In this article, we will answer if vegetable oil can replace canola oil and what are the other healthy alternatives to canola oil.
Can vegetable oil replace canola oil?
Yes, vegetable oil can be used in place of canola oil. Though canola oil is very nutritious, yet many people avoid it either because it is extracted from a GMO plant and there are a lot of theories surrounding the negative health impacts of the GMOs, or, because people are allergic to canola oil.
Vegetable oil is a good replacement for canola oil because of its neutral flavor and a higher smoke point than canola oil. Read on if you want to know the difference between canola and vegetable oil and the other healthy options to consider other than vegetable oil in your recipes if you do no use canola oil.
All you need to know about vegetable and canola oil
Vegetable oil is extracted from the seeds of fruits and other plant parts like bran. The vegetable oil you buy from the grocery store is usually a blend of different vegetable oils like soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc, therefore, there is little knowledge about the product origin and processing techniques.
Vegetable oil does not overwhelm the recipe with its flavor because it tastes very neutral and is the go-to choice for frying food because of a high smoke point that ranges from 400-450°F.
Vegetable oils are converted into margarine by partial hydrogenation of the unsaturated fats present in vegetable oils. The resulting hydrogenated product is more resistant to rancidity and much stable at room temperature.
Canola oil is extracted from the seed of the canola plant. Canola plant is produced by the cross-breeding of two varieties of rapeseed to lower the erucic acid levels in the GMO form.
Similar to vegetable oil, canola oil has a neutral taste, therefore, these two can be used interchangeably in your recipes. But canola has a lower smoke point i.e 460°F. Canola oil has a higher level of unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fats and about 0.4% trans fats that make it a healthy choice.
What are the other substitutes for canola oil?
Sunflower oil has a neutral flavor and is a good substitute for canola. Sunflower oil has a smoke point of 232°C and contains high levels of Vitamin E. However, a high omega-6 fatty acid content of sunflower oil is considered unsuitable as it has pro-inflammatory properties in excessive amounts.
Coconut oil is a good substitute for canola in recipes that require or are not affected by a mild coconut flavor e.g cookies, cakes, and muffins. Coconut oil has a higher saturated fatty acid content but it lowers the LDL by having an impact on the levels of HDL. Therefore, there is much debate over whether to label it healthy or unhealthy
Avocado oil is rich in unsaturated fats and vitamin E. it makes for a good alternative to canola oil for frying, sauteing, searing, frying, and baking because of its neutral flavor. Avocado oil is an expensive substitute.
Extra -virgin olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil has a pungent flavor and has a smoke point of 405°F. High in unsaturated fats, extra-virgin olive oil is a great substitute for canola oil where little or no cooking is not involved like salad dressings.
Butter is a great substitute for canola in baking. It has a very rich taste and provides a creamy texture while softening the crumb of baked goods.
It is not an oil but can be used instead in some recipes. As the name suggests, applesauce is made from apples spicy or sweet condiments. It is served as a side dish in many countries and is a good substitute for canola oil in recipes where moistening is required like cakes, cookies, muffins, and cupcakes. Adjust the spicy or sweet level in your recipe because this sauce has added condiments.
Other Oils that are healthy and nutritious
Grapeseed has a moderately high smoke point and is rich in unsaturated fatty acids with only 10% saturated fats. However, it has a relatively high omega-6 fatty acid content.
Peanut oil has a very nutty taste and is best suited for dishes that do not mind a mild nutty flavor. Peanut oil is rich in resveratrol that has been found to possess anti-cancerous properties and protects the heart.
Sesame oil has a mild nutty flavor with a sweet hint to it. It is best suited for recipes no-cook recipes like salad dressings.
In this article, we answered if vegetable oil can replace canola oil and what are the other healthy alternatives to canola oil.