Olive and canola oils are some of the most popular and common cooking oils today. Whether you’re using olive oil to dress your salad or canola oil to fry your French fries, chances are you have either one of both oils in your home. The oils have both similarities and differences that can impact whichever one you choose to use the next time you’re cooking. If you’ve come for that comparison, this is the right place.
Canola oil is made from rapeseed, which is a sort of crop grown specifically for oil production and is related to mustard and cauliflower. The crop goes through multiple processes, such as heating, extraction, pressing, and refining. It is also normally bleached and odourized in order to give it its colour and smell. Calorie and fat-wise, both oils are identical. Canola oil has less saturated fat but more polyunsaturated fat. It also contains slightly more vitamin E and K than olive oil. Canola oil is most often used in cooking and is rarely eaten raw due to its flavour. Because of its price (canola oil is significantly cheaper than olive oil) and mild flavour, it’s become a very popular cooking and frying oil. It has no specific nutrients though, and usually does nothing to improve your health.
Olive oil is made from olives (obviously) and has a few more options when it comes to creation processes. Extra virgin olive oil is very popular because it is made by only pressing the olives for the oil without any other things being done to the oil. Regular olive oil is a combination between extra virgin olive oil and more processed (usually heated or extracted) olive oil. It does have more saturated fat than canola oil, but has the same amount of overall fat as canola oil. Extra virgin olive oil is very high in antioxidants, which are very good for the body and immune system. Olive oil is a great option because it can be used both in cooking and in raw food, such as salad dressing or bread dip. It is trickier to fry things in olive oil, which is when many people turn to canola oil. Olive oil is healthy, specifically for the heart, because of its ‘good fat’ content and anti-inflammatory properties.
The bottom line is that olive oil should be your go-to choice when it comes to oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, has health benefits that canola oil cannot give you. The downside is that it is more expensive than canola oil, and it has a stronger flavour, making it unsuitable for certain dishes. Now that you know the differences, you can up your cooking game by choosing the best oil for your meal!