There are two main types of rapeseed oil: industrial and culinary. Industrial rapeseed oil is used in the automotive and chemical industries. The culinary version, also known as canola oil, is used for cooking.
Is Rapeseed Oil Healthy?
Rapeseed oil is widely used around the world. It’s famous for its affordability and versatility as a cooking oil and is commonly found in salad dressings, fried foods, and baked goods.
Rapeseed oil is naturally low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, which is excellent for your health.
It’s a great source of vitamin E — a strong antioxidant that supports eye and skin health.
Rapeseed oil is also a great source of an omega-3 fat known as alpha-linolenic acid, which provides numerous heart health benefits like lower blood pressure and a decreased likelihood of heart attack.
Rapeseed oil is also high in omega-6 fats, which support overall health. However, too much omega-6 can lead to inflammation in the body. Fortunately, rapeseed oil has a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats at a 1:2 ratio, which experts believe is ideal.
Benefits of Rapeseed Oil
Versatile. You can use it for roasting, frying, deep-fat frying, baking, marinades, dipping, drizzling, and sauces.
High cooking temperature. Rapeseed oil has a high smoke point, which means it won't burn until about 400 degrees F. That makes it a good choice for frying mushrooms or roasting vegetables.
Low saturated fat . It has the lowest amount of saturated fat out of all the oils, making it a healthy option.
Vitamin E . Using rapeseed oil in cooking is a good way to get vitamin E in your diet.
Mild flavor. Because rapeseed oil is almost flavorless, you can use it in a variety of dishes. It works great in salad dressings, dips, baking, pan-frying, and deep-frying. You can serve it at room temperature or cook with it.
Affordable. You may be able to buy rapeseed oil for less than half the price of olive oil.
Possible Downsides of Rapeseed Oil
Genetically modified. Most rapeseed oil sold in grocery stores is genetically modified. Growers genetically modify plants to produce higher yields and a more affordable product.
There are some concerns about genetically modified foods and their effect on allergies, antibiotic resistance, and cancer. However, most research suggests that genetically modified products are generally safe.
If you want to avoid genetically modified foods, buy rapeseed oil that’s certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or labeled as GMO-free.
Highly processed. Rapeseed oil is heavily processed. A chemical solvent known as hexane is added to “clean” the oil. Then, a water filtration process removes free fatty acids, gums, and unappealing colors. While this is considered a safe process, it leads to lower contents of vitamin E and fatty acids, which may affect the oil’s health benefits.