Canola Oil Lowers Belly Fat?

April 15, 2013

A multicenter study highlights the oil's monounsaturated fat stores.

A heart-healthy diet in combination with canola oil may benefit weight loss, according to a study out of Canada. The human trial was presented at an American Heart Association event in March.

University researchers assigned 121 adults at risk for metabolic syndrome to a heart-healthy diet and one of five oils (canola oil, high-oleic canola oil, DHA-enriched canola oil, flax/safflower oil, or corn/safflower oil) in a smoothie eaten daily. After four weeks, subjects in the non-enriched canola and high-oleic canola groups experienced average 1.6% reductions in abdominal fat. The other oils provided no apparent weight loss, and they all happened to be low in monounsaturated fat. Canola oil, on the other hand, is high in this type of fat. More research is warranted for understanding this fat’s potential role in weight loss and as a practical tool for the food products industry.

Limiting the study to just five oil blends makes it difficult to see the full picture, but Angela Dansby of the Canola Council of Canada (a sponsor) says oils were carefully chosen to reflect best approaches to replacing saturated fats with healthier ones. Because flax oil runs with a high risk of rancidity, it was combined with safflower oil. Corn paired with safflower because its high plant sterol content might have otherwise influenced the study results.

The Government of Canada, the Canola Council of Canada (Winnipeg, MB, Canada), and Dow AgroSciences (Indianapolis) funded this study, dubbed the Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial (COMIT).

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