It is common to hear the health benefits of olive oil, but we don’t hear as much about our locally produced canola oil. According to the Canola Council, favorable results were recently released at the American Heart Association’s 2013 Scientific Session in New Orleans. Canola and high-oleic canola oils can lower abdominal fat when used in place of other selected oil blends in a heart-healthy diet for weight maintenance. “The study of American and Canadian adults at risk for metabolic syndrome shows that consuming certain vegetable oils may be a simple way of reducing their risk of this medical condition, which affects about one in three U.S. adults and one in five Canadian adults,” reports the Canola Council. It is apparently the monounsaturated fat that is responsible for the benefits. Like olive oil, it is very low in saturated fats. It contains linoleic (omega-6) and α-linolenic acid (omega-3) essential fatty acids at 2:1. This makes it one of the healthiest cooking oils at a ratio even better than olive oil. It is also high in plant sterols and the anti-oxidant vitamin E. The study was led by the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
“Reducing abdominal fat is one way that dietary MUFA may decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors,” says Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., professor of nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University.