Is Canola Oil Vegan?

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Yes, canola oil is almost always, if not always vegan.

It comes from a certain type of rapeseed plant, namely any plant in the Brassicaceae plant family. Here’s an example of one.

canola flower

The seeds of the plants are heated and then crushed, and the oil from the seeds is extracted using a hexane solvent.

Nowhere in this process should it every come in contact with animal products, which is why canola oil is considered vegan.

You’ll find canola oil in all sorts of things, even beyond cooking, like:

  • Candles
  • Lipsticks
  • Lubricants
  • Inks

And more.

Is Canola Oil Healthy for a Cooking Oil?

Canola oil may not be as healthy as olive oil, but it’s not terrible either.

Let’s start with the good:

Seems okay so far.

But there are some “bad” or unhealthy aspects of canola oil as well:

  • It’s highly processed – This removes any real nutrients from it, and you’re basically just left with the fats. It is possible to get unprocessed or “cold-pressed” canola oil, but it’s hard to find in most places.
  • Hexane – Hexane is used as a solvent used in the extraction process. Most hexane is removed, but trace amounts remain. Studies have shown that hexane ingestion is unhealthy (Source). The amounts left in canola oil are quite small, so they’re probably not terrible, but it’s definitely not a good thing.
SUMMARY

Overall, Canola oil is a fairly healthy vegan cooking oil, but you don’t want to be consuming large amounts of it regularly either.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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