Research Suggests Canola Oil May Help Reduce Belly Fat and Improve Metabolic Syndrome Faced by About a Third of Urban Indians
Author(s): Dharam PalResearch findings announced at ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans, USA, suggest canola oil and high-oleic canola oil can help decrease abdominal fat, which may improve metabolic syndrome. About one-third of the urban...
Research findings announced at ObesityWeek 2016 in New Orleans, USA, suggest canola oil and high-oleic canola oil can help decrease abdominal fat, which may improve metabolic syndrome. About one-third of the urban population in large cities in India have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including belly fat, which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
“These results are likely due to the monounsaturated or ‘good’ fat that make up a large part of canola and high-oleic canola oil,” notes Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State University, who oversaw the study. “This adds to the growing body of research that monounsaturated fat may help to decrease abdominal fat and improve markers of cardiovascular health as well.”
Researchers from three research centers, the University of Manitoba and Laval University in Canada, and Penn State University in the United States, conducted a clinical trial with 101 participants to compare the effects of five different types of oil on abdominal fat, including canola oil, high-oleic canola oil, high-oleic canola oil with DHA, a corn and safflower oil blend, and flax and safflower oil blend. The oils were consumed in smoothies twice a day as part of the participants’ daily diet. The subjects were randomized to a sequence of the five diets, which they followed for four weeks at a time with a normal diet period of four weeks in between each test diet. All of the participants had central obesity and at least one additional risk factor for metabolic syndrome – high blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides or low “good” HDL cholesterol.
At the end of the two-year study, researchers saw a significant decrease in abdominal fat mass in those on the canola and high-oleic canola oil diets. In addition, they found a decrease in blood pressure linked to consumption of these oils.
The research was one of five studies selected for publication in a special section of the November 2016 Obesity journal to provide the latest insights into preventing and treating obesity through innovative research designs. The results of this study are part of the Canola Oil Multicentre Intervention Trial (COMIT) and were initially presented at the American Heart Association’s EPI/NPAM Scientific Sessions in New Orleans in 2013.
“This study suggests that using an everyday oil largely made up of monounsaturated fat, such as canola oil, could have a significant impact on public health,” adds Dr. Aashish Contractor, head of Rehab Medicine and Sports Medicine at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai and author of “The Heart Truth: Everything You Wanted to Know About Prevention, Treatment and Reversal of Heart Disease” (November 2016). “Reducing abdominal fat not only reduces risk of metabolic syndrome but also improves other risk factors associated with this condition like blood pressure.”
Canola oil not only contains mostly monounsaturated fat, but it also has the least saturated fat and most plant-based omega-3 fat of any common cooking oil.