High-Stability Canola Oil Part of Trans and Saturated Fat Solution to Healthier Hearts for Americans

Nov 19, 2013, 09:40 ET from U.S. Canola Association

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The canola industry offers immediate solutions to partially hydrogenated (PH) oils in the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) proposal Nov. 7 to practically eliminate PH oils – the primary source of artificial trans fat – in the food supply. High-stability (high-oleic) canola oil has  been a leading solution to replace PH oils in many applications, replacing trans fat with healthy unsaturated fats. U.S. health authorities advise consuming as little trans fat as possible and just 5-6 percent saturated fat daily.

High-stability canola oil, with a higher percentage of monounsaturated fat (called oleic acid) than commodity canola oil (an average of 70 versus 61 percent), offers higher heat tolerance and stability than most vegetable oils – enough to replace PH oils in many applications. Exclusively available to the commercial food industry, this newer canola oil has a longer fry life for food service operations and provides extended shelf life to food products. It contains zero trans fat and just 7 percent saturated fat, which is classified as "low" by the FDA at just 1 gram per serving.

"The use of canola oil has more than doubled in the last five years and high-stability canola oil makes up well over half of all the canola oil used by the U.S. food industry," says Ryan Pederson, president of the U.S. Canola Association and canola grower. "High-stability canola oil offers a trans fat solution without increasing – and in most cases, decreasing – saturated fat."

On Nov. 12, the scientific journals Circulation and Journal of the American College of Cardiology pre-published online new recommendations for saturated fat intake from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. They call for reducing daily saturated fat consumption to 5-6 percent – a significant decrease from 10 percent cited in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. The recommendation comes from a review of all scientific literature on fat intake from 1990 to 2012. Largely replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in a diet composed of 25-35 percent total fat is their primary advice for consumers to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) – a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

"Given the current average intake of saturated fat at 11 percent, it would be beneficial for those who would benefit from LDL-C lowering to decrease saturated fat intake to 5-6 percent of calories," states the "2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk." The report also notes that certain U.S. subgroups may still be consuming relatively high levels of trans fat and therefore emphasis needs to "continue to be placed on the reduction of trans fat in the diet."

For every 1 percent of energy from trans fat or saturated fat replaced with 1 percent energy from unsaturated fat, LDL-C is lowered by a significant 1.5-2 mg/dL and 1.3-1.8 mg/mL, respectively, according to the report. It specifically calls for consumption of "non-tropical vegetable oils."

"To respond to this need now, high-stability canola oil is readily available to the commercial food sector," notes Pederson. "It has already helped replace more than 1 billion pounds of trans and saturated fats in the food supply since its introduction in 2006, proving that one unhealthy fat (trans) does not have to be replaced by another (saturated)."

A study published in the May 27, 2010 New England Journal of Medicine disproved speculation that food manufacturers would replace PH oils with saturated fat from butter, lard or palm oil. Harvard Medical School researchers identified 83 packaged and restaurant foods made with trans fat prior to 2007 that were later reformulated without it. Both trans and saturated fats combined were reduced in 90 percent of supermarket products and 96 percent of restaurant dishes. In the majority of products, trans fat was reduced or eliminated without increases in saturated fat. In reformulated restaurant foods, not only was trans fat largely eliminated, but saturated fat was also reduced.

Given this promising research and the availability of solutions to PH oils, such as high-stability canola oil, the U.S. is poised for an even healthier food supply and Americans for healthier hearts.

The U.S. Canola Association is a non-profit commodity organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to increase domestic canola production to meet a growing demand for healthy oil. It promotes the establishment and maintenance of conditions favorable to growing, marketing, processing and using U.S. canola. For more information, go to www.uscanola.com.

SOURCE U.S. Canola Association