Can I use canola oil instead of olive oil?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I use canola oil instead of olive oil?” and will discuss the nutritional profile of canola oil and olive oil.

Can I use canola oil instead of olive oil?

Yes, you can use canola oil instead of olive oil. Even though you’ll taste and smell a difference, you may use vegetable or canola oil in place of the olive oil in the majority of recipes. Canola oil is an excellent substitute for olive oil for sautéing, grilling, roasting, or stir-frying because of its comparable smoke point (400°F) and mild taste profile.

What are canola oil and olive oil?

Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) is used to make canola oil because it has been developed to have less harmful chemicals like erucic acid and glucosinolates than normal rapeseed. Canola oil is now safe to consume thanks to cutting-edge innovation.

Heat, pressing, chemical extraction, and refinement are the most common canola processing steps, although there are also expeller and cold-pressed canola oil available. The oil is bleached and deodorized as well, resulting in a hue and smell that are both neutral. Olive oil, on the other hand, is derived from the squeezed fruit of the olive tree: olives.

Even though there are many kinds of olive oil, ordinary olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil are the most popular. Regular olive oil includes a mixture of a virgin (pressed) oil and refined (heated or chemically extracted) olive oil, while extra virgin olive oil is extracted only by pressing.

Extra virgin olive oil is more costly, but it’s better for you since it’s not refined as much as ordinary olive oil.

The similarity in dietary composition

Canola oil and olive oil are nutritionally comparable. Canola and normal (refined) olive oil provide the following nutrients in only one tablespoon (15 ml): Canola oil has more polyunsaturated fat than olive oil, which has more saturated and monounsaturated fat.

Antioxidant content

The antioxidant content of canola and olive oils differs considerably. Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize molecules known as free radicals, which may be damaging.

 If your body’s level of free radicals becomes too high, it may cause cellular damage. Free radical damage has been linked to chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer, according to research.

Polyphenols, which serve as strong antioxidants in your body, are abundant in olive oils with over 200 plant components. The quantity of polyphenols, on the other hand, is process-dependent. Regular olive oil has a low polyphenol concentration due to the refining process, which drastically lowers the antioxidant value. Extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is a powerhouse of polyphenols.

Some of these have been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced inflammation, such as oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and oleocanthal

Uses in the kitchen

Because of their distinct characteristics, olive oil and canola oil are suitable for a wide range of culinary preparations.


The smoke point is the temperature at which oils begin to smoke when used in high-heat culinary techniques like frying. Canola oil has a higher smoke point (460°F/238°C) than normal olive oil (410°F/210°C) or extra virgin olive oil (195°C).

Glycerol and free fatty acids begin to break down and produce aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols when an oil approaches its smoke point. These substances have the potential to be poisonous and have a foul odor.

Regular and extra virgin olive oils, on the other hand, have a higher smoke point than canola oil but seem to be more heat-stable and unlikely to produce hazardous chemicals. But boiling them too much may deplete some of their beneficial components, such as oleocanthal antioxidants, which can affect how they taste as a whole.

Since high-heat frying uses canola oil, it makes sense to use it for deep frying and searing. However, both oils are acceptable for frying in a pan or using other low- to medium-temperature techniques.

Other uses

Although olive oil may be used to cook, it is most often eaten unrefined and unprocessed. Extra virgin olive oil, for instance, is excellent as a bread dip. It may be used as a salad dressing or drizzled directly from the bottle over your favorite meal.

Cooking with it gives dishes a rich Mediterranean flavor because of its bright color and spicy flavor. This taste, on the other hand, may offend certain individuals. Regular olive oil, which has a milder flavor, may be a preferable option in this situation.

Canola oil, on the other hand, is bleached and deodorized to make it seem more neutral. Other than in fried and baked products, extra virgin olive oil is hardly used. The high cost of olive oil is a significant drawback. Olive oil is not often utilized in commercial kitchens and restaurants because of the health risks associated with it.

To learn about the recipes of canola oil, click here 

Other FAQs about Oils that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I use canola oil instead of olive oil?” and discussed the nutritional profile of canola oil and olive oil.