthy goes. If you ever have any questions or concerns when making changes to your diet, consult your doctor.
Do you use canola oil regularly in your recipes? Let us know how you like to use canola oil in the comment section below. Be sure to link to your favorite recipes so that our community of readers can enjoy them as well.
The images are from depositphotos.com.