Is Canola Oil Vegan?

Is Canola Oil Vegan?

Whether you are new to a vegan lifestyle or you have been sticking to a plant- based diet for a long time, you still find yourself needing to research whether certain ingredients are vegan.

Oil is an ingredient that is used in lots of different recipes, so it is important that the oil you choose to use is actually vegan. 

Keep reading to find out more about canola oil, how it is made, what it contains and whether it is suitable for people on a vegan diet. 

What Is Canola Oil? 

Canola oil is classed as a type of vegetable oil. It is made from rapeseed – usually several different types of rapeseed will be included in one brand of oil. It is very low in saturated fat which makes it one of the healthiest vegetable oils to use. 

Canola oil contains both polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. It has a high smoking point which makes it very handy for recipes that require you to cook the ingredients at a high temperature. 

How Is Canola Oil Made? 

Canola oil is quite modern compared to other types of oil. It was first developed in the 1970s when farmers and oil producers were experimenting with different treatments and techniques in order to create rapeseed oil of a higher quality. Canola oil is much more refined than other types of oil. This is how it is made:

  • Picking the seeds – The rapeseeds are collected from the mustard plant and are then taken to be processed. 
  • Pressing the seeds – The seeds are then pressed and subjected to high temperatures. This removes any impurities which improve the quality of the final product. 
  • Oil Extraction – Once the seeds have been pressed they are dissolved in order to release the oil. This is done using a chemical compound- usually chloroform or hexane. 
  • Refining the Oil – What makes cannoli oil stand out from other types of vegetable oil is how refined it is. The oil is refined in order to deodorize and decolorize it, creating a much more natural flavor that is very versatile. 
Is Canola Oil Vegan?

Is Canola Oil Good For You? 

Canola oil contains some beneficial nutrients, but there are also some downsides to consuming canola oil. 

Health Benefits Of Canola Oil

  • Low Fat – Canola oil is a source of unsaturated fat which is important for a balanced diet. However, it is low in saturated fat which is the unhealthy kind. 
  • Fatty Acids – Fatty acids, like omega 3, are an important part of a balanced diet. They help to reduce inflammation and reduce the likelihood of heart conditions, and also issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Canola oil is a good source of fatty acids. 
  • Vitamins – Canola oil contains vitamins that are good for your skin, like vitamin K and vitamin E. This will help to reduce blemishes on your skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and improve acne symptoms. 

Downsides Of Canola Oil

  • Refinement – Canola oil is much more refined than many other types of vegetable oil. The amount of processing that the seeds and oil go through actually removes a lot of nutrients, like vitamins and antioxidants. 
  • Solvent – Hexane is one of the chemical compounds used to dissolve seeds. Whilst most of it is removed from the oil during the refinement stage, trace amounts can remain. If you consume a lot of canola oil then you will also be consuming some hexane, which is a harmful solvent. 
  • Synthetic Antioxidants – The preservatives that are added to the oil to make it last longer contain synthetic antioxidants. These substances can be harmful as there is a chance that they can trigger tumors in certain areas of the body. 
  • Omega 6 – Omega 6 fatty acids are not good for you, and can make it harder for you to benefit from the omega 3 fatty acids that are also present in the canola oil. 
  • Trans Fats – Canola oil contains trans fats which can lead to heart disease. 
  • GMO – A lot of canola oil contains genetically modified organisms that are harmful to your health and the environment. 
  • Temperature – When you cook canola oil, the high temperature gets rid of a lot of the nutrients. 

Is Canola Oil Vegan? 

Canola oil is plant-based and does not contain any animal products. This means that it is vegan and is suitable for people who follow a vegan diet. It is one of the healthier types of plant-based oil. 

Conclusion

Canola oil is suitable for vegans and it is quite healthy. However, there are some downsides to consuming it. 

Brandon White
Latest posts by Brandon White (see all)