Canola oil: Canada's culinary asset

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Canola is a Canadian-made and developed, home-grown crop. With canola oil being grown and produced locally, why is this resource no more widely discussed and utilized?

Lynn Weaver, a registered dietitian and the market development manager at SaskCanola, spoke with RealAg’s Atley Hamlin about the nutritional and culinary benefits of canola when compared to other oils.

Weaver is passionate about the conversation around canola oil. She emphasizes that canola oil, from a nutritional perspective, is a superstar. Canola oil is low in saturated fat. That’s important, as overall guidelines, such as Canada’s Food Guide, suggest reducing the amount of saturated fat in one’s diet. Weaver says that canola is lowest in saturated fat of all culinary oils. Canola oil is also high in Omega-3 fat — a fat that we want to eat more of.

The fat profile of canola oil is ideal in reducing risk of heart disease, Weaver says. The aim is to have only about ten per cent of our diet coming from saturated fat. This could mean choosing to eat leaner meat and more Saskatchewan-grown crops, such as beans, peas, and barley but also making the switch from a higher saturated fat content oil to canola oil.

Weaver adds that canola oil is affordable and is really the only oil you need on your shelf. Canola oil has no flavour so it can be used for baking, frying, sautéing, and high heat cooking. Weaver says canola oil is very versatile and can be used in things like salad dressing but also in sweet treats, such as banana bread, without adding any unwanted flavours.

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