Canola oil is produced from rapeseeds and is produced mostly in Canada and the United States. The good is good raw as a salad dressing or poured over lightly steamed vegetables. It tastes delicious mixed with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. The health benefits of canola oil include heart health, free radical protection and protection from inflammation. The health benefits of canola oil are similar to those of olive oil because their nutritional make-up is similar. However, canola oil lacks the anti-oxidant polyphenols that olive oil is rich in. Canola oil is relatively stable in heat, making it a good cooking oil.
Canola Oil Nutrition
The health benefits of canola are related to its nutritional content. Canola oil contains one of the most concentrated sources of monounsaturated fat with one tablespoon offering 14g of fat in total. Olive oil is an excellent source of vitamin E (12% of the daily value in one tablespoon).
Canola Oil for Heart Health
Oleic acid, the monounsaturated fat found in canola oil, has applications in heart health. The Mediterranean diet, which is typically rich in these fats, has been associated with a lower incidence of heart disease. Monounsaturated fat helps to lower blood cholesterol levels when it replaces saturated animal fats.
Canola Oil for Free Radical Protection
Monounsaturated fat helps form part of cell membranes, which protect the cell’s DNA from cellular damage caused by free radicals. In addition, canola oil contains vitamin E, which protects cell membranes and therefore cellular DNA.
Canola Oil for Inflammation Protection
Inflammation has been shown to be associated with many modern illnesses, including obesity, cancer and heart disease. Monounsaturated fat and vitamin E all contribute to canola oils anti-inflammatory benefits.
Canola oil is produced from rapeseeds, which contain highly toxic compounds. Manufacturers of canola oil claim that canola contains very low toxicity levels and is safe for human consumption; however, there are some schools of thought that believe canola isn’t a safe oil. Most canola oil on the market is also genetically modified.
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