Is Canola Oil Healthier Than Soybean Oil? - Chromatography Investigates
Dec 23 2020
For years fat was presented as the bad boy in our diet and was the cause of all ills and ailments that resulted for eating fat. We now know that this is far from the truth and some fat in our diet is essential and necessary to maintain a health and live a long life. Fat is an important source of energy for our bodies and provides us with essential fatty acids that that our bodies cannot make. Without fats, some of the vitamins we need are fat soluble – no fat and no absorption. But of course, too much fat can be unhealthy, and most regulators recommend eating a healthy balanced diet with no more than one-third of our energy needs coming from fat.
Soybean and canola – two different oils
But are all fats and oils the same? The simple answer is no; whilst the full answer requires a textbook to fully describe the differences between saturated and unsaturated along with all the other different oils and fats. Two of the commonly used oils in cooking are canola and soybean oil. A recent paper published in the journal nutrients - The Dietary Replacement of Soybean Oil by Canola Oil Does Not Prevent Liver Fatty Acid Accumulation and Liver Inflammation in Mice – reports on a study by scientists in Brazil on whether canola oil can prevent the build up of liver fatty acids seen in mice fed a diet including soybean oil.
Any oil from a plant can be labelled vegetable oil, but many vegetable oils come from soybean oil or a mixture including soybean oil. Canola oil is made from rapeseed, but in the UK is known as rapeseed oil. But there are two types of rapeseed oil – culinary and industrial and they are produced from different varieties. Nutritionally, canola and soybean oil are similar. They provide roughly the same calories per gram and both are good sources of vitamins E and K. They both provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Analysing liver fatty acid
Researchers in Brazil were interested though in any potential health benefits of canola over soybean, particularly in reducing the build-up of liver fatty acids. They used gas chromatography to analyse the liver fatty acid samples from mice fed a diet containing canola oil versus one containing soybean oil. The use of a new detector used in chromatography for macromolecules is discussed in the article, Expanding the Boundaries of Light Scattering for Macromolecules.
The team conclude that the replacement of soybean oil by canola oil as a lipid source did not prevent the liver FA accumulation and inflammation induced by a high-carbohydrate diet in mice. The study did have some limitation though, including the restricted time frame of 56 days and the need for more biomarkers for lipogenesis and inflammation in the liver.
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