Difference between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil

Key difference: Canola and Vegetable Oil are plant-based cooking natural oils obtained from their respective sources, viz. canola or rapeseeds and other vegetable sources like nuts, legumes, seeds and herbs. Canola oil is healthier than vegetable oil, because of its omega3 and omega 6 contents. While, vegetable oils comprises of big varieties, which are for their perspective health benefits. 

Consuming foods and their oil are directly related to the raise of fats and cholesterol levels. Oils are rich in their content and compositions, and due to which are known for their special qualities and health relevant benefits. The amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats defines the oil types and its properties. These are essential factors, which need to be considered for an appropriate oil selection. Likewise canola oil being one among the vegetable oils is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. While, vegetable oils are known more with respect to the substitutes and other usages.

Vegetable oils are triglycerides obtained from various plant sources; like nuts, seeds, legumes, herbs, fruits etc. These oils have been consumed from several years. Most common vegetable oils are olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and peanut oil. Virtually, these oils are taste less, and known to adapt to the desired food item. The oils share a particular role along with the animal fats, which includes butter and ghee. Hence, these oils can be consumed directly or indirectly along with the ingredients of food. Many vegetable oils are used to make soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care and cosmetic products. There are issues of toxic and non-toxic nature of vegetable oils; while selecting any type of oils; hence these oils are sometimes not preferred at some duration of time and place. Vegetable oils can be classified in two particular ways:

  • By means of source: as not all vegetable oils are extracted from fruits or seeds of plants, the oils may be grouped under one category like the "nut oils".
  • By means of use: along with in cooking, the oils are also used for fuel, cosmetics, medical purposes, and other industrial purposes. 

Canola is a type of Vegetable oil, obtained from a yellow colored plant; belonging to the mustard/cabbage family. The oil is extracted from the rapeseeds, commonly the canola seeds. Canola oil needs to be processed of precipitation and organic acid treatments. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommended that the canola oil is regarded to be the fertility-preserving vaginal lubricant. Recently, the studies have also been conducted to utilize the oil for reducing the growth of cancer cells. Canola oil can be used for baking, stir-frying, deep-frying or grilling; as the oil especially known for high heating purposes. Also, the oil is used in many situations and methods as a substitute to saturated fats. Like the other oils, industrially, the oil is used as industrial lubricants, bio-fuels, candles, lipsticks, and newspaper inks depending on the price on the spot market.

Almost all vegetable oils including canola oil are used as a substitute for shortening, butter or margarine. Also, both oils share same calorie amount of 120 calories per tablespoon. For deep frying, vegetable oil is most preferred, as canola oil does not support a prolong exposure to heat; which may affect the food quality and safety. Whereas, canola oil can be used for stir frying, because it has the capacity to maintain the flavor and the fatty acid contents. Canola oil is also be opted as a better choice for dressings and marinades as the rapeseed allows the herbs and spices to reach their peak flavor. Vegetable oil does not belong to one particular type, as they comprise of a huge blend of varieties. Hence, there is no definite formula for these oils, which may vary in their fat compositions. Some oils may contain less fat and more nutrients, making them healthier than other particular or precise oil. Hence, it’s always suggested by physicians and dieticians to follow the fat and nutrient composition labels of any branded individual oil.

Comparison between Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil:


Canola Oil

Vegetable Oil

Oils obtained from

seed (rapeseed)

plant sources like seeds, nuts and fruits, etc.

Fat compositions

7% Saturated fat and 63% Monounsaturated fat.

Among all oils;

Coconut oil has the highest content of saturated fat (92%).

Canola & sunflower oil have the least amount of saturated fats (6% and 9%, respectively), but contain a higher percentage of monounsaturated fat (62% and 82% respectively).

Types and parts

Canola oil is a part of vegetable oils.

Palm Oil, Soya Bean Oil, Canola Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Corn Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Peanut Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sesame Oil, Argan Oil, Rice Bran Oil and some others


Especially, in stir-frying; also in baking for stir-frying, deep-frying or grilling.

Generally, used for high heat frying and also used as substitutes for butter, margarine and etc.

Other uses

industrial lubricants, bio-fuels, candles, lipsticks, and newspaper inks

soaps, skin products, candles, perfumes and other personal care and cosmetic products

Health Benefits

  • Reduce Plasma
  • Lowers Cholesterol Levels
  • Reduces the risk of Coronary Heart Disease
  • Insulin Sensitivity
  • Lipid Per-Oxidation
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • Helps in Energy Metabolism

These are suggested according to their types and fat compositions, and hence range in several health benefits.

Image Courtesy: dietamediteraneana.wordpress.com, gourmetropolis.com

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