For heart health, WebMD recommends cooking with canola oil because it contains few saturated fats and a large amount of healthy unsaturated fats. Studies have shown that alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in canola oil, helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation. Alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA, is not produced by the body but is helpful for brain health and development.
Canola oil is versatile with a light flavor and high smoke point. WebMD recommends using it to saute, stir-fry, grill and bake as well as coat pans, replace butter and be used in dressing and sauces. The FDA has also granted canola oil manufacturers permission to imply that substituting saturated fats with canola oil can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
However, there are some concerns about the toxicity of canola oil. Both WebMD and Mayo Clinic dismiss these worries, which are founded mostly on the canola plant's relation to rapeseed. Rapeseed oil contains large amounts of erucic acid, which is toxic to humans in large substances and can result in blindness. However, the canola plant has been deemed safe for consumption by the FDA, and canola oil has very low levels of erucic acid.