What Is The Difference Between Olive Oil And Canola Oil

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Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil

Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil

Olive oil is known as the "Goldilocks" of oils because it is high in healthy compounds, delicious and versatile, and—bonus points—it is gold. It has a plethora of scientifically supported health benefits as well as an intriguing depth of flavor that ranges from grassy to peppery depending on the bottle. As a result, it's simple to make the case for using olive oil in your cooking.

That being said, there's another oil in your kitchen that's probably begging to be used: canola oil. This popular cooking oil is a type of vegetable oil that is commonly used in baking, frying, and sautéing. Should you switch to canola oil instead?

Canola oil is less expensive than olive oil, but how does it compare in terms of taste, health, and smoke point? We'll look at the differences between these two popular oils in this article. Continue reading to learn about their flavor profiles, nutrient profiles, and other details.

How Is Olive Oil Made vs. Canola Oil?

First and foremost, you may be wondering: what exactly is canola oil? Canola oil is extracted from the rapeseed plant, which is a bright yellow flowering plant in the mustard or cabbage family. While rapeseed contains a number of toxic compounds naturally, including erucic acid and glucosinolates, the rapeseed used to produce canola oil has been bred to contain low levels of these toxic compounds. This means that the seed oil is safe to eat. The Canola Council of Canada explains how canola oil is made.Canola seeds are first cleaned and separated from stalks and dirt.

To break the cell walls of the seeds, seeds are pre-heated to 95oF and flaked by mills.

Seeds are cooked at temperatures ranging from 176° to 221°F in a series of steam-powered cookers. This procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

Screw presses and expellers are used to press the seeds. During this step, approximately 50-60% of the oil is extracted. The remaining seed flakes contain approximately 18-20% oil. These are broken down by a chemical called hexane, allowing the remaining oil to be extracted.

The hexane in the oil is removed by heating it again at 203°–239°F.

Steam distillation, phosphoric acid exposure, and filtration through acid-activated clays are all used to refine the oil.

Olive oil, on the other hand, is naturally safe to consume (no special breeding required) and high in beneficial compounds such as fatty acids. However, it is critical to understand the various types of olive oil and how they are produced. (Would you like to learn more? Here's an in-depth look at the various types of olive oil.)

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is produced entirely mechanically. The fruit is ground into a paste, and the oil is separated from the solids and water by centrifugation. Finally, any remaining water or particles are removed by filtering or racking the oil. EVOO is cold-pressed—or, more accurately, "cold-extracted"—and is never subjected to chemicals or high heat at any point. The chemical and sensory standards for the highest grade of virgin olive oil are met by EVOO. It can be used in cooking, but it's best for salads, drizzling, or any other application that brings out the flavor of the olive oil.

Virgin olive oil, specifically virgin grade virgin olive oil, is less common in the market. It is produced in the same manner as the extra virgin grade. The distinction is that virgin olive oil is permitted to have minor flavor flaws, whereas EVOO is not. These flavor flaws may go unnoticed by many people.

Regular olive oil (also known as pure olive oil) is more processed than virgin olive oil. Regular olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and 15 percent to 25 percent virgin olive oil. To remove any flavor defects, the refined oil is treated with chemicals and heat.

Light or extra light olive oil is not a diet alternative; it is lighter in flavor rather than calories – this olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and 5% – 10% virgin olive oil. The refined oil, like regular olive oil, is treated with heat and chemicals to remove flavor defects.

Canola oil, as you can see, is highly processed in comparison to virgin olive oil, which is cold-pressed and untreated by heat or chemicals. Regular and light/extra light olive oil, on the other hand, are heated and chemically treated. As a result, canola oil resembles these oils more than virgin olive oils.

Canola Oil vs. Olive Oil Nutritional Comparison

This is when things start to get interesting. On a nutrition label, olive oil looks the same no matter how it was made. Why? The distinction is in the amount of polyphenols and other bioactive compounds present, which are not listed on a typical nutrition label. Here's how olive oil stacks up against canola oil. Nutritional Value of Canola Oil

According to the USDA, a tablespoon of canola oil contains the following:

  • 124 calories
  • 14 g total fat
  • 1.03 g saturated fat
  • 3.94 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 8.86 g monounsaturated fat 0 mg cholesterol
  • 0 mg total carbohydrate
  • 0 mg protein

Nutritional Value of Olive Oil

According to the USDA, one tablespoon of olive oil contains the following:

  • 119 calories
  • 13.5 g total fat
  • 1.9 g Saturated fat
  • 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 10 g monounsaturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 0 mg total carbohydrate
  • 0mg protein

As you can see, both have a similar total fat content and calorie count. Olive oil, on the other hand, contains fewer potentially harmful saturated fats and more heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Canola and olive oil both contain a healthy amount of vitamin E and a decent amount of vitamin K, in addition to what's on the label.

Olive oil, on the other hand, contains healthy polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. Olive oil is also high in phytosterols, squalene, chlorophyll, and carotenoids like lutein. These are more abundant in EVOO than in processed olive oils.

Canola oil or olive oil: which is better for you?

Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), is healthier than canola oil. Its antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, which are most abundant in unrefined oils, provide its benefits for heart health, fighting the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease, and anti-inflammatory properties. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can also help with cholesterol management. Indeed, EVOO is one of the healthiest oils available. Canola oil, on the other hand, lacks these health benefits because it is highly refined.

Canola oil is occasionally mentioned as a heart-healthy oil. Consumers, however, should be wary of these claims, according to Healthline. "Keep in mind that the canola industry has funded many studies linking canola oil to heart-health benefits, potentially raising conflicts of interest."

In fact, one study of 2,071 overweight or obese adults discovered that those who used canola oil frequently were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who used it infrequently or never.

What Is the Distinction in Taste?

Depending on how it was processed, olive oil has a variety of flavors. Canola oil, on the other hand, has a fairly consistent flavor. Here's how they're different.

Flavor of Canola Oil

Canola oil is well-known for its mild flavor. In fact, it is bleached and deodorized to maintain a neutral flavor. As a result, it is commonly used in baked goods, fried foods, and commercial kitchens.

Extra virgin olive oils made from unripe olives harvested early in the season have intense, vibrant flavors that have been described as grassy, herbaceous, or peppery. Later-harvested olives produce olive oil that is smoother and more buttery.

Try hosting an olive oil tasting for your friends to sample the many flavors of olive oil!

What Is the Difference Between the Smoke Points?

What is a smoke point, exactly? The smoke point is the high temperature at which an oil begins to degrade and emit free radicals. Free radicals are inflammatory compounds that can be harmful to one's health by promoting oxidative stress.

This is where canola oil takes the lead. Canola oil has a higher smoke point than EVOO or virgin olive oil, which ranges from 350o to 410oF. Refined olive oils, on the other hand, have a comparable smoke point of up to 470oF.

Because of their high smoke point, neutral-tasting canola oil and refined olive oils are both suitable for many types of high heat cooking, such as frying, baking, roasting, and stir-frying. If you want to add the distinct olive oil flavor, a high-quality EVOO, despite its lower smoke point, is the oil to use. It can even be used in baking, such as this gluten-free lemon olive oil cake.

Last Word

In this battle, olive oil comes out on top. This type of oil not only adds flavor, but it also contains far more healthy unsaturated fats, bioactive compounds, and less unhealthy fats, making it better for overall wellness. The minimal processing of extra virgin olive oil is also important to us because it requires no solvents and uses less energy. Of course, canola oil is less expensive than olive oil, making it an excellent choice for deep-frying. While you may have both in your pantry, olive oil is the oil to use most of the time.


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