As someone who works as a nutritionist, my friends often try to get free advice from me. The most common question I’ve received lately is, “Can You Put Canola Oil In Protein Shake?”
Yes, small amounts of canola oil can be included in shakes. This plant-based oil provides some benefits, being relatively high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E compared to saturated fats and trans fats.
Can You Put Canola Oil in a Protein Shake?
While you can add small amounts of canola oil to protein shakes, it may not be the healthiest choice for several reasons. Canola oil is highly refined and processed, which reduces its nutritional value.
Excessive intake could lead to high omega-6 levels, inflammation, and oxidation issues in the body.
Instead, I recommend using small amounts of healthier fats to blend into shakes, such as:
How Much Canola Oil Should be Added to a Protein Shake?
According to WebMD, 1.5 tablespoons or 20 grams of canola oil in a day is the suggested dose. Many protein shakes usually already have some canola oil, so add it in small quantities.
What are some of the Different Types of Canola Oil?
There are several varieties of canola oil to choose from, including:
Organic Canola Oil
As the name implies, organic canola is of the highest quality and processed without chemicals. Organic canola oil seeds are also certified non-GMO and grown organically.
Canola Salad Oil or Regular Canola Oil
Regular or Standard canola oil is typically made from genetically modified seeds and processed with solvents. This type has the fewest nutrients and the lowest cost.
Expeller Pressed Canola Oil
This canola oil is produced from traditional canola seeds using a mechanical press instead of solvents and without chemicals.
Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Canola Oil
Non-GMO canola oil is also made without chemicals and processed mechanically without solvents from unmodified seeds.
Tips for Adding Canola Oil to Shakes
- Blend the oil with the shake well to ensure a smooth and even texture.
- Drink the shakes as soon as possible and avoid storing them in the refrigerator, as the oil may solidify or separate.
- Add some ice cubes and honey to your shake to enhance the flavor and sweetness if you find the canola oil unpleasant or bland.
- Start with a small amount of canola oil and gradually increase it as you get used to the taste and texture.
- Use organic canola oil for your protein shakes, as it is less processed and more nutritious than regular canola oil.
What are the Benefits of Adding Canola Oil to a Protein Shake?
Canola oil is highly soluble in water, which softens the protein shake and smoothens the taste and texture of the shake.
Better heart health
Among the long list of cooking oils, canola oil has the highest level of omega-3 and the lowest trans fat, meaning that it has potential benefits for the heart. In fact, an article on WebMD says that canola oil is the best choice for the heart.
Improves weight loss
Canola oil is regarded as one of the healthiest oils for cooking because it is low in trans fats and high in beneficial fats. This fat profile can assist with weight loss efforts. The well-balanced fatty acid composition of canola oil makes it a sensible choice for those seeking to shed pounds healthily.
Improved insulin sensitivity
Another great benefit of adding canola oil to protein shakes, or the diet in general, is that it improves insulin sensitivity, especially in women with PCOS, according to a study in PubMed. The same study also reveals that canola oil can also improve the lipid profile in women with the same health condition.
How does Canola Oil Affect the Taste of a Protein Shake?
The taste of adding canola oil to a protein shake depends on several factors. The amount used, type of canola oil, flavor profile of the original shake, and ingredients like canola protein all impact the end result.
High-quality canola oils generally have a mild, neutral taste that won’t drastically alter the shake’s flavor. Small amounts can improve texture and creaminess without overwhelming the original taste.
However, cheaper refined oils or large amounts may give an unpleasant oily taste.
Are there any Negative Effects of Adding Canola Oil to a Protein Shake?
Adding canola oil to protein shakes can have some potential downsides to consider:
- Canola oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids. Consuming too many omega-6s compared to omega-3s may promote inflammation in the body. Moderation is key.
- Poor quality and highly refined canola oils may contain trans fats, which have been linked to increased LDL “bad” cholesterol and heart disease risk. Choosing an organic, cold-pressed canola oil can help avoid this.
- Heating canola oil to high temperatures during processing can damage and oxidize the oil, producing harmful free radicals and trans fats. Again, a cold-pressed oil avoids this issue.
- Some people may have sensitivities or allergies to canola oil. Discontinue use if any negative symptoms occur.
- As with any oil, canola oil is high in calories and should be used in moderation to avoid excess calorie intake.
What are some Alternatives to Canola Oil for Adding to a Protein Shake?
For those looking for healthy alternatives to canola oil, the best oils to consider are:
The oil from this heart-friendly health is rich in polyphenols and carotenoid antioxidants that are wonderful for heart health.
Safflower oil is a great alternative with its high content of omega-6 fatty acids, which are important for overall health. Its mild flavor also makes it suitable for adding to protein shakes without overpowering other ingredients.
When used in moderation, coconut oil added in protein shakes can help increase the good cholesterol in the blood. While choosing coconut oil for protein shakes, it is essential to watch out for virgin organic quality-labeled edible and/or cooking grade.
The Bottom Line
Canola oil is one of the preferred choices for health enthusiasts to add to their protein shakes. This versatile oil is highly soluble and adds a nice texture to health drinks and, of course, comes with several health benefits.
However, the quality of the canola oil you use is extremely important as the oil from genetically modified seeds or those processed with high heat can have a lot of negative impacts, primarily if you use the oil regularly. In this regard, using organic canola oil is the best choice.
While adding canola oil to your protein shakes, starting the dose in moderation and increasing the dosage as your body gets used to it is also important.