Canola Oil vs. Olive Oil

Both canola oil and olive oil are vegetable oils used in cooking. They have healthy fats that keep the heart healthy. Although there are many similarities between these two oils, there are many differences too. When you compare canola oil vs. olive oil, you can notice that they differ in aroma, flavor, color, smoke point, health benefits, and price. If you want to know which oil is healthier, you have to study their differences. Once you understand the differences, you can make a better choice for your family.

Canola Oil vs. Olive Oil: Which one is better?

We get canola oil from rapeseed, whereas olive oil from olives. The former is a seed oil and the latter is a fruit oil. Olive oil has great health benefits because it is cold pressed for retaining the natural nutrients. Canola oil often involves hexane and other harmful chemicals because it is processed at high temperatures. There are various grounds on the basis of which you can compare the two oils. So let’s find out which one is better by doing a comparative study of Canola Oil vs. Olive Oil.

1. The effect of oil on your health

Although canola oil has many health benefits such as keeping the heart healthy, many people consider it dangerous. As canola oil is a genetically modified food, it can harm your liver and kidneys. During the manufacturing process, canola oil undergoes high heat and methods like solvent extraction, mechanical pressing, and bleaching. As a result, it can contain harmful chemicals.

Olive oil can help in boosting your immunity. It prevents you from heart diseases and cancer. It is also beneficial for people with obesity and high blood pressure. Olive oil is a common ingredient in the Mediterranean diet which is one of the best healthiest diets in the entire world.

2. Manufacturing process

To understand the difference between canola oil vs. olive oil, you need to know about the manufacturing process of the two oils. The manufacturing processes of the two oils are completely different. The mechanical process of canola oil often involves toxic chemicals. The oil is then degummed, bleached, deodorized, and refined at extremely high temperatures. Due to the high temperature, the omega-3 content of canola oil changes. There is an increase in the concentration of saturated fats and Trans fatty acids.

People make olive oil by crushing ripe olives and pressing them at cold temperatures. This helps in maintaining the nutritional content of the fruit oil. The extraction contains olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the oil extraction from the first press. Virgin olive oil is the oil extraction from the next press. All the subsequent presses contain “pure” olive oil. The pure and light versions have to undergo further processing and refining.

3. Uses of the oil

Canola oil is widely used for cooking purposes as it has low saturated fat content. It is also used as biodiesel because it is friendly to the environment.

Just like canola oil, olive oil is widely used for cooking purposes because it contains high monounsaturated fat. Olive oil is also used in products for skin care and hair care. It is good for your skin and hair. It moisturizes and exfoliates the skin. In some regions, people use olive oil for religious practices and medicinal purposes.

4. History

When you are studying canola oil vs. olive oil, it is a good idea to look into the history of the two oils. The world canola is a blend of two words: Canada and Oil. In the early 1970s, Canadian scientists cultivated a new variation of rapeseed plant called canola plant.  It was naturally bred. You get canola oil from the seeds of the canola plant.

The olive tree has been in existence for thousands of years. In the ancient times, people used olive oil in religious ceremonies.

5. Composition of Fat

The composition of fat is different in canola oil and olive oil. Canola oil contains 62% monounsaturated fat, 31% polyunsaturated fat, and 7% saturated fat.

Extra virgin oil has 78% monounsaturated fat, 14% saturated fat, and 8% polyunsaturated fat. Olive oil is of different types. As you get extra virgin olive oil from the first press of ripe olives, it is the healthiest type of olive oil.

As the quantity of saturated fat is lesser in canola oil compared to olive oil, the former is considered healthier.

6. Types of fat

The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats present in canola and olive oil are good for health. They lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels in the body, thereby promoting heart health. On the other hand, saturated fats and trans fats are harmful to the body as they solidify at room temperature. They can result in the clogging of arteries.

Canola oil has a higher omega-3-fatty acids content, compared to olive oil. Omega-3-fatty acids belong to the healthy polyunsaturated fats group.

7. Smoke Point

During the process of cooking, the chemical composition of some oils can change. Cooking can decrease the beneficial qualities of oils and make them harmful. Free radicals can form when you cook some oils beyond their smoke point. They can cause life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

Both canola oil and olive oil have greater smoke points than other oils such as soybean, sesame, and flaxseed oil. You should cook canola oil at medium temperature or lower temperature.

You should also cook extra virgin olive oil at a medium temperature. However, you can cook light olive oil at a higher temperature.

8. Aroma and Flavor

When you are comparing canola oil vs. olive oil, you need to study the differences in their aroma and flavor. As canola oil is mild oil, it does not have a strong aroma. Its taste is imperceptible. It will not enhance the flavor of your dishes.

On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil will enhance the flavor of your dishes. It will add to the taste of your food. It has the characteristic smell of fresh olives. The refined and lighter versions of olive oil have lesser flavor and aroma than extra virgin olive oil.

9. Color

Canola oil has a very light yellow color. The color is almost clear and stays consistent always.

Extra virgin olive oil is available in a wide variety of colors, ranging from pale yellow to deep green. The color of the oil does not reveal about its quality. It depends on various factors such as the time when the olives were harvested and the type of olives used to make the oil. The color can greatly vary from year to year and batch to batch.

10. Price

You cannot ignore noticing the price differences when you are studying canola oil vs. olive oil. Canola oil is way cheaper than olive oil. This is one of the reasons why many households use canola oil for cooking. Both GMO and non-GMO versions of canola oil are available at a price lower than the cheapest olive oil.

Olive oil is more expensive than canola oil because of its less supply and premium nature. It is less industrialized than canola oil. Olive oil is available in various grades, out of which extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive.

11. Presence of antioxidants

Canola oil does not contain antioxidants. In order to prevent rancidity, you must use canola oil quickly after opening the jar.

All grades of olive oil contain antioxidants which have immense health benefits. The antioxidants also protect the oil from oxidation and rancidity during cooking. You can store olive oil for a longer time as it won’t turn rancid, unlike canola oil.

12. Use of solvents

Chemical solvents like hexane are used to extract canola oil. On the other hand, there is no use of solvents during the production of olive oil.

Both canola oil and olive oil are rich in MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids). They are both known as heart-healthy oils. After studying canola oil vs. olive oil in detail, you must have noticed that olive oil have additional health benefits. It has antioxidants and does not require chemical solvents during its production process. When it is about consumer perception, olive oil wins because it is healthier. As canola oil is cheaper, it has many takers. Extra virgin oil has a distinct flavor of olives which makes it inappropriate for baking or cooking some dishes. Therefore, many people prefer canola oil for baking and cooking. They use olive oil to make tasty salad dressings and dips.

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