Are you confused about choosing the right cooking oil for your recipe? Through the years, many brands and varieties of oils have been introduced to change the way that food is cooked. Among the most popular ones are olive and canola because of their attractive heart-friendly properties. But as we all know, in cooking, there is only one oil to choose.
Though they have some similarities, these oils are different to each other in a lot of ways. Therefore, to make it less confusing, here are the best ways to differentiate between olive oil and canola oil.
How Are They Manufactured?
As the name suggests, olive oil is extracted from olives which is why it was considered to be a fruit oil. The olives, especially ripe ones, are crushed and pressed to produce the fruit’s oil content. Generally, the process is done on cold temperatures to ensure that its nutritional integrity is intact. Thus, they are regarded as "cold pressed".
As you may have noticed during your stroll around the grocery store, olive oils vary from one to another. You have Virgin and Extra Virgin olive oils, which differ based on the fruit-pressing process.
Extra Virgin is collected on the first press and is known to be more nutritious. Whereas, Virgin olive oil is collected on the second press. Subsequent presses undergo additional processing that produce the pure, light kinds of olive oil.
On the other hand, canola is the hybrid of a rapeseed which is why it is considered to be a vegetable oil. Unlike olive, it is processed at high temperatures. The mechanical process of manufacturing canola oil involves toxic chemicals.
So, the entire process is much more complicated than olive oil. It includes degumming, deodorizing, and bleaching, in which the oil’s impurities are further extracted. The high-temperature requirement decreases the concentrations of saturated and trans fat in the oil, and so alters its omega-3 content.
Which Is Healthier: Olive Or Canola?
Olive oil wins the "healthier award" over canola because it has been proven to be rich in a number of nutrients.
- Extra Virgin olive oil has polyphenols, antioxidants, and omega-3, which can all enhance the functions of your heart, brain, and immune system.
Hence, it prevents you from developing chronic non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, stroke, and diabetes mellitus type II.
- It also contains Oleocanthal, a nutrient that imitates the action of ibuprofen in alleviating inflammation. This means it benefits people with inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis.
- It also affects bone density. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone becomes fragile due to a decrease in bone mass. Olive oil contains a considerable amount of calcium that helps to fight osteoporosis.
Its positive effects on brain function mean that olive oil can amazingly help people to fight depression. A study showed that people who consume olive oil and polyunsaturated fats in fish tend to have lower risk of developing depression than those who consume trans fat from processed foods.
Is Canola Oil Good For Your Heart?
Even though canola oil’s content is not as healthy as olive oil’s, it still contains nutrients that are good for the heart.
In general, canola has saturated fats. When you hear the word "fats", you might immediately believe they are bad. But here’s the catch, not all fats are bad.
There are, in fact, good ones, such as saturated fats, because they even help to lower your body’s cholesterol levels.
In addition, omega-3 and monosaturated fats are helpful in promoting your heart’s function.
- So, contrary to popular belief, canola oil was proved to be safe for your health.
When Can I Choose Canola Oil Over Olive Oil?
As olive oil is healthier, it is expected that you will choose it over canola oil for the sake of maintaining your health.
But, there are times when you need canola over olive oil.
- Olive oil tastes like a dressing or a dip because it tends to retain the olive fruit’s flavor when it is pressed. Therefore, it is not appropriate for baking or cooking due to the possibility that it might just end up altering the taste of your dishes.
- Moneywise, canola oil is cheaper, so you’ll make more savings when you buy canola oil instead.