Canola Oil Truths
The truth about Canola Oil
11/09/17 – At Red Kellys Tasmania we happily use Canola oil as one of our ingredients. But why? Why not Olive oil? Or Cottonseed oil or Bran oil or Sunflower oil, etc?
We use Canola because it is the best for the function we require it for in the dressings. It’s also a relatively healthy oil and it’s a safe product commercially available and traceable. Other vegetable and seed oils have the wrong flavour profiles for us and / or the wrong chemistry (Like olive oil that solidifies at lower room temperatures and has an overpowering flavour when using a decent amount and decent quality).
SO…. What exactly is Canola, where does this oil come from, why are there people who say it’s no good, is it genetically modified, am I going to live to the end of next week if I’ve eaten some!!??
Rapeseed: The Rapeseed plant takes its name from the Latin word rapum meaning Turnip. These oilseed varieties have been cultivated for thousands of years as mainly as fuels. Demand increased significantly during WW 2 as the oil was found to work very well in steam engines and this is when Canada increased their production significantly.
Canola is born: After the war demand for Rapeseed oil decreased. It was trailed in foods but had unpleasant flavour and colour qualities. Rapeseed oil also contains large amount of Erucic acid which was linked to detrimental effects on animals in very high amounts. In the early 1970’s Canada cross bred various strains of Rapeseed and produced a plant that produced an oil suitable for human consumption and far lower in Erucic acid. They named it Canola with “Can” being from Canada and “Ola” from other vegetables like Mazola.
Is Canola Healthy? Canola oil is cholesterol free and contains monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to olive oil, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids called alpha linolenic acid, just like the fats found in flaxseed oil. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases and will help to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for healthy nervous system function and for normal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) found in the cells of your body.
Canola oil also has less of the omega-6 fatty acids that are found in most vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, and corn oil. While we need some omega-6 fatty acids, the typical western diet has much more than we need. Many experts believe that the combination of too little omega-3 fatty acids and too much omega-6 fatty acid intake contributes to pro-inflammatory conditions for the body, which can lead to increased risks of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health problems. This may be true, but we don’t know exactly what the best ratio between omega-6 fatty acid intake and omega-3 fatty acid intake should be. Experts currently suggest that that ratio should probably be around 4:1 (Omega-6 to Omega-3). A typical western diet has a ratio of something around 16:1.
Remember, all oils are a large source of calories so moderation and balance are recommended.
What Canola Oil Does Red Kellys Use? Most Canola oil is produced with heating and Hexane solvent extraction. However, at Red Kellys we only purchase cold pressed Canola oil crushed in Australia from Australian non-GMO seed. Our oil is tested and shows it’s Erucic acid proportion to be about 1000 times lower than the minimum recommended for human consumption.
Conclusion: So, there you have it; Canola oil is a healthy oil, a safe oil and is best consumed in Red Kellys dressings where it becomes delicious and well proportioned!
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