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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. 

CanolaInfo Cooks! Videos

The CanolaInfo Cooks! video series follows fictional culinary student Dean as he uncovers the secret to great, versatile cooking - canola oil. Follow him through six adventures, each beginning with a different culinary dilemma, as he travels to the farm to see how canola is grown and returns to the kitchen to learn how canola oil works in many cooking applications.

Learn along with Dean how to use canola oil in vinaigrettes, sauteing, baking, deep drying, flavored oils, marinades and grilling. Maybe canola oil could become your secret ingredient too.

Meet the Characters in the Video Series

Brian Hellegards: Brian is proud to be a canola grower. He grew up on a mixed grain farm on the Canadian prairies, and is dedicated to promoting agriculture and the importance of safe, sustainable food production for all consumers. Brian lives with his wife Dorrie and two children in Manitoba, Canada, where he manages a 500-acre farm. He regularly hosts guests from around the world and even lets them ride in the combine from time to time.

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis: Phyllis is a registered dietitian and president of PRJ Consulting and Health Services. Her company has been training people to eat and live well since 1992. She is also a professional speaker and author of the book Solutions for Health... How to do More of What Works! Phyllis lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Manitoba, Dietitians of Canada and Consulting Dietitians Network. She is not above sneaking into culinary schools in the pursuit of heart smart cooking.

Mary-Jane Feeke: Mary-Jane did her first cooking demonstration at 8 years old and won an award in high school for developing a nutritious cookie for the science fair. She went on to study cooking in South Africa and Singapore, where she studied under Chef Violet Oon. Today, she is a Red Seal Chef and Red Seal Baker. Mary-Jane lives in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada where she owns her own catering business and is a devoted culinary arts instructor for high school and college students. She never misses a chance to teach an up-and-coming chef a lesson.

Dean: Dean is the fictional hero of our culinary adventure. A hapless culinary student and a real urbanite, he is constantly seeking advice from his friend Brian, a farmer. With the help of Brian and two other real-life experts, Dean comes to appreciate the versatility, functionality and flavor of canola oil, which becomes his secret ingredient in the kitchen. And what do you know Dean really can cook!

Debbie: Debbie is the competition, and Dean knows it. They are constantly jockeying for top position and outdoing each other. But Debbie doesn't know what Dean has up his sleeve. While she becomes distracted, he reaches for the secret ingredient and comes up with some winning recipes. The interview she secured at a 5-star restaurant may be in jeopardy...

Canola Oil: Canola oil is any great chef's secret ingredient. Brian, Phyllis and Mary-Jane know it's the real deal versatile, light and healthy. As they show Dean, canola oil is great for vinaigrettes, sauteing, baking, deep frying, flavored oils, marinades and grilling. Now Dean is a canola oil convert. Try canola oil yourself and make it your secret ingredient!


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