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Canola oil, a canola oil considered the healthiest cooking oil available on the market, is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) such as omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is obtained by pressing canola seeds, which are harvested from rapeseed pods.
In the late 1960s, scientists used traditional plant breeding methods to remove unwanted traits from canola, mainly erucic acid and glucosinolates.
Canola oil is a common ingredient in foods like mayonnaise, salad dressings, and margarine.
Vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, after processing, can also be used industrially to prepare lubricants, oils, fuels, soaps, paints, plastics, cosmetics, and inks. Canola and wheat are also used to make ethanol, a component of benzene (gasoline and ethanol). Canola seeds can also be used as biodiesel.
Canola oil is highly valued in the food industry due to its fatty acid content:
Fat-rich traditional diets have shifted to low-fat or low-fat diets due to research into the association of saturated fat with heart disease. In 1953, Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper that provided the basis for scientific support for a negative view of cholesterol.
Oils rich in saturated fat have been persecuted, and rapeseed oil, like other vegetable oils, has been praised and become a standard recommendation for cooking because of its low saturated fat content. Another reason why canola oil is in high demand is because of the large amount of monounsaturated oleic acid.
Studies have shown that oleic acid is as effective as omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in lowering plasma cholesterol levels. Proponents of canola oil also see it as a good source of omega-3 fats, which many people lack.