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 kcal
• 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 oil 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: Is canola oil considered a healthy fat?
A: Yes, canola oil is a source of healthy fats. Canola oil is high in unsaturated fats and has the lowest amount of saturated fat among the common cooking oils. It contains high amounts of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat; and alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid. Canola oil is eligible to carry a qualified health claim* from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used in place of saturated fat in the diet.
Recommendations from health authorities in the US and Canada, including the Dietary Recommendations for Americans1, the American Heart Association2 and Canada’s Food Guide3 all recommend replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat.
Q: What is the difference between linolenic and alpha-linoleic fatty acids?
A: Linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids are both polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are considered essential for humans and must be consumed in the diet because our bodies cannot make them. A polyunsaturated fatty acid contains two or more carbon to carbon double bonds. Canola oil contains both linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid.
*Limited and not conclusive scientific 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. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
- Sacks FM, Lichtenstein AH, Wu JHY, et al. Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease. A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017:136;e1-e23. Available at https://ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510
- Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide. January 2019. Available at https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/