Are canola and vegetable oil interchangeable?

In this brief guide, we will answer, “are canola and vegetable oil interchangeable?” and we will also discuss what is the difference between canola and vegetable oil, is canola oil bad for you, and what are the healthiest vegetable oils you can use for cooking.

Are canola and vegetable oil interchangeable?

Yes, canola oil and vegetable oil both are interchangeable. You can easily substitute canola oil for vegetable oil or vice versa when baking or cooking as they have almost neutral flavors.

What is the difference between canola and vegetable oil?

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that comes from canola crops while oils made from soybeans, corn, safflower, canola, sunflower, avocado, olive and peanuts are common types of vegetable oils. There are also various blends of vegetable oils available in the market.

Canola oil is good for baking, grilling, sauteing or shallow frying while vegetable oil is great for deep frying. 

When you go shopping, don’t forget to check the ingredient list as well as the nutrition list of your oil. Prefer that which do not have more than 4g of saturated fats in one tbsp and avoid hydrogenated oils plus vegetable blends containing palm kernel oil or palm oil. 

Is canola oil bad for you?

Well, it depends on how you see it. When we compare canola oil with vegetable oil (mostly soybeans or corn based), canola is healthier as it has low amounts of saturated fats as compared to vegetable oil. But in terms of nutrient profile, some studies suggest that canola is not good.

Canola oil is often considered as a healthy oil that is perhaps wrong because it may contain a little amount (4.2%) of trans fats that are unhealthy for a human body. 

Canola oil comes from canola crops that are mostly genetically modified (GMO) and they are not very good in terms of nutrition. 15ml of canola oil only contains 124 calories and 12% RDI (reference daily intake) of both Vit E and K, and no any other minerals or vitamins.

Canola oil is also a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids that can cause inflammation when over consumed and it breaks down in your body to give 7% saturated fats, 28% polyunsaturated fats and 64% monounsaturated fats. And it is a highly refined oil.

Canola oil is a highly refined oil that undergoes various chemical treatments like bleaching or deodorizing and it lacks many essential nutrients such as antioxidants (that are present highly in unrefined oils). It is bad for your heart as it has a vulnerability to get easily oxidized and release free radicals when used for deep frying.

Studies who promote canola oil as heart-friendly are mostly based on less heated or less refined canola oil. Less refined oils or oils having saturated fats are best to use for cooking on high flames because they are less vulnerable to oxidation. 

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What is the healthiest vegetable oil for cooking?

Polyunsaturated fat containing oils are not a healthy choice for cooking but they are good when used raw because they break down easily on high temperatures and release free radicals that are dangerous to health. 

Oils that contain a higher amount of monounsaturated or saturated fats are best for cooking because they don’t get easily oxidized and remain stable. But saturated oils should not be excessively used as they can cause heart diseases.

Some examples of healthiest oil for deep frying are extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. For shallow frying, go with avocado, sunflower and canola oil. And oils that are good for roasting are peanut, sunflower and coconut oil. 

  1. Olive oil is enriched with antioxidants and saturated fats that helps to prevent mental decline and heart diseases
  1. Coconut oil helps to increase “good” cholesterol level in the body and is one of the best as it contains 92% saturated fats. But it should be used in moderation
  1. Avocado oil is fairly stable and best for shallow frying as it contains higher amounts of monounsaturated fats and Vit E in it makes it heart friendly
  1. Sunflower oil also contains Vit E and is enriched with omega-6 fatty acids so it should be consumed in moderation because over consumption of omega 6 is not good
  1. Canola oil’s high smoke point makes it suitable for shallow frying. Smoking point means the point at which an oil starts to smoke and break down to generate free radicals.
  1. Peanut oil is good for roasting as it also has a high smoke point
  1. Flaxseed oil is also another healthy choice as it is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids but it gets oxidized easily so it is best to use raw like for pouring over salads. You should refrigerate it in an airtight container to prevent it from going bad.

 In general, go for saturated oils when deep frying on high flames. And use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils for cooking, baking or raw purposes. 


In this brief guide, we answered your query, “are canola and vegetable oil interchangeable?” and we also elaborated what is the difference between canola and vegetable oil, is canola oil bad for you, and what are the healthiest vegetable oils you can use.