Living a healthy lifestyle never goes out of style. While it may be emphasized at key moments throughout the year, like New Year’s, the fact is it should always be top of mind. And, if you happen to be among the 11.7 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes1, or the 2.6 million Canadians living with diagnosed heart disease2, making small changes to your diet can make a significant difference in improving your health.
Let’s take a look at how canola oil can help you achieve a better health outcome.
Healthy, right from the start
The many health benefits of canola oil didn’t come by mistake. In fact, canola was developed specifically to give Canadians a healthier, sustainable, versatile cooking oil. Researchers used traditional plant breeding methods to lower the amount of nutritionally undesirable erucic acid and boosted more-desirable attributes, such as omega-3 fat, to create the canola plant we know and love today.
Reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes
Did you know that canola oil contains no trans-fat and has the lowest amount of saturated fat among all common cooking oils3? It does! And here’s a few reasons why it’s important to remember.
- Canada’s Food Guide recommends replacing foods that have high amounts of saturated fat with foods that have more healthy fats, such as canola oil, to help lower the risk of heart disease4, the second-leading cause of death in Canada.
- Clinical practice guidelines from Diabetes Canada also recommend that, when consuming fats, people with diabetes should choose those that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated or trans fats.5
High in omega-3 fats
In addition to being low in saturated fat, canola oil contains an excellent balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – healthy fats – that provide energy and help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D.
Canola oil is also higher in plant-based omega-3 fats than any other oil, except flaxseed, and it is also a source of omega-6 fats. When used instead of saturated fats, these ‘good fats’ help reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
Here are a few suggestions for how you can add this affordable, heat-tolerant, and neutral-tasting oil into your weekly meal planning.
- Salad dressings and vinaigrettes: Canola oil is light in colour, texture, and taste, allowing the flavours of other ingredients to shine through and contains about half the saturated fat of olive, soybean, corn, and sunflower oils. Learn how you can make your own salad dressings, just the way you like them.
- Baking: Canola oil’s neutral flavour makes it an excellent choice for baking. Replacing solid fats like butter and lard with canola oil reduces the amount of saturated fat in the recipe. It also blends easily with other ingredients with no softening or melting required and gives baked goods a soft, moist texture.
- Frying, sautéing, roasting and grilling: Canola’s high heat tolerance of up to 242ᵒC (468ᵒF) means it can be used safely for high-heat baking, roasting, and frying.
- Vegetable oil replacement: Vegetable oil is a common label name for plant-based oils such as soybean, sunflower, and canola oil. While you never quite know what you’re getting when you pick up a bottle of vegetable oil, you can be sure that when you use Canadian canola oil, it’s always 100% pure.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, be confident when reaching for a bottle of canola oil. At just pennies per serving, it’s half the cost of olive oil, twice as versatile in the kitchen, and a sustainable, healthy choice. Check out our delicious recipes and ideas on how to incorporate Canada’s oil into your diet.
- Diabetes Canada. Diabetes rates continue to climb in Canada. www.diabetes.ca
- Government of Canada. Heart Disease in Canada. www.canada.ca
- Canola Council of Canada. Canola Oil. www.canolacouncil.org
- Government of Canada. Canada’s food guide: Choose foods with healthy fats. food-guide.canada.ca
- Diabetes Care Community. Benefits of canola oil. www.diabetescarecommunity.ca