Healthy Alternatives: Olive Oil or Canola Oil


Are you wondering which one is a healthier alternative? – Olive Oil or Canola Oil. You might have heard about their individual health benefits and how both are good for the heart. However, recent studies are challenging several facts we believe to be true about these oils. Read on to find out more.


Olive Oil or Canola Oil

What’s the Difference?

Canola oil is actually a vegetable oil processed from a hybrid of three plants- turnip, rapeseed and black and leaf mustard. This oil is high in mono-saturated fatty acids.

Olive oil, which is made from the juice of olives is actually a fruit oil. Olive oil too has high content of mono-saturated fats.

While both the oils are used extensively for cooking and baking, olive oil is cold pressed and has distinct varieties like virgin, extra virgin and extra light. Canola oil, on the contrary, is processed at very high temperatures.

The Myth vs. the Truth


Unfortunately ever since canola oil made its mark in the late 1960’s it has received a lot of bad press and was termed as toxic and bad for health, possibly because it was believed to be a genetically modified crop. Indeed, genetically modified crops are detrimental to health. However, the truth is that canola oil is processed using a special hybrid propagation technique and is not genetically modified as was so long believed

The widespread belief that canola oil is often used as an industrial lubricant mars its reputation as a beneficial product. The truth once again is that a number of vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and flax are used to make detergents, soaps and paints owing to their inherent properties, and that makes them no less beneficial.

The popular belief about olive oil has always been that it is a complete (and healthy) substitute for saturated fats like butter, but experts in health care warn that this is untrue!

We consume more olive oil thinking that it is low in calories. Research now shows that olive oil has 14% saturated fats, whereas canola oil has much less. Facts such as these are slowly changing the perception towards canola oil, especially amongst fitness enthusiasts who are now realizing the beneficial health effects of canola oil.

So Which is the Healthy Alternative – Olive Oil or Canola Oil?

And we are back to where we started. The fact is olive oil has always been accorded a ‘prestige’ status amongst edible oils, and health benefits of other oils such as canola were largely ignored. But increasing evidence now holds that olive oil too needs to be consumed in small proportions.

Likewise, the ill-effects associated with canola oil are not true. Canola oil is actually rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and works superbly on the arteries. The only drawback probably is that canola oil has 125 calories per tablespoon.

Go through these research findings to see how exactly these two oils compare with each other.

The debate about canola oil and olive oil is an old one, and one unlikely to be resolved any time soon. As an informed consumer, which oil would you opt for?

Also Read – Which is Healthier: Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil? Here

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About the author

Sandhya Valecha

Sandhya Valecha is a word consultant besides being a writer-editor. She founded Contentorial.com. Sandhya has been featured on Indian Womenpreneurs and Story Exchange.