Replacing canola oil with coconut/macadamia oil


#1

Hi guys!

I’m very keen to try Soylent, but have noticed that it’s to be mixed with canola oil. I’m not a fan of canola oil (let’s not get into it right now) and prefer to use coconut or macadamia whenever possible.

Just wondering if mixing with either of these oils instead of the official oil would work out okay. I’ve seen some DIY discussions on this, but was wondering more specifically about the official Soylent product.

I’m looking forward to joining the discussions here, and hope to post impressions on Soylent once I’ve tried it for myself. I’ll be moving to Canada shortly, so, as soon as it’s available there I’d love to give it a whirl.

Thanks everyone.


#2

Just remember that you’ll need to replace the fish oil too (EPA and DHA or a buttload of ALA aka flax oil). From the posts, it seems like the oil blend is pretty pure, so you shouldn’t need to replace any other micronutrients.

For what it’s worth, I’m planning to add some MCT oil for saturated fats and extra calories.


#3

Cool, thanks. I guess I could just take a fish oil capsule with it (or crack it open and tip it inside the mixture).

Sorry for the newbie questions. I’ve done some preliminary reading but I’m still feeling my way through all of this.


#4

I have a similar question for a flax oil blend here http://discourse.soylent.me/t/oil-chemistry-conversions/12903/15

I’m not sure why its implied flax is somehow worse than the canola they ship with the product, from what I’ve gathered the numbers don’t support that position. I’m looking for a vegetarian blend that will achieve the EPA and DHA levels of Soylent. I like coconut oil but since its solid at room temperature it doesn’t seem like a good choice.


#5

Maybe we should come up with an unofficial official DIY replacement blend of oil for others who do not want to use the packaged canola oil. I have also read that canola isn’t as good for you as others (like MCT oil).

And by we I mean those that know more about this than I do.


#6

Flax and canola really aren’t comparable. Omega 3 and omega 6 are essential nutrients. Canola is mostly omega 9 (~60%)(which you need, but your body can manufacture from 6s or 3s). It also contains linoleic acid, a bioavailable omega 6 (~20%), and a small amount of ALA, an omega 3.

Flax oil (Wikipedia is for" linseed oil") is mostly ALA. So people often describe it as a good dietary source of omega 3s. The problem is that ALA is not directly useable in mammals. Instead we need two other omega 3s: DHA and EPA. ALA first has to be converted to a form that can be used. ALA --> EPA --> DHA. Unfortunately, humans aren’t very good at converting ALA to EPA, and we’re even worse at converting EPA to DHA. The conversion rates of course vary depending on the availability of the resources needed for the conversion, but I’ve heard estimates ranging from something like 1000:1 to 20:1 ALA to EPA. I have also never been clear on whether it is actually possible to manufacture enough EPA/DHA from ALA to meet nutritional requirements, but that may just be my ignorance. Just to give you an idea of how important this stuff is, Wikipedia describes DHA as a primary structural component of the brain, skin, sperm, and testicles, among other things.

I’ll also say that I’m not a huge fan of getting these short-chain fatty acids in liquid oil form. They all oxidize (i.e. go rancid) quite readily, particularly in the presence of heat. That’s why the “cold-pressed” aspect is important. In most industrial extraction, with uncontrolled heat, a lot of the short-chain fatty acids are basically rancid before they get into the bottle, and then it doesn’t take too much time on the shelf for them to go the rest of the way. That’s actually why flax oil is usually refrigerated. Unlike canola or olive oil, oxidated flax oil actually turns into a solid polymer. That’s why linseed oil (same thing as flax) is used in paints and wood polish.


#7

Followup question. Don’t hit me…

Aside from some omega 3 and 6, what is it that the canola oil is supposed to add? Because, if I can get them elsewhere…no big deal, right? Am I wrong in thinking I could just add my own fish oil/take a fish oil capsule and be set? Am I really missing out by skipping the canola oil or replacing it with macadamia or coconut oil?

By the way, I’m very keen to learn this by myself rather than be spoonfed by you guys (and I’m also conscious of annoying more senior members here with newbie talk). Is there a wiki or resource or something I can read that’ll bring me up to speed on everything so far?

Edited for clarity.


#8

Cost - canola’s cheap, provides a good nutrition balance, and doesn’t have any side effects.

We’ll point you at the search function, but we’re well aware how much of a pain it can be, so feel free to ask any questions you like - the community here is very willing to help new people. Welcome!


#9

I think it contains way too much omega-3 to be your main oil.
Canola oil is much more balanced in my opinion.
I think that saturated fats and unsaturated fats should be your main fats. The fats you get your calories from.
PUFAs (omega-3,omega-6) act more like a vitamin, in the right dosage they are beneficial, but there is no need to overdo it. PUFAs are highly unstable. And anti-oxidants in your body are needed, to make sure they don’t oxidize.


#10

I think the other responses are right. You need a certain amount of fat, and you really want to get just enough of the shorter chain fatty acids (i.e. the omegas). Personally, I think canola is too high in PUFAs, but it’s better than flax which is almost entirely omegas.

Anyway, that’s what you need to replace, a source of omega 3/6, and a higher source of fats. I like MCT oil because it’s basically as close as you can get to a saturated fat (i.e. stable at room temperature) in liquid oil. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides, FYI) are primarily extracted from coconut/palm kernel oil, and they have some interesting metabolic properties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-chain_triglyceride


#11

Thanks, sheltron. Looks like I’m going with fish + coconut oil, at least to begin with. I’ve got jars and jars of the stuff at home.

God, this is exciting.


#12

My plan is to use a blended oil that is a base of Flax, but is mixed with a 2:1 ratio of Omega3:6. It’s way more expensive, but if it’s already blended/balanced for me, I don’t have to guess or estimate any ratios. Isn’t flax oil when blended more efficient way to get omega 3 than blending with canola?


#13

I’m curious are you planning on mixing coconut oil in with Soylent, and if so, how given it’s solid at room temperature?


#14

Yes I am, and by melting it in the microwave first.

It seems pretty simple, right?


#15

Any concern about heat damage given microwaves don’t heat evenly? Some oils when heated are damaged, I know coconut oil is more of a high heat oil, but not sure if a microwave at the molecular level may be heating molecules above the zone of damaging them. I guess convection heating would be safer if that was a concern.


#16

No. No concerns whatsoever. It’s less sensitive to heat than most other oils and it doesn’t oxidise easily. Plus it’s good for blood sugar and insulin control.

I’ve been using it to cook and in smoothies/blended drinks for years.


#17

I also use it, but microwaves don’t heat evenly, so that is what I was wondering about. If it temporarily heats some of the molecules above the safe temperature, then those molecules could be damaged. With convection you don’t have that issue as it is a more gradual even heat.


#18

I dunno. Coconut oil is pretty stable and melts at a pretty low temperature (even on a warm summer day). I wouldn’t be worried about it, or at least not compareed to commercially available flax/canola. Also, because coconut oil melts at such low temperatures, I would think the liquid oil would form convection currents long before any single spot could reach a smoking point.

I tried melted coconut oil in one of my aborted attempts at DIY (I could never quite get past some texture issues), and I found it to mix pretty well. It can contribute to a slightly thicker texture when chilled, but not enough to be objectionable.

The concern I would have is taking in an excessive amount of omegas. This is something where you want to be in the goldilocks zone: not too little and not too much. For example, excessive fish oil intake can cause low blood pressure. If you’re talking about blending that blended flax with another source of fats though, that’d be fine. I just don’t think the extra cost would be worth it. Blending a refrigerated flax oil with a cold-pressed canola that doesn’t spend much time on the shelf is just as good as a preblended mix, and probably less expensive.


#19

I missed something in this. Is it 2:1, omega 3:omega 6? Cause that’s the reverse proportion if you’re not taking in any additional omega 6. Most of the information I’ve seen says you want a 2-10:1, omega 6 to omega 3. I’m not sure if the low bioavailability of the ALA in flax would change that though. It’s possible that you would want even more ALA to omega 6 since the ALA still has to be converted to EPA and DHA. I just don’t know.