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Curious about Canola Oil?

7 Aug

 High in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated (“bad”) fat, canola oil offers many benefits for a healthy body and is one of the healthiest of all commonly used cooking oils. But what exactly is canola oil and why should you use it?

Canola oil is a cooking oil made from pressed canola seeds. It is a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that can’t be made by your body. (ALA can also be found in soybeans, flaxseed, walnuts, and wheat germ.) Canola oil is also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. Over the past 20 years, clinical studies have shown that consuming canola oil can help lower cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Misleading information circulating on the Internet has caused confusion over the safety of canola oil. Some claim that the seeds used to make canola oil have poisonous qualities, since they are a hybrid of rapeseeds, which may have negative health effects in high concentrations. A study in China found that cooking at very high temperatures with unrefined rapeseed oil produced harmful emissions. In the United States, however, most vegetable oils are refined, contain antioxidants that help prevent these harmful emissions, and are generally used at lower cooking temperatures. So go ahead and cook with canola — it’s perfectly safe for human consumption and a great addition to a balanced diet.

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