Canola Oil: Nutrition Value, Health Benefits, Side Effects, Allergies
- Canola oil is a genetically modified oil that is low in unsaturated fats
- It is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other oil except flaxseed
- It has various benefits for your health and hair, but beware of its cons too
Canola oil is present in various foods and other products. Canola oil, made from crushed canola seeds, is a vegetable-based oil. Created from plant crossbreeding, canola is an edible version of a rapeseed plant. Its crops are genetically modified to improve the oil’s quality and tolerance to herbicides. As it is highly refined, people have concerns about whether it poses a risk of health disease. Along with that canola oil have many health benefits.
Canola oil uses are many. From food manufacturing to household cooking, it can be used in various ways. Food manufacturers use canola oil to produce different types of salad dressings. They also produce salad oil with it, which can then be used as cooking oil. As a household staple, you can utilize this oil in the following ways.
- Sauté, stir-fry, grill, bake
- Make sauces, marinades, dressings
- Substitute solid fats like butter
Read on to better understand canola oil benefits and its potential risk of health disease.
Canola Oil Nutrition Value
Canola oil is a popular cooking oil that is often considered a healthy option because of its low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. It is composed mainly of unsaturated fats, including oleic acid (61%), linoleic acid (21%), and alpha-linolenic acid (11%). In addition, canola oil also contains small amounts of sterols (0.53-0.97%) and tocopherols (700-1200 ppm), which are plant compounds that may have health benefits.
One of the key benefits of canola oil is that it is low in saturated fat, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy cells and tissues. Overall, canola oil is a nutritious and versatile cooking oil that can be a healthy choice for those looking to incorporate more unsaturated fats into their diet.Additional Read: Crucial Nutrition Concepts
Canola Oil Benefits for Health
Canola oil is very high in unsaturated fats. Its content of omega 3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is higher than other oil except for flaxseed. This is one of its main benefits as ALA is not produced by your body. ALA is important because it has strong antioxidant properties which help
- Maintain healthy nerve function
- Slow down memory loss disorder progression
- Lower the risk factors of heart disease
Promotes healthy heart
Canola oil is a good source of plant sterols, specifically beta-sterol and campesterol, which have been linked to several heart-healthy benefits. For example, foods with higher levels of sterols help reduce the risk of various heart diseases. In addition, the phytosterols found in canola oil may help inhibit the production and absorption of cholesterol, promoting a healthy heart. Overall, consuming canola oil as part of a balanced diet may help support heart health by providing a source of these beneficial plant compounds.
Helps reduce cholesterol
One of the potential health benefits of canola oil is its ability to help lower cholesterol levels. This is partly due to its high content of plant sterols, which are useful for the absorption of cholesterol in the body, leading to a reduction of up to 10-15%. In addition, canola oil is also rich in mono-unsaturated fats (MUFA), which have been shown to help lower levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol while promoting the production of HDL or "good" cholesterol. Consuming canola oil may help support a healthy lipid profile, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and other conditions related to high cholesterol.
Beneficial in reducing inflammation
Canola oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be beneficial for individuals with certain health conditions. For example, research has shown that consuming canola oil may help reduce joint tenderness and stiffness associated with acute arthritis. In addition, canola oil may also have a protective effect against inflammation related to asthma and bowel disorders, making it a potential anti-inflammatory agent.
It can be used as a moisturizer
Canola oil can be used as a natural moisturizer for skin care due to its high content of vitamins E and K. These nutrients help improve the skin's appearance by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and other blemishes. Vitamin E, in particular, is known for its antioxidant properties, which may help protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals.
To use canola oil as a moisturizer, apply a small amount to clean the dry skin and massage it until it is fully absorbed. This can help to keep the skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated and may also help to increase the healing rate of injuries and slow down the appearance of wrinkles. However, it is important to note that canola oil should be used in moderation and may not be suitable for all skin types, so it is always a good idea to test a small patch of skin.
Boosts energy levels
Canola oil helps boost energy levels due to its low cholesterol content and high levels of antioxidants. These nutrients may help support the body's metabolism, allowing it to function more efficiently and effectively. As a result, the body may not become sluggish, and energy levels may be less likely to be sapped by slow circulation or an overworked cardiovascular system.
It helps reduce cancer risk
The use of canola oil has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer due to its high content of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E. These nutrients work to combat harmful free radicals, which can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. By reducing the number of free radicals in the body, canola oil may help to lower the risk of contracting cancer. Additionally, if an individual is already affected by cancer cells, the antioxidants in canola oil may help to slow down their multiplication and spread, potentially aiding in cancer treatment.
It improves memory and enhances cognitive function
In addition to its potential cancer-fighting properties, canola oil may also positively affect memory and brain function. The antioxidants in canola oil may help to protect the brain from damage caused due to free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Used for haircare
Canola oil may also be used as a natural hair care treatment to address issues such as dryness, breakage, frizz, and split ends. In addition, it helps to improve the quality of tresses and is also effective at reducing dandruff and making hair more manageable. To use canola oil for hair care, apply a small amount to the hair and scalp, massaging it in gently. It may be left on for a few hours or overnight before being washed out with shampoo.
Canola Oil Benefits for Hair and Skin
Canola oil benefits for hair and skin are explained by its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties. The presence of vitamins E, C and K in it also help. With it, you can
- Delay skin aging
- Prevent acne
- Improve the skin texture
- Prevent skin infections
- Moisturize skin and scalp
- Reduce hair fall, split ends, and dandruff
- Promote hair growth
Why Is Canola Oil Harmful for Your Health?
It is made by genetic modification
Canola is genetically modified to increase its tolerance towards pests and herbicides. Despite being termed safe for consumption, there are concerns about its potential harm. People avoid using GMO food because there aren’t enough results on the impact it has on one’s health.
It is a highly refined oil
This oil extraction requires the use of chemicals, high heat, bleaching, and deodorizing. The extensive refining process causes the oil to lose some of its natural benefits like:
- Fatty acids
It has a high number of omega 6 fats
While omega 6 fat is essential for your body, having it in excess has a number of side effects. The ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in this oil is estimated to be 15:1 as opposed to the average healthy ratio of 1:1. This imbalance can result in
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Increased blood pressure
- Blood clots leading to heart attack or stroke
- Excess water in your body
Additional Read: Best Cooking Oil For Health
Canola Oil Risk Factor
Affects your memory
There has been some research that shows a canola-rich diet may have a negative impact on memory .
Increases inflammation and oxidative stress
Animal studies have linked increased inflammation and oxidative stress to canola oil .
Has an impact on heart health
There have been studies that contradict the belief that this oil is a heart-healthy fat . However, there needs to be more research to determine the exact impact of canola oil on heart health.
Despite these studies, there have been no conclusive findings on whether canola oil is good for your health or not. Some studies suggest that it is beneficial while others say that it poses a risk of health disease. Until conclusive studies are brought forward, you may want to be on the safe side and use an oil that has been proven healthy.
Canola Oil Side-Effects and Allergies
Canola oil has been controversial due to the fact that it contains small amounts of mustard gas. This chemical warfare agent is toxic and can cause various health problems, including liver and heart issues. Additionally, the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil found in canola oil has been linked to inflammation and calcification of the arteries, which can increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, the erucic acid present in canola oil has potentially hindered normal growth and development. Overall, it is important to be mindful of the potential negative effects of consuming canola oil and consider alternative cooking and dietary options.
A significant portion of canola oil is made from genetically modified seeds. If you are concerned about consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you must be aware of the products you purchase and consume, including canola oil. While organic and non-GMO canola oil options are available, they may be more expensive.
Blood Thinner Issues
It is important to be aware of the effects of canola oil on blood thinning. While research has shown that consuming canola oil may improve blood cholesterol levels and lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, it can also affect blood thinning. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like canola oil, may prolong bleeding and increase the risk of bruising. If you are scheduled to undergo surgery, it is recommended to avoid consuming canola oil or foods high in omega-3 fatty acids at least two weeks before the procedure or as directed by your doctor. In addition, if you are taking blood-thinning medications, such as Warfarin (Coumadin), it is important to consult your doctor before adding canola oil or other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Allergic reactions to canola oil are uncommon because the oil does not contain protein, which is one of the most common causes of allergic reactions. However, it is still possible to be allergic to canola oil or to develop an intolerance to it. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to canola oil include difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, and gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming canola oil, it is important to seek medical attention. It is also worth noting that canola oil may be present in various products, including processed foods. Hence, it is essential to carefully read ingredient labels if you are trying to avoid canola oil due to an allergy or intolerance.
How To Use Canola Oil
How To Use Canola Oil for Consumption
Canola oil is a popular choice for cooking due to its high smoke point, which is around 468-475°F (200°C). This makes it suitable for cooking at high temperatures without the risk of the oil burning or ruining the food. Some common uses for canola oil include shallow or deep frying, sautéing, stir-frying, and using it in salad dressings and marinades.
Canola oil is a popular choice for shallow or deep frying due to its high smoke point, which is around 468-475°F (200°C). When using canola oil for frying, it is important to heat the oil to the appropriate temperature to ensure that the food cooks evenly and to prevent it from becoming overcooked or burnt. Canola oil is also an ideal choice for deep frying because it has a neutral flavour, which means that it will not alter the taste of the food being fried. Additionally, because canola oil is low in saturated fat, it may be a healthier choice for frying than other oil types. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that deep frying can increase the calorie and fat content of the food, so it should be consumed in moderation.
Sauteeing or stir-frying
Canola oil is suitable for sautéing and stir-frying due to its high smoke point and neutral flavour. When using canola oil for sautéing or stir-frying, it is important to heat the oil to the appropriate temperature to ensure that the food cooks evenly and to prevent it from becoming overcooked or burnt. Canola oil is a good choice for these cooking methods because it has a neutral flavour, which means that it will not alter the food's taste. Additionally, because canola oil has a light, creamy texture, it can easily coat the pan or skillet and does not require a large amount to be used when cooking. This makes it a versatile and convenient choice for a variety of dishes.
Marinades and Salad Dressings
Canola oil can be a useful ingredient in salad dressings and marinades due to its creamy texture and subtle nutty flavour. When used in these preparations, canola oil can add flavour and a creamy texture to the dish. In addition to enhancing the flavour and texture of the dish, canola oil can also help to tenderize meats, making it an ideal choice for marinades. It can be combined with other ingredients, such as vinegar, herbs, and spices, in a salad dressing or marinade to create a flavorful and creamy mixture. Canola oil can also be used as a base for homemade mayonnaise and other condiments. Overall, the versatility of canola oil makes it a useful ingredient in various dishes, including salad dressings and marinades.
Canola oil is a suitable substitute for butter in baked goods, particularly for those looking to reduce their intake of saturated fat. Canola oil has a mild flavour, which means it will not alter the recipe's taste when baking. Additionally, using canola oil in place of butter can help reduce the recipe's calorie content without sacrificing texture or taste. Studies have shown that replacing butter with canola oil in baked goods can effectively lower the amount of saturated fat and calories without negatively impacting the final product.
Canola oil is also a good choice for baking because it has a high smoke point, making it suitable for cooking at high temperatures without burning. Overall, canola oil is a versatile and convenient choice for baking that can help to reduce the amount of saturated fat and calories in the final product.
Another way of staying on top of your health is by going for regular checkups or contacting a doctor to discuss the use of specific cooking oils. You can get your regular checkups done with affordable test packages on Bajaj Finserv Health. When you need an in-person or online doctor consultation, just log in to your Bajaj Finserv Health account and book an appointment in minutes!
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
Download the Bajaj Health App
Stay Up-to-date with Health Trends. Read latest blogs on health and wellness. Know More!
Get the link to download the app