Healthy Cooking Oils


Essentials of Canola Cooking Oil


Canola oil is a relatively healthy cooking oil that has been mired in controversy since its release. Its benefits cannot be denied:

  • Canola oil has a high smoke point -- 400° F.

  • Canola oil has a healthy, monounsaturated fat content (59%).

  • Canola oil has a very low saturated fat content (7%). Even Olive oil contains twice as much of this unhealthy fat.

  • Canola oil is relatively high in healthy omega-9 (56%), just short of Avocado, Almond, Olive, Hazelnut and high-oleic Sunflower oil.

  • Canola oil has a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 (almost 1:2).

Despite these traits, skeptics try to discredit it by pointing to Canola oil's association with the rapeseed plant as well as its use as an industrial oil. Canola oil is extracted from specially bred rapeseed plants. Normally, most of rapeseed's monounsaturated fat is erucic acid, which is suspected to be unhealthy. Through special breeding techniques, 99% of this erucic acid has been removed and replaced with Oleic acid (omega-9).

Canola oil, like many other cooking oils, is versatile and can be used for many things including commercial lubricants, cosmetics, fungicides, pesticides, suntan oil and much more. This fact, however, does not detract from canola oil's capabilities in the kitchen.


Fatty Acid Content
Monounsaturated (MUFA):58.9%
Polyunsaturated (PUFA):29.6%
Saturated (SFA):7.1%
Omega-3 (Linolenic; 18:3):9.3%
Omega-6 (Linoleic; 18:2):20.3%
Omega-9 (Oleic; 18:1):56.1%
Palmitic (16:0):4.0%
Palmitoleic (16:1):0.2%
Stearic (18:0):1.8%

Smoke Point:400° F
Shelf Life:Average

Family:Cruciferae (mustard)
Species:rapa, napus


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Copyright © 2003-2007 by Dave McCulloch
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