Canadian scientists in 2014 found consuming canola oil was equivalent to taking 20mg of statins for controlling cholesterol levels.
In this randomized controlled study, they fed 141 people (who were also type 2 diabetic) a loaf of bread high in canola oil (31 grams of oil per 2,000 calories) every day, as well as a control group which they fed regular whole wheat bread instead. They found that a diet high in canola oil could lower levels of “bad” cholesterol as much as 20mg of statins and could reduce someone’s risk of heart attack or stroke by as much as seven percent. They were also able to measure significantly reduced blood sugar levels.
Canola oil is also known as rapeseed oil. Rapeseed is related to mustard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and turnip. Rapeseed plants grow from three to five feet tall and have yellow flowers with four petals. You can see them being grown in the mid-west (especially the Canadian Midwest) and you’ll notice them by the “sea” of beautiful yellow flowers late in the summer.
Canola or rapeseed oil is a common cooking oil that is used widely around the world because of it’s affordability and its versatility at high heat. It is an oil that is high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. Canola oil is also an excellent source of an omega-3 fat (also known as alpha-linolenic acid), which confers numerous heart health benefits like lower blood pressure and a decreased likelihood of heart attack. High in omega-6 fats, canola oil has a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats at a 1:2 ratio in rapeseed oil, which experts believe is ideal.
However, it’s important to note that at high temperatures, such as during frying, oxidation of fatty acids, both free and in triglycerides, produces very small amounts of dozens of new compounds called aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols. Therefore, using canola oil for frying would negate the positives of the oil. In truth, you should avoid frying food whenever possible anyway.
If you need to reduce your cholesterol, consider canola oil as an option when you need oil for cooking.