CANOLA OIL Overview Information
Canola oil is an oil from the canola plant. The canola plant is a type of rapeseed. While rapeseed contains a compound that can be harmful, the canola plant does not contain this chemical in large amounts. Canola oil is commonly used in foods.
Canola oil is most commonly used for preventing heart disease and for lowering cholesterol levels.
How does it work?
Canola oil is used as a source of unsaturated fat in the diet to replace saturated fats.
Possibly Effective for:
- Heart disease. There is some evidence that using canola oil in place of dietary fats with higher amounts of saturated fat might reduce the risk of heart disease. The suggested amount of canola oil is about 20 grams (1.5 tbsp) per day in place of other fats and oils.
- High cholesterol. Replacing other dietary fats with canola oil seems to slightly lower levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol and those at risk for heart disease. Some types of canola oil are modified to contain high amounts of oleic acid or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These types of canola oil might have a greater effect on LDL cholesterol than regular canola oil.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Obesity. Although not all research agrees, most research shows that taking canola oil doesn't greatly reduce body weight. It also doesn't seem to reduce fat.
- Diabetes. Early research shows that including canola oil as part of a low glycemic load diet helps to control blood sugar better than a whole-grain diet in people with diabetes who are already taking antidiabetes drugs. Other early research shows that taking canola oil reduces levels of LDL cholesterol in middle-aged women with diabetes. But it does not work as well as rice bran oil.
- Inherited tendency towards high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Early research shows that using canola oil as the only source of fat as part of a low-fat diet helps to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in children with inherited high cholesterol. But using sunflower oil as the only source of dietary fat seems to work just as well.
- High blood pressure. Early research shows that using canola oil that contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps lower blood pressure in people with large waists and risk factors for heart disease. But it seems that it is the DHA in the canola oil is what causes this improvement. Using canola oil without DHA does not seem to lower blood pressure.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Early research shows that using canola oil instead of butter helps lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in men with metabolic syndrome. But using canola oil doesn't seem to lower blood pressure, triglycerides, or blood sugar. It also doesn't seem to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
- Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Early research shows that cooking with canola oil may help reduce the severity of NAFLD compared to cooking with soybean/safflower oil.
- Other conditions.
CANOLA OIL Side Effects & Safety
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Canola oil is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if canola oil is safe to use as a medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Children: Canola oil is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if canola oil is safe to use as a medicine.
CANOLA OIL Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For heart disease: For reducing the risk of heart disease, using about 20 grams (1.5 tbsp) of canola oil per day in place of other fats and oils with higher amounts of saturated fat might help.
- For high cholesterol: Replacing other edible fats and oils with canola oil daily for 4 weeks has been used. In some cases, a diet is prepared to provide up to 60 grams of canola oil per 3000 kcal of energy. In other cases, a diet is prepared to provide canola oil as 70% of total fat. Cheese providing 11 grams of canola oil in place of milk fat daily for 4 weeks has also been used.