Both olive oil and canola oil contain a high percentage of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Both oils are considered heart-healthy, but are they both equally good for you? Let’s compare the two oils.
|Olive Oil||Canola Oil|
|Type||Fruit oil made from olives||Seed oil made from a variety of the rapeseed plant|
|Grades||The International Olive Council has established a grading system for olive oil that dictates how olive oil is graded and labeled.||No standards exist for Canola oil. While virgin canola oils exist, there is no consumer protection regarding the labeling.|
|Usage||Olive oil has been used for thousands of years.||Canola was developed in the 1970s.|
|Cost||Olive oil ranges in cost but is generally more expensive than canola.||Canola oil is less expensive than olive oil.|
|Production methods||Extra virgin olive oil is produced by pressing olives to extract the juice. Olive oil (often called classic or pure olive oil) may be extracted by applying heat.||Most canola is produced through a chemical extraction, refinement and bleaching process.|
|Solvents||No solvents are used to produce pure, classic, light or extra virgin olive oils.||Canola oil is generally extracted with chemical solvents such as hexane.|
|GMO||To date, there are no genetically modified olive oils.||Canola is a common genetically modified product.|
|Antioxidants||Olive oil of all grades contain antioxidants, which have powerful health benefits.||No antioxidants.|
|Rancidity||The antioxidants in olive oil help to protect the oil from rancidity and oxidation in storage and during cooking.||Canola should be used quickly after opening to prevent rancidity.|
|Flavor||Extra virgin olive oil has a fruity flavor. Pure and light olive oils have a neutral flavor.||Neutral flavor.|
The smoke point of oil varies depending on the oil sample. The numbers below represent the top temperatures that an oil can reach before smoking.
|OIL||SMOKE POINT (Listed highest to lowest)|
|Olive Oil||468°F (242°C)||Regular olive oil has a higher smoke point than canola oil, at 468°F.|
|Canola Oil||445°F (235°C)||Canola oil has a slightly higher smoke point, 445°F than extra virgin olive oil’s smoke point, which is up to 410°F.|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||410°F (205°C)|
Temperature needed for most cooking is around 350°F.
In conclusion, both olive oil and canola oil are heart-healthy choices, but olive oil offers additional benefits in the form of anti-oxidants and chemical-free extraction process.
This article was first published on the About Olive Oil website of the North American Olive Oil Association on August 2, 2017.