The Oil 411: Olive Oil vs Vegetable Oil vs Canola Oil

By Nisa Burns Cochran

cooking oils

Here’s a break-down of some cooking oil basics, since a lot of new cooks have questions about which oils to use and when.

First, the factor of health. Canola and olive oil have a lot in common. They both include healthy fats and have similar benefits. Canola oil is slightly healthier than olive oil, although olive oil is also a healthy oil.

Why Is Olive Oil Healthy?

The primary type of fats found in olive oil are monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered a healthy dietary fat. Also, olive oil is considered healthy because it contains several nutrients. For example, extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost your immune system and protect against several types of cancer.

It’s worth pointing out that olive oil and Crisco brand canola oil both contain the same number of calories per serving, with 120 calories in each tablespoon. Now, even though these are your healthier oils, they should still be consumed in moderation, since they contain so many calories in such a small serving.

Vegetable Oil vs Canola Oil

From FitDay.com:

Some fats, like vegetable oil, are high in omega-6 fatty acids. And since most Americans get too much omega-6 already, they need to use an oil low in omega-6. Also, some fats have chemicals added to them, which some people believe can cause a host of health problems. Canola oil has the healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are good for you.

Cooking with Oils

Some oils are better than others for various cooking techniques, as oils have different smoke points. It’s best to choose your oil based on how you’re planning to cook.

  • Olive oil smoke point: 375 degrees F
  • Canola oil smoke point: 400 degrees
  • Vegetable oil/shortening smoke point: 360 degrees F

My cooking with oil recommendations are as follows:

  • When frying food, use canola oil
  • For popping popcorn, use vegetable oil
  • For sautéing vegetables, use olive oil
  • When searing meats, use olive oil or canola oil

Finally, a quick note about storage: Be aware that heat, light, and even air can affect the taste of your oils, especially olive oil. So, it’s best to store olive oil in a dark space in your cabinet.

Ok, now it’s time for you to get cooking! Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Photo Source: By churl

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One Response to “The Oil 411: Olive Oil vs Vegetable Oil vs Canola Oil”

  1. Aubergine says:

    I just found your site and love it! I’m a huge olive oil girl. I use it in everything. Canola I do stay away from though, unless it’s certified organic because almost all of the canola oil on the market is made from genetically engineered (GMO) canola. New independent peer-reviewed scientific research is showing GMOs can have potential health risks including being linked with cancer. Aside from the possible health risks, Monsanto, the company that controls a lot of the GMO canola production has bullied farmers and sued them in court for patent infringement when GMO canola cross-pollinated and contaminated their fields. So canola is a tricky one for me. I generally try to avoid it altogether.

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