Using canola oil for cooking might help protect against colon cancer, according to a new study. Researchers from South Dakota State University have reported that canola oil apparently reduced the incidence of cancer in lab rats to by almost two thirds. The study showed that a diet containing canola oil inhibited both the size and incidence of colon tumors in lab rats, cutting neoplasm size by 90 percent and inhibiting the average number of tumors per rat by 58 percent. Based on their findings, the investigators suggested that if consumers replaced polyunsaturated oils and butter with canola oil for cooking, they might protect against colon cancer and possibly nudge dietary intake of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to a healthier ratio. At present, Americans consume far more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids, an imbalance that promotes inflammation. The study was published in the February 2011 issue of Nutrition and Cancer. Canola oil is primarily a monounsaturated fat and, as such, is healthier than saturated fats or polyunsaturated oils. When buying canola oil, look for organic, expeller-pressed brands.
More on choosing canola oil.