Canola oil has seen its reputation rise and fall like a politician’s reputation. After spending some time in the healthy eaters dog house, Canola oil came out barking mad and made the case that it’s actually a healthy alternative to olive oil for cooking. Canola is lower than olive oil (and most other oils) in saturated fat. Canola oil is also high in desirable omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re cooking and not dipping focaccia bread, canola oil is a fine choice. It’ll probably have a better effect on your cholesterol levels than olive oil, too.
At the Mayo Clinic Katherine Zeratsky (R.D., L.D.) says “health concerns about canola oil are unfounded.” She’s responding to a misconception about rumored toxicity in canola oil. That rumor derives from canola oil’s relation to the rapeseed plant, which contains erucic acid. Erucic acid can be toxic in large doses, but canola oil contains very little of it. Canola oil’s potential toxicity is a lie that’s been told over and over so that some people believe it.