A new study shows that a diet featuring canola oil — rather than other cooking oils — is good for the heart. Specifically, canola oil consumers saw a visible reduction in blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels and a very impressive reduction in LDL (or low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
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The study was led by David Jenkins, a nutritional sciences and medicine professor at the University of Toronto. Jenkins and his team examined type 2 diabetes patients on two different diets: one on a low glycemix index diet — including bread made with canola oil — and another group on a whole wheat diet.
Previous studies have suggested that both diets can have a visible impact on heart health by reducing LDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels. But the University of Toronto researchers, whose report can be found in the journal Diabetes Care, found that the canola oil-based diet actually proved more successful in protecting the heart.
“The finding that the canola bread diet seemed to have the most significant impact on people whose blood glucose levels were high is very exciting,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also found that subjects consuming canola oil saw significant reductions in their LDL cholesterol levels. His research team speculated that this could lead to a seven per cent reduction in cardiovascular events, like heart attacks.
Fans of canola oil, which was developed from rapeseed in the 1970s, may not be surprised by the findings. Canola oil contains less than half the saturated fat of olive oil, which has also been lauded for its health benefits.