We know that keto is low carb, and you need to cut out sugar. But there's a very common high-fats keto-friendly ingredient that could be stopping your weight loss. We are going to talk about canola oil. Is canola oil keto?
Canola oil is highly refined, so it should be avoided on keto even if it’s both low in carbs and high in fat.
The ketogenic diet features high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. Since oils are primarily fats, one would assume that consuming any kind of oil on keto is safe. This is where people get carried away. They think they can eat anything as long as it's high fat.
Therefore, many people are under the misconception that all oils and kinds of butter are keto friendly. Without a second thought and research, they consume high-fat foods that are actually bad for them, such as canola oil. So, if you’re wondering is canola oil keto, it’s not.
Let's dig deeper and find why canola oil is actually bad for keto.
What Is Canola Oil?
Canola oil is processed vegetable oil extracted from a rapeseed plant, also known as oilseed plant or canola plant.
Raw rapeseed plant oil contains erucic acid, making it toxic for humans. It damages the liver, heart, and kidneys.
Therefore, the rapeseed plant was genetically modified in the 1960s using cross-breeding techniques to make it safe for human consumption. As a result, the canola plant was created.
Canola oil is one of the most-produced oils in the world. Here’s a breakdown of the primary nutrients found in canola oil.
One tablespoon of canola oil contains:
124 calories (all from fat)
- 9 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 1279 milligrams of omega-3
- 2610 milligrams of omega-6
- 1 gram of saturated fat.
Is Canola Oil Keto Friendly?
When we talk about keto friendly oils, canola oil is not on the list. Due to its high-fat content, canola oil is technically keto friendly but dirty keto (a term used for un-nutritious keto-friendly foods).
Although you can lose fat with a keto diet regardless of what kind of fats you incorporate in your diet, the oils you consume will significantly impact your overall health and sustained ketosis.
Canola oil is a highly refined oil that’s extracted using high heat and chemicals. This process removes the healthy nutrients from the oils, leaving behind chemicals that cause inflammation in the body.
Therefore, it’s important to get unprocessed or natural fats from healthy sources. Whether on keto or not, using less processed oils will benefit you in the long run.
Here are a few reasons why you should avoid canola oil on a ketogenic diet:
1. It's Unhealthy
Contrary to popular opinion, canola oil is unhealthy for you, especially if you’re on a keto diet.
Don't forget that fats are your main energy source when you're on keto, so feeding your body with high-quality fat sources is the deciding factor between unhealthy vs. healthy ketosis.
Canola oil contains a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3. High doses of omega-6 raise blood pressure and cause inflammation.
According to the latest research, inflammation is the leading cause of many serious chronic illnesses, including diabetes, Alzheimer's, cancer, and many more.
2. Trans Fat
100% pure canola oil is considered one of the healthiest oils because it has zero trans fat and a small amount of saturated fats. However, the canola oil we get from grocery stores is highly processed and hydrogenated.
Hydrogenation creates trans-fat, which causes high LDL (bad cholesterol) and low HDL (good cholesterol).
Since the keto diet requires 70% of your diet to be fat, you should avoid trans-fat to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
The aim of following a keto lifestyle is to lose weight and become healthier. However, canola oil doesn’t offer the same benefits as other oils, such as avocado, coconut, or olive oil.
So, if you want a better quality of life with a healthy body, use oils that are high in MCT (medium chain triglycerides), low in saturated fats, and contain antioxidants.
For these reasons, people following the keto diet should limit canola oil and other industrial seed oils. Now, let's introduce you to different oils you can use in keto.
What Type Of Oils Are Keto Friendly?
In a ketogenic lifestyle, the majority of your daily caloric intake comes from fats. Oils are fats, so people use a high quantity of oil in a keto diet. Most people use canola oil since it’s affordable and readily available.
However, consuming too much canola oil on a daily basis is unhealthy, even on keto. So, regardless of the eating pattern you follow, processed seed oils are highly dangerous because they can lead to a myriad of health issues.
If you don't know which cooking oils are the most appropriate to use, here’s a list of the best oils for keto:
Coconut oil is a plant-based oil that comes from coconut. It’s vegan, non-toxic, and non-GMO. Years of scientific research and evidence show multiple health benefits of coconut oil, including:
- Stimulates fat burning
- Clear source of energy
- Offers antimicrobial effects
- Reduces hunger
- Helps with seizures
- Improves skin and hair health
- Boosts antioxidants
- Improves mental health
Olive oil is the only oil that doesn’t make you gain weight. 100% pure extra virgin olive oil is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s heart-healthy and rich in antioxidants.
Health benefits of olive oil include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-cancer properties
- Antibacterial properties
- Improves neurological health
- Improves heart health
- Helps lose weight
- Prevents rheumatoid arthritis
Have you ever wondered why avocado toast has become a millennial stereotype? Why is it one of the most trending foods on Instagram? This is because avocados are incredibly healthy. Similarly, avocado oil is an excellent alternative to processed canola oil if you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Avocado oil is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Here are a few evidence-based benefits of avocado oil:
- Rich in healthy fats
- Improves heart health
- Increases good cholesterol
- Prevents and improves arthritis
- Improves skin health
- Prevents cancer
- Boosts brain health
Besides these oils, ghee, butter, MCT oil, and animal fats (like lard) are also keto friendly alternatives to canola oil.
One of the most widely used oils in the world is canola oil. Canola oil isn’t vegetable oil. It’s a processed seed oil. Even though it has low trans-fat and saturated fats, it’s still considered unhealthy – no matter what lifestyle you follow.
Canola oil is highly processed, offers low nutritional value, and causes inflammation. Inflammation is linked to several common diseases across the span of life. Therefore, it’s best to opt for healthier alternatives.
Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and pure animal fats are considered great sources of fat for the keto diet. They’re non-inflammatory, non-GMO, and rich in nutrition and antioxidants.
Note: Regardless of your lifestyle choice, balance using natural, unprocessed oils to meet your health and fitness goals. You can also speak to a professional nutritionist or a registered dietitian to help pick the right foods to kickstart your keto journey.
If you'd like to learn about more keto friendly foods, click on one of the links below: