New Delhi: Canola oil, one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, has recently been in the line of fire with a study linking it to worsening memories in mice, which triggered fear among consumers.
However, a lot of research conducted over the past decade has managed to highlight numerous health benefits of the oil derived from rapeseed.
Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and was shown to have beneficial effects in people with obesity and diabetes, while some studies associated it with reduced cancer risk and enhanced intelligence in children.
A study published in the journal Obesity towards the end of 2016 showed that including canola oil in a healthy diet might help reduce abdominal fat in as little as four weeks.
Researchers believe that monounsaturated fats in canola oil help reduce abdominal fat which is linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and for conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Another study, published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2014, showed that canola oil should also be one of the oils of choice for people with Type-2 diabetes.
In an experiment involving over 140 people, participants eating canola bread diet experienced both a reduction in blood glucose levels and a significant reduction in LDL, or "bad", cholesterol.
The researchers noted that canola oil contains only seven percent saturated fat, less than half that of olive oil, widely touted for its health benefits.
Moreover, as per Jivo Canola Oil – one of the largest importers and sellers of canola oil in India – canola oil costs much less in comparison with olive oil.
Due to its omega-3 fatty acids content, canola oil is also widely regarded as healthy.
Omega-3 is a key component in the brain's development and effective in the treatment of depression. It is also considered essential for reducing the risk of most coronary heart diseases and brain development problems.
Another study by scientists at South Dakota State University in the US found that canola oil reduced the size and incidence of colon tumors in rats.
"This is the first time anyone has done work on the effect of canola oil in animals on colon cancer prevention. Canola oil was able to reduce the incidence of colon cancer in animals almost to one-third," said Chandradhar Dwivedi, who led the study.
The findings, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, suggested that using canola oil in household cooking may protect against colon cancer development.
(With IANS inputs)