three sorts of oil image by Tomo Jesenicnik from

Many recipes call for "vegetable oil" as a generic term for any kind of oil made from a vegetable. What many people don't realize is that canola oil is actually a type of vegetable oil!

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil comes from various fruits and vegetables, and is usually extracted from the seeds of these plants. The term "vegetable oil" is actually a generic umbrella term for many types of oils such as corn oil, peanut oil and, yes, canola oil! If you come across a product in the store labeled "vegetable oil," it is most likely a blend of several types of vegetable oils.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the canola or rape plant. For this reason, canola oil is sometimes referred to as rapeseed oil. The canola plant is in the same botanical family as cauliflower and cabbage, and oil extracted from this plant is high in monounsaturated fats and rich in vitamin E.

Subsituting Canola for Vegetable

Since canola oil is in fact a type of vegetable oil, you can use canola oil in any recipe that calls for vegetable oil. Different types of vegetable oils may differ slightly in taste, but the cooking process will remain the same no matter what type of oil you use.

About the Author

Michelle Enos

Michelle Enos has been freelance writing since 2010. She is especially interested in writing about photography, music, health and environmental issues. Enos is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from the University of New Hampshire.