Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Is canola oil a good choice?

ingles dietitianQuestion: Is canola oil safe and healthy for me to use?

Answer: Yes! I use it myself for cooking and baking. Here are some facts about canola oil:

Fact: “canola” comes from “Canada low oil acid”.

Fact: Canola is an entirely different seed and plant than rapeseed. 

Scientists worked to develop (through traditional breeding methods) using rapeseed an entirely different plant that would produce seeds that could be ground to make an edible oil. 

While rapeseed is used as a lubricant for machines and also as a fuel oil, canola is used around the world as a cooking oil. The difference between the two is actually regulated: “There is an internationally regulated definition of canola that differentiates it from rapeseed, based upon its having less than two percent erucic acid and less than 30 umoles glucosinolates. Oilseed products that do not meet this standard cannot use the trademarked term "Canola."

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Fact: Canola is a member of the brassica family (related to broccoli) and you can actually eat the entire canola plant (I have!) from the blossoms to the leaves. 

Fact: Canola oil has a variety of health benefits.

“A literature search was conducted to examine the effects of canola oil consumption on coronary heart disease, insulin sensitivity, lipid peroxidation, inflammation, energy metabolism, and cancer cell growth. Data reveal substantial reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as well as other positive actions, including increased tocopherol levels and improved insulin sensitivity, compared with consumption of other dietary fat sources. In summary, growing scientific evidence supports the use of canola oil, beyond its beneficial actions on circulating lipid levels, as a health-promoting component of the diet.”



Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian



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