Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil – Which One Should You Use

olive oil comparison with canola oil

Olive oil is considered one of the healthiest oils you can have in your kitchen. If you use it often, it may be hard to think of other cooking oils as good oils for preparing your meals. 

The truth is, there are many other oils on grocery store shelves, such as canola and avocado oil, that you can buy. This article will discuss canola oil and how it differs from olive oil.

What Is The Difference Between Olive Oil and Canola Oil

Canola oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the rapeseed plant. This oil is also known as rapeseed oil.

Olive oil is a natural oil produced from the fruits of the olive tree. The best type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). 

Canola oil differs from olive oil in that it is processed using bleaching and chemical extraction techniques that take away its flavor and organic coloring. 

Cold-pressing olives make extra virgin olive oil. The difference in the production of these two oils is evident in their appearance and taste. 

Canola oil is lightly textured, palely colored, and bland in taste because of the harsh production processes used to make it.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is quite different. It is made using organic processes such as cold pressing that preserve its color, taste, and nutritional value. Therefore, EVOO is one of the most preferred healthy cooking oils available.

What Is Olive Oil and How It’s Made 

Olive oil is made by extracting oil from the fruits of the olive tree. This oil has a nice greenish color and a unique fruity, peppery flavor that adds a delicious taste to most foods. 

Extra virgin olive oil is the best cooking oil you can buy for your kitchen. The process of making it is relatively straightforward.  Making a liter of olive oil requires about 4-8 kilograms of freshly harvested olives. These olives are taken to a mill where oil is extracted within 24 hours to make as fresh oil as possible.

The immediate pressing of olive oil from olive fruit after harvest is essential to prevent oxidation or fermentation of the fruit, which can spoil the quality of oil produced from them.

Therefore, once the olives are at the mill, they are crushed to a paste made up of the crushed seeds of olive fruits, their pulp, and skin. 

It takes an hour to whip olive oil out of this paste at a temperature of 24 -27 degrees centigrade. This whipping action separates the oil from the pulp. 

The resulting oil is then split into liquid olive oil and alpechin (vegetable wastewater released during olive oil making) via centrifugal force.

Olive oil producers finish the oil production process by filtering the liquid olive oil to remove any remaining impurities and packaging it into dark bottles as extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil.

What Is Canola Oil and How It’s Made

Just like olive oil, canola oil is easy to produce. The process of making it starts with removing weeds and farm debris collected during harvest from rapeseed. 

These seeds are flaked by rolling them gently to break the outer skin. Flaking heats the seeds making the first batch of canola oil flow out easier when they are pressed.

The seed pulp is then put into a food-safe solvent to extract any remaining oil from it after the first release of canola oil.

All the canola oil produced from the rapeseed is then passed through clay filters and organic acids to purify it by removing any unpleasant odor or particles of debris left behind during processing. Then, the canola oil is bottled for sale.

As you can see, canola oil is more heavily processed than olive oil. The techniques used to increase its shelf life, such as bleaching, heating, and chemical extraction, reduce its flavor and smell. 

For this reason, you cannot use canola oil to add flavor to a dish. However, it is excellent for cooking foods that require a high moisture content, such as baked foods. 

Does that mean there is no cold-pressed canola oil? There are oil producers who sell cold-pressed or express-pressed canola oil, which is chemical-free and packed with nutrients. 

But these oils are not as easily available as extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), so the latter is always preferred by people who enjoy using organic cooking oils.

Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil: Nutritional Values

If you are interested in the difference between canola and olive oil, you may wonder how they compare in terms of nutritional value. 

NutrientExtra Virgin Olive OilCanola Oil
Calories122 kcal124 kcal
Saturated Fat2g1g
Monounsaturated Fat11g9g
Polyunsaturated Fat1g4g
Vitamin E13% DV16% DV
Vitamin K9% DV8% DV
Smoke Point374-410 °F400-450 °F
Nutritional value per 1tbsp (15ml)

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains more antioxidants than canola oil, such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, that fight free radical damage. These antioxidants prevent chronic ailments in our bodies and keep us youthful.

With these facts in mind, you can see that extra virgin olive oil is the better of these two oils in terms of nutritional content. 

But how does it compare when it comes to cooking? Let’s find out.

Olive Oil vs. Canola Oil For Cooking

To know how olive oil and canola oil compare when used in cooking, we have to look at the smoking points of these two oils. 

The smoking point of canola oil is 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit, while olive oil is 374-410 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The difference in the smoking point between these two cooking oils makes olive oil better for cooking at low to medium heat, while canola oil is better for cooking at high heat.

Therefore, olive oil is used for sauteing foods, preparing salad dressings, and drizzling on cooked meals such as pasta, while canola oil is great for frying and baking.

With these facts in mind, you can make a wise choice on which oil to use between olive and canola oil when cooking, depending on what you are making.

Why Is Olive Oil Better?

In general, olive oil is better than canola oil for your health. The main reason for this is that it contains fewer amounts of unhealthy polyunsaturated fats.

An example is omega – 6 polyunsaturated fats, which are known to impair or lower brain functions such as learning and memory. This can cause degenerative brain ailments such as Alzheimer’s. 

Canola oil is also associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that makes us more susceptible to heart disease).

Olive oil is a much better oil to use than canola oil because it is rich in omega – 3 fatty acids and antioxidants like oleic acid and oleocanthal. 

These substances are especially good at lowering inflammatory markers in the body, such as C- reactive proteins that cause chronic ailments. 

Therefore, regularly consuming olive oil can lower your risks of suffering from heart ailments by up to 48 percent and of getting type 2 Diabetes by up to 16 percent.

Olive oil can also better your digestive system functions and enhance the quality of your skin and hair. This is why it is a primary ingredient in hair shampoos and treatments.

Can You Mix Olive Oil and Canola Oil

Although canola oil has a bland taste, you can use it to improve the flavor of other oils or lighten them. 

It is often mixed with EVOO to lighten its peppery taste and consistency when making salad dressings and sauteed foods.

Some people use this trick to adapt to the unique taste of extra virgin olive oil when they start using it. 

You may also use a blend of canola and olive oil for recipes that require an oil with a high smoking point, such as frying.

And since extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is expensive, blending it with an oil such as canola oil (which is neutrally flavored) can also make a bottle of EVOO last longer.

However, it would be best if you only used cold-pressed, non – GMO canola oil to make an olive oil-canola blend. 

And because it is hard to find organic canola oil, blending your EVOO with an affordable bottle of regular pure olive oil is a better idea.

That will ensure the blend of oil you make is free of impurities and free radicals that can harm your health and give your food a strange taste.


Now you know how olive oil compares to canola oil in terms of nutritional value and flavor. 

The next time you are looking for a healthy oil for your kitchen, choose extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

It is processed using chemical-free methods and contains lots of healthy fats. This is the oil to use for better health and culinary benefits.

And if given a choice between olive and Canola oil, always choose extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for your cooking.

If you feel EVOO is too expensive, consider blending it with cold-pressed canola oil or an affordable bottle of regular olive oil, and you’ll be able to use it for all types of cooking.

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