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Choose the vegetable oil with the best nutritional profile - the one with a healthy amount of monounsaturated fat plus essential omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fat. Your best choice? TEER Canola!

Canola is low in Saturated Fat

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.

Why is choosing a vegetable oil low in saturated fat important? Studies in animals, healthy volunteers and people with heart disease show that diets high in saturated fat raise blood cholesterol. Now, what is cholesterol? It is an animal sterol  (waxy insoluble substances) that is normally synthesized by the liver; the most abundant steroid in animal tissues. Canola oil contains several plant sterols. Plant sterols help lower blood cholesterol levels. On the other hand, as it is low in saturated fat, canola oil can replace more vegetable oils, margarines and butter in diet to help lower blood cholesterol.

Canola oil contains two fatty acids that are essential in our diets - linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). These fatty acids must be obtained from food because our bodies cannot make them. Essential fats play important roles in growth, reproduction and vision; in keeping skin healthy; and in the metabolism of cholesterol.  Essential fats may help prevent heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The omega-3 fats protect against heart attacks and strokes. People who eat diets rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is found in canola oil, have a lower risk of heart disease and cardiac deaths than people with low intakes of alpha-linolenic acid.

Put a Little Fat in Your Diet

We have always been told to eat less fat. Low-fat diets are linked with reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. In the drive to get fat out, an important message has been lost - some fat is needed in the diet for good health. In foods, fat carries flavors and promotes tenderness. In the human body, fat cushions delicate organs and provides energy to keep the body warm and for physical work. Some dietary fats are essential, meaning they must be eaten in foods because our bodies cannot make them.

Reasons Why Fat is Important in the Diet

a. Fat is a Building Block

Just like the steel girders in a  skyscraper or the two-by-fours that frame a house, fat is a building block of all cells in the human body. Fat in the form of phospholipids is the basic structure of cells. Phospholipids control the passage of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into and out of the body's cells; and they control how proteins, immune cells and hormones bind to cells. Phospholipids act as emulsifiers, helping to keep fat mixed in body fluids like blood.

b. Fat Helps Absorb Essential Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins - - vitamins A, D, E and K - and the carotenoids (β-carotene, lycopene and lutein) are found in the fats and oils of foods. The body absorbs these essential nutrients better when the diet contains some fat. As little as 5 grams of fat in a meal - the amount of fat found in one teaspoon (5 ml) of canola oil ensures that carotenoids in the meal are digested and absorbed.

c. Fat is a Flavor Carrier

Fat influences flavor. Fats like vegetable oils, margarines and shortenings add some flavors that are soluble in fat like spices and herbs. Because taste is the number one reason why consumers eat certain foods, a little added fat can help a vegetable stir-fly taste better.

d. Some Fats Help Control Blood Glucose

People with type 2 diabetes usually eat diets low in fat and high in carbohydrates to control their blood glucose. Carbohydrates are found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and cereals. One concern about high-carbohydrate diets is that they can increase insulin in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood glucose. Too much insulin in the bloodstream makes it hard to control blood glucose.

New research shows that when people with type 2 diabetes ate diets rich in monounsaturated fats - diets where monounsaturated fat were substituted fats - their blood glucose and blood insulin remained stable. Thus, diets rich in monounsaturated fats appear to be a good alternative to low-fat diets in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The main source of monounsaturated fats are vegetable oils like canola and olive oils and some nuts like peanuts.




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