It comes as no surprise that cooking oil is a common ingredient used when creating food at home.
While oils can add flavor to a dish, they can also provide much needed moisture content and health benefits – though many are also highly processed.
Often when a recipe calls for a cooking oil, many of us reach for olive oil or vegetable oil.
This is especially true if we are looking for an oil with a neutral flavor. So, what’s the difference?
While both are cooking oils, vegetable oil is often extracted from fruits or seeds, while olive oil is extracted from, you guessed it, olives.
In this article we shall take a look at these two similar oils, which one has a higher nutritional value, and find out what their differences are. Until then, you might want to hold off on deep frying those french fries.
What Is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is olive juice which is in its purest form. If you have high quality olive oil, then you will find that it has a fruity and stronger flavor despite being classed as a neutral oil.
The cheaper the olive oil is, the less likely it will taste or smell of anything.
Because olive oil is made from olives, it is much different to vegetable oil. Not only that, it is healthier too. It includes oleic acid and monounsaturated fats, but less of the polyunsaturated fats. What this means is it is a much healthier choice, and better for your heart health.
Often olive oil does not go through any chemical processing either, though this is often true of most cooking oils.
What Is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil often comes from seeds such as cacaos, rapeseeds, and soybeans.
There are other sources that make vegetable oil too such as peanuts, sunflowers, sesame and corn.
Often the vegetable fats include different triglycerides which are found within animal fats.
Is There A Reason To Use Olive Oil Instead Of Vegetable Oil?
While olive oil is still considered to be a form of fat, it includes monounsaturated fat which is essential to your overall health.
Vegetable oil on the other hand contains a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fats which is also said to be good for heart health.
However, often vegetable oils include saturated fat which is not good for the heart health.
For this reason alone, it is always better to choose olive oil when cooking.
Can You Substitute Olive Oil For Vegetable Oil?
There is nothing wrong with using vegetable oil in place of olive oil. The only difference is the overall flavor and health benefits.
However, if you want extra nutritional value, then go with olive oil.
What Is Cold Pressed Olive Oil?
Cold pressed olive oils are when olives produce oil from being pressed with no chemicals or heat.
Are There Health Benefits To Olive Oil?
There are many potential health benefits when it comes to high quality olive oils. They are loaded with monounsaturated fat, and have anti inflammatory compounds.
The anti inflammatory properties are even stronger in virgin olive oil.
Consuming olive oil every day may even help you to lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Olive oil also contains vitamin E which is great for your skin, and oleic acid.
Are There Health Benefits To Vegetable Oil?
When it comes to potential health benefits of vegetable oil, you might be surprised to learn that there are quite a few.
While olive oil is said to be healthier, vegetable oil will always be healthier than butter and lard.
When it comes to their nutritional value, if the oil has had more processing, then consider it not as healthy.
If the vegetable oil is as pure as it can get, it should contain a good amount of polyunsaturated fats.
Is Vegetable Oil Unhealthy?
Most vegetable oils are considered to be healthy, however there are some that are hydrogenated and include a high number of trans fats.
Also, the unsaturated fats in vegetable oil oxidize once cooked which can trigger inflammation.
If you do have olive oil to hand, when it comes to your health, always substitute vegetable oil for olive oil.
Replacing vegetable oil will make the dish a little healthier for your body.
What Is Light Olive Oil?
Light olive oil is a golden color which is said to be of high quality.
It is a refined olive oil which has been produced by pressing virgin olive oil using a form of heat.
What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is an oil which has got through limited processing.
It is healthier than regular olive oil.
Which Oil Is Best For Salad Dressings?
When it comes to choosing either olive oil or vegetable oil, you will want to go with the former when creating a salad dressing.
Not only will it taste better alongside something like balsamic vinegar, but it will be much healthier too.
Which Oil Is Best In Baked Goods Recipes?
If your baking recipes call for oil, then a good vegetable oil will be your go-to.
It will keep the sponge moist and delicious.
What Other Oils Can Be Used?
When it comes to oils, take a look at sesame oil, avocado oil, canola oil, and other nut and plant oils.
You are looking for the highest quality too.
Final Thoughts On Vegetable Oil vs Olive Oil
Olive oil and vegetable oil have similar smoke points (they can take high smoke point cooking well) and are both classed as neutral oils.
While they are both better than using something like a cooking fat, you may want to choose one or the other due to their flavor or how well they are at being used in stir fries.
While both oils do have health benefits, use olive oil when you want flavor and peace of mind. Vegetable oils are perfect to use in baked goods and as a backup.