Two Heart Healthy Cooking Oils: Canola and Olive Oil

Two Heart Healthy Cooking Oils: Canola and Olive OilNot all cooking oils are created equal. With having so many different oils available in the market place, it can be confusing to try and figure out which one is the best choice.

A couple of months ago I was watching a trivia show and the question was “Which cooking oil is healthiest for your heart?” and nearly everyone got the answer wrong, including me.

Canola Oil:

I was very surprised to learn that Canola Oil is the HEALTHIEST oil for your heart! Hurray!

Canola Oil can actually do your heart GOOD and the FDA allows Canola Oil manufactures to label their product with this qualified health claim:

“Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to [sic] replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains [x] grams of canola oil.”

Canola oil has the lowest amount of saturated fat at only 7% vs. its common cooking competitors (olive oil is at 15%). While Canola Oil is low in the (bogus) saturated fat, it’s high in the good healthy unsaturated fats. In fact, Canola Oil has the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is also a good source for linolenic acid and Omega-6 fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid helps our heart out in the areas of blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.

A study published in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association, shows that you can cut 10% of saturated fat out of your diet just by switching to consuming only canola oil in your diet. You’ll also increase your alpha-linolenic acid intake by an amazing 73%.

Olive Oil

Don’t let Olive Oil get a bad rap by losing the title of the healthiest heart oil. Just because it’s not as heart healthy doesn’t mean it’s not doing your body good. Just like canola oil, olive oil is an excellent source of the healthy fats that our bodies need. These fats help will help correct issues with cardiovascular disease.
According to a study conducted in São Paulo State University, Brazil, olive oil contains phenolic compounds.

Substances found here are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and anti-blood clotting properties. All this equates to the possibility of giving your metabolism a boost by including olive oil in your diet. Another interesting health benefit of olive oil (out of the University of Milan) is that it may decrease the risk of development of breast cancer.

Don’t forget to read the label!

Oils are being added into so much of our packaged and processed foods. Choose foods containing canola oil and olive oil over the competition (which are mostly soybean oil and vegetable oil). I’ve found you have to pay a couple more pennies for the healthier product (of course!), but you’re worth it!

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