Could Canola Oil Help to Reduce Cardiometabolic Risk?

Diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) reduced central obesity and were associated with improved metabolic syndrome risk scores compared with diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), according to a recent study.

In order to determine the effects of diets low in saturated fatty acids but high in either MUFA or PUFA on body composition and metabolic syndrome risk, researchers conducted a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding study involving 101 participants randomly assigned to one of 5 diets containing treatment oils: Canola, CanolaOleic, CanolaDHA, Corn/Safflower, and Flax/Safflower oil. Diet periods were 4 weeks followed by a 2- to 4-week washout period.

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Participants consumed 2 smoothies each day, containing the specified oil. All participants had abdominal obesity and were either at risk for or had metabolic syndrome.

Overall, Canola and CanolaOleic oil diets were associated with reduced fat mass compared with Flax/Saff oil diet. Reductions in abdominal fat were associated with reductions in blood pressure levels and triglyceride levels.

The researchers noted the importance of future studies into the long-term effects of diets high in MUFA.

“Diets high in MUFA (compared with PUFA) reduced central obesity with an accompanying improvement in [metabolic syndrome] risk factors. Diets high in MUFA may be beneficial for treating and perhaps preventing [metabolic syndrome],” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts


Liu X, Kris-Etherton PM, West SG, et al. Effects of canola and high-oleic-acid canola oils on abdominal fat mass in individuals with central obesity [published online November 2, 2016. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.21584.