WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Substitution of canola oil for fats commonly used in the U.S. would increase compliance with dietary recommendations, noted Guy H. Johnson, PhD, president, Johnson Nutrition Solutions LLC, at the American Dietetic Association's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo yesterday.

This finding was determined by a modeling study that examined the effect of substituting canola oil for selected vegetable oils and canola oil-based margarine for other margarines and butter in the diet of adult Americans.

Food recall data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to calculate the effect of substituting canola oil for corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean and vegetable oils described as "not further specified" and of canola oil-based margarine for other margarines and butter in the diet at 25-percent, 50-percent and 100-percent replacement levels. The study was based on NHANES data from nearly 9,000 adults over 20 years of age.

Results showed that saturated fat intake would decrease by 4.7 percent and 9.4 percent with 50 percent and 100 percent substitution, respectively. Complete substitution would increase monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, an omega-3) intakes by 27.6 percent and 73.0 percent, respectively, and would decrease polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and linoleic acid (LA, an omega-6) intakes by 32.4 percent and 44.9 percent, respectively. Intakes of energy, total fat and cholesterol would not change.

The bottom line: substitution of canola oil and canola oil-based margarine for most other vegetable oils and spreads would increase compliance with dietary recommendations (i.e., Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 and Institute of Medicine) for saturated fat, MUFAs and ALA, but not LA, among U.S. adults. A mixture of vegetable oils containing ALA and LA can be used to achieve compliance with the adequate intake for these essential fatty acids.

"The results of this study show that fatty acid intake can be influenced substantially through a simple recommendation to change the type of vegetable oil used at the table and in cooking," Johnson concluded. "The lack of consumer barriers to such a change with respect to cost, taste, convenience and availability makes canola oil attractive from a practical perspective."

The U.S. Canola Association was established in 1989 to increase U.S. canola production in order to meet the growing public demand for healthy products. Based in Washington, D.C., the USCA promotes and encourages the establishment and maintenance of conditions favorable to the production, marketing, processing and use of domestic canola.

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SOURCE: U.S. Canola Association via PR Newswire.