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COMPARE COMMON CULINARY OILS: One dietary message for consumers has not changed in a decade: eat less fat. This advice aims to help millions of North Americans reduce their risk of overweight, obesity and diabetes. In recent years, a new message about fat has emerged - the type of fat in the diet is also important. Canola oil is the best blend of fats for good health.

Fats are made of smaller units called fatty acids. Canola oil is low in saturated fatty acids. In fact, it is lower in saturated fat than any vegetable oil found in supermarkets today.


With dozens of different cooking oils on store shelves, choosing the right one for each culinary application can be confusing and intimidating. Here's what to keep in mind...

1. Functionality: For high heat applications such as sauteing, grilling, wok cooking and deep fat frying, choose oil with a high smoke point. Canola oil and peanut oil have smoke points of 396-414°F. Extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, may burn if heated above 325°F, and flaxseed oil should not be exposed to heat at all.

2. Flavor: If you want oil to contribute flavor to the dish, you may want to try sesame, walnut, or extra virgin olive oils. If you don't want the ingredients in your recipe to be overshadowed, choose a mild tasting oil such as canola oil.

3. Versatility and Affordability: Canola oil will meet many needs in the kitchen but two or three different oils are useful to have on hand. Choose canola oil for high heat cooking, vinaigrettes and baking. Look to extra virgin olive oil for oil dips and vinaigrettes, and sesame oil for Asian dishes.

4. Nutritional Value: All oils contain the same number of calories but they deliver very different levels of nutrition. Check out the chart to compare the fatty acid profiles of popular culinary oils. You'll see that canola oil is the most nutritionally balanced oil - lowest in saturated fats, high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and second only to flaxseed oil in alpha-linolenic (ALA) omega-3 fats.

Storing Information:

Store it Right!
It's important to store canola oil in a cool, dark cupboard for maximum freshness and use. It can last up to a year under these conditions. If in doubt, use your snout; sniff the oil. A rancid or "off" smell means that the oil has oxidized and should be discarded.  


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