What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is expelled from Canola seed, a yellow flowering plant of the brassica genus, which also contains broccoli, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard in its family. It is an oilseed crop which, in North America, is grown primarily in regions of Western Canada. Each Canola plant produces yellow flowers which, in turn, produce pods; similar in shape to pea pods but about 1/5th their size. Within the pods are tiny round seeds that are crushed to obtain Canola oil. Each seed contains approximately 40 percent oil. The remainder of the seed is processed into Canola meal which is used as high protein livestock feed.

Canola is neither rapeseed nor mustard because of varied nutritional summary. Canola has been conventionally plant bred from rapeseed since 1970s by Canadian plant breeders. The name Canola was adapted in 1978 by Canadian Industry, which was derived from "Canadian Oil, Low Acid".

Not all fat is bad. Containing LOWEST saturated BAD Fats amongst all vegetable oils, Canola Oil has HIGHEST monounsaturated GOOD fats (which are known to reduce Blood Cholesterol levels) and has the best ratio (1:2) of Omega3 : Omega6 essential fatty acids when compared to other edible vegetable oils. Being Cholesterol free, it is a rich source of Vitamin-E and Omega3. Most nutrition experts recognize Canola oil as having the best overall fatty acid ratio. Canola oil has the lowest level of saturated fat (7 percent), is relatively high in monounsaturated fat (61 percent), and has a moderate level of polyunsaturated fat (32 percent.)

Standing as a best bet in essential role for a healthy diet and human nutrition, Canola has been approved with a US FDA heart health claim.

Fat is part of every cell in the body, a valuable source of energy, aids in absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as beta-carotene, keeps body warm and slows digestion so that you feel full for a longer period.

Facts of Fats

Low fat diets are always linked with reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases, cancer diabetes and obesity. In this fighting with fats, an important fact has been lost- "Some fats are needed in the diet, some dietary fats are essential and they must be eaten because our body cannot make them

Fat: building block

Cells are structural and functional unit of life and Fats are structural building blocks of the cells in the form of phospholipids. Phospho-lipid facilitates the passage of nutrient substance such as vitamins and minerals into and out of the cells and also keep fat mixed in body fluid like blood.

Essential fats

Our body cannot produce some fats and hence we have to include those in our diet.α-linolenic acid (ALA) an Omega3, and linoleic acid (LA), an Omega6 are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that play crucial roles in operation of the body cells. Omega3 helps protect against heart attack, stroke, child intelligence, memory power and behaviour. Omega6 is important for proper brain function and essential for the growth and development in infants. But on the other hand, excess of Omega6 leads to obesity and other complications. Canola oil is not only a good source of ALA and LA. But has the desired perfect ratio of 1:2.

Fats for Hormones and cholesterol

Canola oil contains various plant sterols, which are fats found in plants as well as in animals, which assist in lowering blood cholesterol. Human body makes cholesterol that is also a sterol. This cholesterol is used as a building block material by cells and formation of sex hormones and vitamin D.

Fats: flavor carrier

Taste is the primary reason why consumers eat certain foods; fats always affect the flavor for example Stir-fried vegetable, sautéed fish and spinach salad taste better. For instance vegetable oils, margarines and shortenings can add flavor directly to food. And also blend flavor which are soluble in fats such as spices and herbs

Fats: control blood glucose

According to the latest study which shows, people with type-2 diabetes ate diet rich in monounsaturated fats. Diet in which saturated fats were replaced by monounsaturated fats, their blood insulin and glucose remains stable. Thus, monounsaturated rich foods are better option for the patient with type-2 diabetes instead of low-fat diet. Canola oil is major source of monounsaturated fats.

Fat soluble vitamins

Vitamin A, D, E and K- and the carotenoids are fat soluble. Human body absorbs these vitamins when they are soluble in fat. Indeed, adding little fat in cooked food helps in digesting and absorption of carotenoids. Fruit and vegetable contain caretenoids and naturally low in fat. 5 ml of Canola oil in food ensure that carotenoids are digested and absorbed.

Nutritional benefits of Canola oil

Nutritional attributes and health benefits of Canola oil

Canola oil is high in energy; 100 g of oil provides 884 calories, however high ratio of mono unsaturated fatty acid to saturated fatty acids makes it healthy oil for consumption.

The lipid profile in Canola oil is very good. It has saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (SFA: MUFA: PUFA= 8: 61: 31) fats in healthy proportions. Moreover it has very long shelf-life as it is cold-pressed oil.

Presence of low saturated fats linoleic (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) which are essential fatty acids at 2:1 make it one of the healthiest cooking oils.

It contains highest levels of plant sterols, especially β-sitosterol and campesterols. These Phyto-sterols competitively inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut and thereby can reduce cholesterol levels by 10% to 15%.

Monounsaturated fatty acids in Canola oil favor healthy blood lipid profile and prevent coronary artery disease and strokes.

Vitamin E is present in Canola oil as a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, which is essential for controlling the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.

Canola oil is high (61%) in the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid. Oleic acid has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels. Oleic acid does not affect levels of HDL cholesterol.

Benefits of Canola in cooking


It drains more thoroughly than melted shortenings.

Retains natural taste & Nutrition, ideal source of Omega 3 (EFA).


Has a high smoking point

Doesn't solidify in fried foods after while

Canola Oil doesn't transfer food flavor in deep fried foods.


It helps in lowering the saturated fat in your baking by replacing other fats with Canola Oil.

It also bee used in greasing baking pans and sheets, as a healthy ideal substitute to butter & margarine.


Does not solidify and stays free running when refrigerated

Blends perfectly with all salad ingredients

Qualities of Canola oil

Canola, the world's healthiest cooking oil comes from the seeds of the Canola Plant.

Among all the cooking oil, Canola oil has least saturated fat.

With the multiple health benefits like 'Free from Trans fat and cholesterol', 'High in Omega3', Canola oil is the perfect Heart-Healthy choice.

High smoking point, neutral taste and odour, light texture makes it ideal cooking oil for any type of cooking like salads, stir-fry, sautéing, baking, grilling and for any type of cuisine. Indian cooking is best done with Canola oil.

Canola oil is now the 3rd most consumed vegetable oil in the world.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim on its potential to reduce heart disease risk when used in place of saturated fat.

Overall Acceptability of Canola oil based on Sensory Evaluation found to be best even if it was used in half amount in comparison to other oils. It has been lab analysed that consumption of oil deceases by as much as 50% in Indian cooking with Canola Oil despite maintaining the same sensory and taste parameters.

India Canola Oil consumption to rise on increased health awareness

Rising health consciousness may provide increased market share for Canola Oil among edible oils consumed in the country, according to a recent survey of

primary grocery shoppers about their use and attitudes towards cooking oils.

Health is given more importance while selecting cooking oils, rather than taste, says the study which may increase the demand for healthier cooking oils in the country.

As the world's second largest consumer and importer of edible oils,India is an important emerging market for Canadian canola oil. In 2010, Canada exported about 720 tonnes of canola oil to India, but the industry estimates there is an opportunity for as much as 850,000 tonnes - 10 percent of India's current oil imports.

"This shift in cooking methods gives consumers more reason to add heart-healthy canola oil to their pantry as it is ideal for sautéing and pan-frying foods," said Cory McArthur, vice president of market development at the Canola Council of Canada. "Moreover, Indian consumers are becoming more health conscious and canola oil fits their perception of a healthy cooking oil."

"This shift in cooking methods gives consumers more reason to add heart-healthy canola oil to their pantry as it is ideal for sautéing and pan-frying foods," said Cory McArthur, vice president of market development at the Canola Council of Canada. "Moreover, Indian consumers are becoming more health conscious and canola oil fits their perception of a healthy cooking oil."

The survey, conducted in April 2012 by The Nielsen Company among more than 1,900 consumers in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata, showed that sautéing (78%) and pan-frying (71%) have increased in popularity, while boiling (61%) and deep-frying (69%) have decreased.

Since, there is less awareness about canola oil, after a description of its characteristics and benefits was read to survey participants,84% said they were willing to try the product. They liked that canola oil is heart-healthy, free of cholesterol and comes from Canada.

"India has had tremendous growth in a middle class that has the means and health awareness to purchase a product like canola oil, said McArthur. "As the world capitol of diabetes where heart disease is the leading cause of death, India can benefit from the availability of heart-healthy canola oil. When used in place of sources of saturated fat, canola oil can reduce the risk of heart disease."

Canola oil has the least saturated fat of all common edible oils and is a good source of omega-3 fat and vitamin E. Canola oil is also extremely versatile with its neutral flavour, light texture and high heat tolerance.

Culinary use

Besides being used commercially in cooking oil, canola is one of the preferred oil that is used liberally in salad dressings, margarines, shortening, deep frying, baking, spreads, and creamers.

Canola oil features clear light yellow color with neutral flavor. It blends with added herbs and spices and allows the flavor of herbs and spices to dominate.

Here are some serving tips

Traditional Burgundian fondue where in canola is used to deep fry meat, chicken or sea-food and enjoyed with sauces like sour cream mustard sauce, Béarnaise sauce, and hollandaise sauce.

Like peanut oil, canola is also preferred oil used to deep fry turkey.

Canola oil and heart disease

The simplest and most basic way that canola oil contributes to good heart health is by offering people a heart-healthy alternative. By using canola oil as a substitute in recipes that call for cholesterol-raising fats, people can reduce their saturated fat intake. This, in turn, can help to keep cholesterol at a healthy level and reduce the risk of heart disease..

But canola oil can also be a proactively good ingredient for your heart, not simply a replacement for unhealthier ingredients. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued what is called a "qualified health claim" which states that the unsaturated fat in canola oil may help reduce heart disease by lowering both LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol. This claim recommends that people include 1.5 tablespoons of canola oil in their daily food intake.

Furthermore, some studies have shown that the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in canola oil also has health benefits for the heart. It may protect against abnormal heartbeats and help with inflammation and blood clots.

The magazine "Cooking Light" also recommends its readers use canola oil and other healthy vegetable oils.

With canola oil's heart-healthy fat composition and neutral taste, which make it a versatile ingredient, it's easy to see why canola oil now has a place on the kitchen shelves of many American restaurants and households.

Canola Oil: An Award Winner

Canola Oil has also received two awards:

"Product Acceptance Award" by American College of Nutrition

"Health Product of the Year Award" by American Health Foundation.