Difference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

Canola oil and vegetable oil are edible oils with plant origin. The main difference between canola oil and vegetable oil is that canola oil is an extract of rapeseeds whereas vegetable oil is a mixture of several plant oils.

Furthermore, on the nutritional side, canola oil is a type of healthy oil, containing low saturated fat and high monounsaturated fat. But, vegetable oil may contain different combinations of oils in various proportions. Therefore, the level of fat depends on the combination of the sources.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Canola Oil
     – Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is Vegetable Oil
     – Definition, Features, Uses
3. What are the Similarities Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Canola Oil, Origin, Saturated Fat, Vegetable Oil, Unsaturated FatDifference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil - Comparison Summary

What is Canola Oil

Canola oil refers to an oil derived from the seed of rapeseed plant. The rapeseed or canola plant is a member of mustard or cabbage family. It has a bright yellow flower. Canola oil has a natural taste and, it can also be heated to a variety of temperatures. The smoke point of canola oil is medium-high; hence, it is best for baking, stir-frying and oven cooking. Canola oil contains 7.4% saturated fatty acids and 63.3% monounsaturated fatty acids. Also, canola oil contains less than 2% erucic acid. Since it is low in saturated fatty acids and high in monounsaturated fatty acids, canola oil is considered as a healthy oil for cooking. 

Difference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

Figure 1: Rapeseed Blossoms

Most of the canola oil is derived from genetically modified plants (GMOs) is one of the major drawback of the canola oil. This means the oil does not comes from the natural plant. Most of the GMOs are exposed to chemicals that are harmful to humans.

What is Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils refer to plant oils that are liquid at room temperature. They can be canola oil, corn oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, pumpkin seed oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, argan oil, rice bran oil, etc. Among them, palm oil (88.2%) and coconut oil (82.5%) contain the highest amounts of saturated fat. Unsaturated fat is high in sunflower oil (83.7%), safflower oil (75.2%), olive oil (73.0%), and canola oil (63.3%). 

Main Difference - Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

Figure 2: Olive Oil

Vegetable oils in the market contain different combinations of these plant oils in different proportions. Therefore, the amount of fatty acids, smoking point, and the health benefits depend on the composition of the vegetable oil you buy.

Similarities Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

  • Canola oil and vegetable oil are edible oils having a plant origin.
  • Both types of oils contain both saturated and unsaturated fat.
  • Both are liquids at room temperature.

Difference Between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

Definition

Canola Oil: Oil derived from the seed of rape plant

Vegetable Oil: Plant oils that are liquid at room temperature

Extracted From

Canola Oil: Rapeseeds

Vegetable Oil: A combination of several plant oils

Origin

Canola Oil: A seed oil

Vegetable Oil: Can be extracted from seeds, nuts or fruits

Cooking

Canola Oil: Used for baking, stir-frying, deep-frying or grilling

Vegetable Oil: Used for high-heat frying and as substitutes for butter, margarine

Fat Composition

Canola Oil: 7% Saturated fat and 63% monounsaturated fat

Vegetable Oil: Varies based on the composition of oils

Health Benefits

Canola Oil: Lowers the cholesterol level and the risk for coronary heart disease

Vegetable Oil: Varies based on the fat composition

Price

Canola Oil: Comparatively Expensive

Vegetable Oil: Less expensive

Other Uses

Canola Oil: For candles, lipsticks, newspaper inks, biofuels, and industrial lubricants

Vegetable Oil: For candles, perfumes, soaps, skin products, and other personal care and cosmetic products

Conclusion

Canola oil is a plant oil extracted from the seed of the rapeseed plant. It contains low saturated fats as well as high unsaturated fats. On the other hand, vegetable oil is a mixture of plant oils. Its fatty acid amount varies with the composition. The main difference between canola oil and vegetable oil is the origin and the amounts of fatty acids found in each type of oils.

Reference:

1. “What Is Canola?” Current Canola Oil, Meal, and Seed Prices – Canola Council of Canada, 
2. Hendel, R. S. B., “What Is Vegetable Oil? – Kosher Spirit.” OK Kosher Certification, 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Brassica napus 2″ By Tilo Hauke – Self-published work by Tilo Hauke ) via  
2. “853081” (CC0) via

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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