What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is expelled from Canola seed, a yellow flowering plant of the brassica genus, which also contains broccoli, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard in its family.

Canola is neither rapeseed nor mustard becauseof varied nutritional summary. Canola has been conventionally plant bred from rapeseed since 1970s by Canadian plant breeders. The name Canola was adapted in 1978 by Canadian Industry, which was derived from “Canadian Oil, Low Acid”.

Not all fat is bad. Containing LOWEST saturated BAD Fats amongst all vegetable oils, Canola Oil has HIGHESTmonounsaturated GOOD fats (which are known to reduce Blood Cholesterol levels) and has the best ratio (1:2) of Omega3 : Omega6 essential fatty acidswhen compared to other edible vegetable oils. Being Cholesterol free, it is a rich source of Vitamin-E and Omega3.

Standing as a best bet in essential role for a healthy diet and human nutrition, Canola has been approved with a US FDA heart health claim. Fat is part of every cell in the body, a valuable source of energy, aids in absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as beta-carotene, keeps body warm and slows digestion so that you feel full for a longer period.

Facts of Fats

Low fat diets are always linked with reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases, cancer diabetes and obesity. In this fighting with fats, an important fact has been lost- “Some fats are needed in the diet, some dietary fats are essential and they must be eaten because our body cannot make them”(Ornish et al., 1998).

  1. Fat: building block

Cells are structural and functional unit of life and Fats are structural building blocks of the cells in the form of phospholipids. Phospholipid facilitates the passage of nutrient substance such as vitamins and minerals into and out of the cells and also keep fat mixed in body fluid like blood (Bangham et al., 1965).

  1. Essential fats

Our body cannot produce some fats and hence we have to include those in our diet.α-linolenic acid (ALA) an Omega3, and linoleic acid (LA), an Omega6 are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that play crucial roles in operation of the body cells. Omega3 helps protect against heart attack, stroke, child intelligence, memory power and behaviour. Omega6 is important for proper brain function and essential for the growth and development in infants. But, on the other hand, excess of Omega6 leads to obesity and other complications. Canola oil is not only a good source of ALA and LA. But has the desired perfect ratio of 1:2.

  1. Fats for Hormones and cholesterol

Canola oil contains various plant sterols, which are fats found in plants as well as in animals, which assist in lowering blood cholesterol. Human body makes cholesterol that is also a sterol. This cholesterol is used as a building block material by cells and formation of sex hormones and vitamin D(Krauss et al., 2000).

  1. Fats: flavor carrier

Taste is the primary reason why consumers eat certain foods, fats always affect the flavor. Stir-fried vegetable, souteed fish and spinach salad taste better. For instance vegetable oils, margarines and shortenings can add flavor directly to food. And also blend flavor which are soluble in fats such as spices and herbs.

  1. Fats: control blood glucose

According to the latest study which shows, people with type-2 diabetes ate diet rich in monounsaturated fats. Diet in which saturated fats were replaced by monounsaturated fats, their blood insulin and glucose remains stable. Thus, monounsaturated rich foods are better option for the patient with type-2 diabetes instead of low-fat diet. Canola oil is major source of monounsaturated fats. (Ros, 2003).

  1. Fat soluble vitamins

Vitamin A, D, E and K- and the carotenoids are fat soluble. Human body absorbs these vitamins when they are soluble in fat. Indeed, adding little fat in cooked food helps in digesting and absorption of carotenoids. Fruit and vegetable contain caretenoids and naturally low in fat. 5 ml of Canola oil in food ensure that carotenoids is digested and absorbed (Borel, 2003).

Qualities of Canola oil:

Canola, the world’s healthiest cooking oil comes from the seeds of the Canola Plant.
Among all the cooking oil canola oil has least saturated fat.
With the multiple health benefits like ‘Free from Trans fat and cholesterol‘, ‘high in Omega3’, Canola oil is the perfect Heart-Healthy choice.
High smoking point, neutral taste and odour, light texture makes it ideal cooking oil for any type of cooking like salads, stir-fry, sautéing, baking, grilling and for any type of cuisine. Indian cooking is best done with Canola Oil.
Canola oil is now the 3rd most consumed vegetable oil in the world.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim on its potential to reduce heart disease risk when used in place of saturated fat.
Overall Acceptability of Canola oil based on Sensory Evaluation found to be best even if it was used in half amount in comparison to other oils. It has been lab analysed that consumption of oil deceases by as much as 50% in Indian cooking with Canola Oil despite maintaining the same sensory and taste parameters.
Dr Anoop Mishra, Head-Diabetes Foundation of India and Chairman National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, in a Recent study conducted by DFI and N-DOC proved multiple benefits of consuming Canola Oil:

Decrease in waist circumference
Significant improvement in action of hormone insulin on blood glucose & tissues
Decrease in lipids; significant reduction in triglycerides, and increase in good cholesterol HDL
Liver fat decrease in 57% patients with decrease in liver size, and improvement of liver enzymes levels indicating significantimprovement in liver metabolism.

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