Source: CanolaInfo | Story Posted: January 01, 2011 | Category: Health & Nutrition

Nutrition and Health Questions about Canola Oil

Q: What is the nutritional content of canola oil?

A: For 2 teaspoons (10 mL) refined canola oil
    •    80
    •    9 g fat
    •    0.5 g saturated fatty acids
    •    6.0 g monounsaturated fatty acids
    •    1.5g linoleic fatty acid (omega-6)
    •    0.7 g alpha-linolenic fatty acid (omega-3)
Q: What vitamins can be found in canola oil?
A: Fats and oils like canola aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Canola oil also contains vitamin E (1.9 mg in conventionally processed canola) and K (115-220 ug per 100g). Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting.
Q: What are the other nutritional benefits of canola?
A: Canola is recognized for its nutritional attributes as it contains the lowest level of saturated fatty acids of any vegetable oil. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and has moderate amounts of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. Like all vegetable oils, canola oil is cholesterol-free. Canola oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart-disease and may also help to control blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Q: What is the difference between alpha-linolenic fatty acids and linoleic fatty acids?
A: Linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids are both polyunsaturated fatty acids. A polyunsaturated fatty acid carbon chain contains two or more carbon to carbon double bonds. If the double bond starts after the third carbon it is classified as an omega-3 fatty acid; if it starts after the sixth carbon, it is an omega-6 fatty acid.

Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid while linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. They are called essential fatty acids because they cannot be made in the body and must be obtained in the diet.

Q: Is canola oil gluten-free?
A: Canola oil does not contain gluten and therefore allowed in a celiac or gluten free diet. Gluten is one type of protein that occurs especially in wheat, rye, triticale, barley, and must be avoided completely by persons with Celiac disease.