They’re both neutral flavored oils that help when cooking a variety of different meals, but are Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil the same thing?
The Short Answer:
No, while they are both made from seeds, canola oil and vegetable oil come from different plants.
The Long Answer:
Canola oil and vegetable oil are interchangeable products. We’ve talked about vegetable oil in a past entry and found that despite its name it contains no actual vegetables. A more accurate description would be seed oil or plant oil, and the name is really more of a differentiator, showing the difference between plant-based oils and lard-based oils.
I’ve seen a lot of people online claim that canola oil is a type of vegetable oil, but I don’t agree with that assessment. Vegetable oil can be made from a great many seeds and plants, but canola oil is only made from canola seeds.
The canola plant is a genetically modified plant created in Canada while trying to overcome the less desirable traits of rapeseed, which is used in a lot of vegetable oils. The canola plant is a yellow-flowered plant that can stand up to five feet in height. It produces small pods from which seeds are harvested. The canola seeds are about the size of a poppy seed, but each one packs a lot of oil.
Vegetable oil is a very generic variety of oil. Because of that, you don’t know much about what ingredients went into its production. Oftentimes, consumers don’t know what plants were used, where they were grown, or how the oil was processed. Because of that, it’s hard to say if vegetable oil is inherently healthy or not. The ratio of fats that are present in the final product vary based on the ingredients.
While these two oils are incredibly similar and completely interchangeable, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that they’re the same thing.
Do you prefer to use canola oil or vegetable oil? Do you find one works better than the other or are they more or less the same product in your eyes? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!