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Canola Nutrition

cooking with canola oilMany consumers are often surprised that an oil could be considered a healthy food. Canola oil is low in saturated fat, and a tablespoon contains only 120 calories.  Also, food cooked in canola oil doesn’t have an “oily” taste.  That is because canola oil is very light.  You will taste your food, not the oil.  Canola oil is preferred by many cooks not only for its light flavor but for the excellent texture it gives to fried, grilled or broiled foods.


Canola Health Claim Research Summary

Why do health professionals continue to promote canola oil as one of the best choices for the diet? The answer is simple – canola oil not only contains optimal levels of polyunsaturated (PUFA), monounsaturated, and saturated fat, but also contains an appreciable amount of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is one of two essential fatty acids (EFAs), with the other being the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA). Much attention, and concern, has been directed toward current dietary intakes of ALA. Our ancestors evolved on a diet that contained approximately equal amounts (1:1 ratio) of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs1.

However, during the past 100-150 years a shift has occurred in the typical “Western diet” resulting in a greater array of omega-6 fatty acids with a concurrent decrease in omega-3 consumption, a situation that is believed to negatively impact health. A great deal of research is thus focusing on the nutritional significance of ALA and omega-3 fatty acids in human health, as well as the importance of a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Canola oil contains both an appreciable amount of ALA as well as an optimal balance of omega-6 to omega-3 EFAs.

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