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Canola Oil Fact or Fiction: Dietitian discusses common myths

Judith Rodriguez, registered dietitian, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida, recently shared some of the most common myths about canola oil, providing some important facts to help correct several misconceptions. According to Rodriguez, canola oil is one of the healthiest oils and is an important heart-healthy oil to include as part of a balanced diet.

We’ve linked to the article so that you can read through it, but here’s a quick summary:

One of the frequent misconceptions about canola oil is that it contains harmful fats. Canola oil actually has the least amount of saturated fat among the common cooking oils like corn, olive, etc. Since saturated fat in canola oil is such a low percentage of total fat, this means that rest of the fat comes from healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Check out Good Fats 101 for more information about these good fats.

Beyond fats, canola oils also contain plant sterols and are a source of vitamins like E and K that are associated with heart health, so it provides additional health benefits to consumers.

There is also a myth that canola oil can’t be used for cooking and has too strong of a flavor, both of which have proven untrue. Canola oil can be used in nearly any recipe that uses oils – from dressings and marinades, to margarines and shortenings. The light and clean taste doesn’t mask or overshadow the flavors of the existing ingredients so restaurants and food manufacturers can rest assured that the flavor integrity and quality is maintained in their recipes.

When it comes to food preparation, canola oil can be used to bake muffins, fry French fries, pop popcorn, or to sauté vegetables or proteins, again without altering or compromising the flavor profile.

Finally, Rodriquez also spoke to the popular belief that canola oil was developed using GMO’s, which also is one of the most common misconceptions. Canola oil, including Omega-9 canola, is created from plants bred through traditional plant-breeding techniques and without the use of genetic modification.