What is canola oil made from? Is canola a bean, nut, or grain? It's actually none of the above!It's one of the few oils that comes from the buds of flowers. Its seeds (which are not a bean, grain, or nut) are ground and purified to produce the product. The canola plant is a low-acid variety of rapeseed. The origin of the name is a bit unusual. In the seventies, the Rapeseed Association of Canada coined the name canola by taking the "Can" from Canada and using "ola" for oil. So it's a relatively new vegetable oil, at least in name.The brand used in this ORAC test was Mazola. As you can see, canola oil is a rather poor source of antioxidants, especially considering that a 100 gram amount (the weight used in the test) would be the equivalent of over 7 tablespoons (over 840 calories worth). Iceberg lettuce has a similar ORAC (438) but with almost no calories.We're not beating up on canola though, which is actually one of the healthier cooking oil choices with a moderately high smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit (for the refined version, unrefined is much lower). The fact of the matter is that all oils, even the excessively over-hyped EVOO, are terrible sources of antioxidants.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, et al. Nutrition Journal NIH Jan 2010