What is Canola Oil Actually Made From?

What is Canola Oil Actually Made From?

by Rob Hill on November 22, 2020

Canola or rapeseed is a bright, yellow-flowering plant belonging to the Brassica family.  It is grown in large scale open fields and during late spring the fields often have a beautiful yellow glow as they flower.  The Brassica oilseed plants some of the oldest plants cultivated by humanity, with documentation of its use in India 4,000 years ago and use in China and Japan 2,000 years ago.   This family.  Originally from the Mediterranean area and Northern Europe, canola is grown worldwide with Canada, Europe, China and India.

 Over the past 40 years, canola has become one of the most important oilseed crops worldwide. Today, canola oil is the second largest vegetable oil by volume after palm oil with over 50 million metric tonnes produced last year!

Canola oil is characterized by the following:

  • low level (7%) of saturated fatty acids (SFAs)
  • Substantial amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including 61% oleic acid, 21% linoleic acid, and 11% alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • plant sterols (0.53–0.97%)
  • tocopherols (700–1,200 ppm)

All of which have data indicating they are cardioprotective substances. They are good for you!

It is interesting to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the following qualified health claim for canola oil:

Evidence suggests that eating about 1½ tablespoons {19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day U.S. Food and Drug Administration

It is also worth noting which country or region your Canola oil comes from.  In Europe many very harmful pesticides are completely banned – yet several major producing countries still spray their crops very incredibly harmful pesticides.  Always looks for European or British sourced canola oil so you can be assured they have been sprayed with harmful chemicals. 

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