Is Canola Oil Dangerous?


Quick Answer

Canola oil is not only recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, but it contains less saturated fat than any other oil frequently used in the U.S., making it a cholesterol reducing, heart healthy oil, reports WebMD. Canola oil is also high in healthy unsaturated fats.

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Full Answer

Canola oil contains more of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, than any other oil except flaxseed oil. ALA has been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure and cholesterol, protecting the heart and lowering the risk of heart disease. Canola oil, made from rapeseeds, contains 7 percent saturated fat, while sunflower oil has 12 percent, corn oil contains 13 percent and olive oil has 15 percent.

Internet misinformation about canola oil's safety may be attributed to the fact that it is produced by crossbreeding the seed of the canola plant with the rapeseed plant. The high amount of erucic acid found in rapeseed oil is toxic to humans, but canola oil has erucic acid levels that fall safely below the FDA's standards.

Canola oil has a light flavor and a moderately high smoke point, making it a versatile cooking oil. It is ideal for stir-frying, grilling, baking and sautéing over medium-high heat. Canola oil can be used in salad dressings and marinades and substituted for margarine and butter in recipes.

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