Olive oil poured into a small glass container with olives on the table

Canola Oil has more Omega-3s than Olive Oil


In recent years, vegetable oils have become a hot topic in the nutrition and wellness world. While most mainstream nutrition experts don't consider them particularly unhealthy, many doctors and nutritionists claim that the specific fatty acids found in processed vegetable oils lead to inflammation and chronic health conditions. Let’s take a closer look at one of the biggest targets of concern: canola oil. 


Vegetable oils are refined, bleached, deodorized oils – or RBD for short. (1) RBD oils are produced by crushing the plant material, usually seeds, to express the oil, followed by extraction of the crushed material with a low-boiling solvent, most commonly hexane, to obtain the remainder of the oil. (1) Unfortunately, this process destroys or significantly reduces nutritive value and antioxidant polyphenol content. To ensure you are consuming oils with high nutrient content, we recommend cold-pressed oils whenever possible. Cold-pressed oils are rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, and other healthy fats as they preserve the potent nutrients of their ingredients and maintain their natural form. (11)

However, processing in itself is not detrimental to your health. Many people are concerned about the use of hexane to extract the oil. Although this might sound dangerous, hexane has been used to extract oils since the 1930s. There is no evidence to suggest any risk or danger when consuming food containing residual amounts of hexane. (3)  Also, it has been estimated that refined vegetable oils extracted with hexane contain approximately 0.8 milligrams of residual hexane per kilogram of oil. (4) It is also estimated that the level of hexane you digest from food sources is less than 2% of a person’s daily hexane intake, which is primarily from gasoline fumes and not food.

Omega 3:6 Fatty Acid Ratio

Another issue concerning health professionals is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids found in vegetable oils. Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that you need to consume them in the diet because your body can’t produce them. Throughout evolution, humans got omega-3 and omega-6 in a specific ratio. While this ratio differed between populations, it’s estimated to have been about 2:1. However, in the past century, this ratio has shifted closer to 20:1 (5). Scientists have hypothesized that too much omega-6 relative to omega-3 may contribute to chronic inflammation, an underlying factor of various diseases (6). 

You might assume that canola oil has a poor ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 based on misinformation on social media. Actually, among the oils consumed generally, canola oil has the highest content of omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), coming a close second to flaxseed oil. (7) Canola oil does also contain omega-6 fatty acids. However, omega-6s are necessary for your health. These fatty acids lower harmful LDL cholesterol and boost protective HDL. (9) Restriction is not the answer, but rather, replacement! The easiest way to do so is to incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet from fatty fish, algae, flax, chia, and walnuts. 


Packaging, not the canola oil itself, is the real bummer about canola oil. Although it has an excellent fatty acid ratio, low in saturated fat, and has a high smoke point, it is often packaged in clear plastic bottles. Many studies have shown that the types of packaging materials (plastic, glass), storage conditions (temperature, light), and storage time have a significant impact on the quality of fatty foods during storage. (8) During canola oil’s storage in clear, plastic packages, canola oil can become oxidized. Oil oxidation is an undesirable series of chemical reactions involving oxygen that degrades the quality of an oil. Consuming oils that have been oxidized can cause damage to brain cells, lead to inflammation, and increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. (10) For this reason, I normally do not recommend canola oil to my clients unless they can find it in a dark, glass package and preferably cold-pressed. 

What is Our Philosophy?

Luckily, you don't have to worry about any added oils in Coreperform Protein Powder! Instead, Coreperform is filled with nutritious ingredients like pea and rice proteins, sea salt, brown rice flour, monk fruit, stevia, and organic cinnamon. 

However, in general, keep refined vegetable oil consumption to a minimum. Cold-pressed oils can be a great option since they are not treated with heat, not extracted with solvents, and not deodorized. They also tend to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants - a win-win! (2) These types of oils may be labeled as “cold-pressed,” “unrefined,” or “virgin,”. Also, look for oils in dark, glass packaging, which will prevent oxidation. Our favorites are olive oil and avocado oil. Canola oil is a good option if you can find it in a dark glass bottle. Remember that although canola oil takes the cake as a higher source of omega-3 than olive oil, olive oil packs the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant punch with its polyphenols. Both deserve a spot in your diet, so long as the packaging and processing are safe. Without worrying about oils, increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids to balance out the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is best through fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed.


  1. Saleem M, Ahmad N. Characterization of canola oil extracted by different methods using fluorescence spectroscopy. PLoS One. 2018;13(12):e0208640. Published 2018 Dec 17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0208640
  2. Grajzer M, Szmalcel K, Kuźmiński Ł, Witkowski M, Kulma A, Prescha A. Characteristics and Antioxidant Potential of Cold-Pressed Oils-Possible Strategies to Improve Oil Stability. Foods. 2020;9(11):1630. Published 2020 Nov 8. doi:10.3390/foods9111630
  3. https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=115125
  4. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp113-c5.pdf
  5. Simopoulos AP. An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):128. Published 2016 Mar 2. doi:10.3390/nu8030128
  6. Hibbeln JR, Nieminen LR, Blasbalg TL, Riggs JA, Lands WE. Healthy intakes of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids: estimations considering worldwide diversity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6 Suppl):1483S-1493S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/83.6.1483S
  7. Lin L, Allemekinders H, Dansby A, et al. Evidence of health benefits of canola oil. Nutr Rev. 2013;71(6):370-385. doi:10.1111/nure.12033
  8. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/764516/
  9.  Harris WS, Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, et al. Omega-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease: a science advisory from the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation. 2009;119(6):902-907. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.191627
  10. Ambreen G, Siddiq A, Hussain K. Association of long-term consumption of repeatedly heated mix vegetable oils in different doses and hepatic toxicity through fat accumulation. Lipids Health Dis. 2020;19(1):69. Published 2020 Apr 13. doi:10.1186/s12944-020-01256-0
  11. Grajzer M, Szmalcel K, Kuźmiński Ł, Witkowski M, Kulma A, Prescha A. Characteristics and Antioxidant Potential of Cold-Pressed Oils-Possible Strategies to Improve Oil Stability. Foods. 2020;9(11):1630. Published 2020 Nov 8. doi:10.3390/foods9111630
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