For starters, Sollid explains that all cooking oils are 100 percent fat.
“Just like with any food that contains fat, all cooking oils contain a blend of different types of saturated and unsaturated fats,” he says. “While some cooking oils are higher in certain types of fat, no oil contains only one type. A cooking oil is considered healthy if it’s high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats.”
For this reason, he points to canola oil as one of the healthiest cooking oils because it offers blends of heart-healthy fats (as do olive and soybean oils). “Canola oil is also a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs),” says Sollid. “Compared to olive oil, canola oil contains less MUFA [monounsaturated fatty acids], but less saturated fat and more alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 fat. Canola oil has the least saturated fat and the most ALA omega-3 fat of the common cooking oils.”
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, ALA is an essential fatty acid. This means that your body can’t produce it and it must be consumed through what you eat and drink.
The smoke point of canola is 400 F, which makes it ideal to use when cooking something at a high temperature (think grilling over high heat). The smoke point is what happens when an oil or fat begins to “smoke,” and starts to break down, perhaps giving off an unpleasant smell or taste.