Canola oil is a newly marketed vegetable oil for use in salads and for cooking that contains 55% of the monounsaturated fatty acid; oleic acid, 25% linoleic acid and 10% alpha-linolenate [polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)], and only 4% of the saturated fatty acids (SFAs) that have been implicated as factors in hypercholesterolemia. It is expressed from a cultivar of rapeseed that was selectively bred from old varieties in Canada to be very low in erucic acid--a fatty acid suspected to have pathogenic potential in diets high in the original rapeseed oil in experimental animals. Canola oil is free of those problems. It is the most widely consumed food oil in Canada, and has been approved for Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The fatty acid composition of canola oil is consistent with its use as a substitute for SFAs, in meeting the dietary goals recommended by many health associations: an average diet containing about 30% of calories as fat made up of less than 10% SFAs, 8-10% PUFAs in a ratio of linoleic to linolenic acids between 4:1 and 10:1, the remainder being monounsaturated fatty acids. No single oil meets these current recommendations for ratios of PUFA/monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios as the sole source of cooking and salad oil.