Canola oil nutrition facts prove that canola oil is beneficial for our health. Canola oil is extracted from canola plant, a variety of rapeseed with a low content of glucosinolates and erucic acid. The level of erucic acid in present canola plants is recognized as safe and the oil can be used for consumption. What does canola oil provide us with?
Physical characteristics of canola oil
Canola oil has a light yellow color and neutral taste. Depending on the method of extraction its taste and odor are a bit different. Cold-pressed canola oil is extracted mechanically so its odor and taste are more pronounced. Refined canola oil extracted with the help of hexane is more neutral. The density of canola oil as Wikipedia states is 0.92 g/ml.
Canola oil smoke point is medium-high. It smokes at 400°F, so canola oil can be used for almost all types of cooking. You may heat it during deep-frying without any fear to turn it into trans fat.
Canola oil fatty acid composition
Canola oil is high in energy. There are 884 calories in 100 g canola oil. Canola oil calories come from fat. However, its fats are not bad. According to Wikipedia canola oil fatty acid composition is the following:
- Omega-9 monounsaturated oleic acid – 61%;
- Omega-6 polyunsaturated linoleic acid – 21%;
- Omega-3 polyunsaturated alpha-linolenic acid – 11%;
- Saturated fatty acids – 7%;
- Stearic acid – 2%;
- Palmitic acid – 4%;
- Trans fat – 0.4%.
The ratio of linoleic acid to alpha-linolenic acid is 2:1, which is considered the best balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats for consumption. Canola oil is low in saturated fats and their level is one of the lowest among all oils. If we compare other oils, for example grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, to canola oil by omega-3 content we see that only flaxseed oil is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven to have the anti-inflammatory effect and beneficial for preventing and even treating arthritis, cancer, heart diseases and what not.
It is possible to find high-oleic canola oil. Its content of monounsaturated oleic acid is even higher and the level of omega-3 fats is a bit lower. This variety of canola oil is used for commercial food preparation as its smoke point is very high. It is ideal for cooking French fries.
Other canola oil nutrition data
Canola oil is also a source of vitamin E (38.1 mg in a cup) and vitamin K (155 mcg in one cup). Vitamin E is an antioxidant necessary for fighting free radicals and protecting the body from harmful factors. It helps keep the cell integrity of mucus membranes, skin and hair. Both vitamins take part of regulating blood clotting.
As canola oil is derived from vegetables it is rich in β-sitosterols and other plant sterols. Phytosterols may lessen the risk of heart disease and regulate cholesterol absorption if consumed daily.