It's long been known that canola oil is one of the healthiest oils available as it has more unique health benefits than many other vegetable oils.
It has the lowest amount of saturated fat (known as a "bad" fat) of all oils and is high in monounsaturated fat – the same fat that makes olive oil so healthy and is also naturally very high in Omega 3, with an Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids ratio of 2:1 - a ratio even better than olive oil.
CANSA recently released health facts to remind us why we should be choosing this great cooking oil:
It won't raise cholesterol
Due to canola oil being free of cholesterol and trans fat, as well as low in saturated fat, it will not raise cholesterol in the body – making it the ideal choice for heart-smart cooking. In fact, it has the lowest amount of saturated fat of all common cooking oils. Canola oil has seven percent saturated fat, compared to 12 percent for sunflower oil, 13 percent for corn oil and 15 percent for olive oil.
Reduces risk of coronary heart disease and strokes
As it is high in monounsaturated fat, studies have shown it may in fact lower "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood and control blood glucose. Furthermore, it contains an Omega 3 fatty acid believed to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes. It is also an excellence source of vitamin E, which is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucous membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Lowers metabolic syndrome risk and reduces belly fat
Researchers behind a new clinical trial also state that other health benefits of canola oil include reducing belly fat and lowering metabolic syndrome risk.
Provides ALA for blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation
Canola oil is higher in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other oil, apart from flaxseed oil. ALA is particularly crucial to have in a diet as the body cannot produce it. Studies concluded that ALA may help protect the heart through its effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.
Ideal choice for Type 2 diabetes
New research also suggests canola oil may be one of the best oils of choice for people with Type 2 diabetes. The research revealed that those who ate bread made from canola oil diet experienced both a reduction in blood glucose levels and significant reduction in the ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL.
Canola oil is also non-allergenic as it contains no proteins.
It has a long shelf-life
Canola oil has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature for around a year (similar to other vegetable oils).
Furthermore, canola oil has the highest smoke point of oils (246 degrees Celsius), making it the ideal choice for deep-frying as it can be heated to a higher temperature. This results in lower oil absorption in the fried foods.
It's local and lekker
CANSA therefore concluded that canola oil is one of the best oil options for heart health, amongst the variety of other health benefits.
In South Africa, canola oil is manufactured by Southern Oil (SOILL), which produces a variety of B-well products containing all of the health benefits. SOILL only makes use of locally-produced canola seed and guarantee the quality.