Can you substitute canola oil for olive oil?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you substitute canola oil for olive oil?”, and what is the difference between canola oil and olive oil?

Can you substitute canola oil for olive oil?

Ys, you can substitute canola oil for olive oil. Estimate a 1:1 ratio for substitution. Olive oil is not the best substitute for canola oil when it comes to high-heat frying. 

Olive oil is best used when making something savory like a salad dressing or sauteing. You can also use olive oil in baking if the distinct flavor of the olive oil supports the flavor profile of the baked good.

What are canola oil and olive oil?

Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed (Brassica napus L.), which has been selectively bred to contain a lower amount of erucic acid and glucosinolates.

The manufacturing of canola oil involves heating, pressing, chemical extraction, and refining. However, expeller and cold-pressed canola oil and bleached and deodorized canola oil are also available.

Olive oil is made by pressing olives. Out of all the available olive oil varieties, regular and extra virgin olive oil are the most popular. Unlike regular olive oil, extra virgin olive oil does not undergo extensive processing due to which it is considered the most nutritious olive oil.

Similar nutritional profile

The nutritional profile of canola and olive oil is quite similar. 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of canola and regular (refined) olive oil provide the following key nutrients.

Canola oil Olive oil
Calories 124124
Fat 14 grams 14 grams 
Saturated 714%
Monounsaturated 6473%
Polyunsaturated 28% 11%
Vitamin E 16% of the RDI 13% of the RDI
Vitamin K 8% of the RDI 7% of the RDI 

Antioxidant content 

Both olive oil and canola oil contain powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells against free radical damage. Free radicals cause chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers.

Polyphenols are the most prominent antioxidants in olive oil. Olive oil contains over 200 different antioxidant compounds. The number of polyphenols or antioxidants varies with the processing method of olive oil.

Lightly refined extra virgin olive oil contains the highest number of antioxidants. The great processing of regular olive oil significantly reduces its antioxidant content.

Culinary uses


The smoke point of regular olive oil is 410℉ (210℃) and that of extra virgin olive oil is 383℉ (195℃). Canola oil has a higher smoke point than any of these two varieties of olive oil i.e 460℉ (238℃).

When oil is heated above its smoke point, its glycerol and fatty acids start to decompose and produce toxic compounds such as aldehydes, ketones, and alcohol.

Even at the smoke point, olive oil is much less likely to produce toxic compounds as compared to canola oil. But the overheating destroys the oleocanthal antioxidants of the olive oil, reducing its nutritional content. 

The bottom line is that canola oil is a better option for high-heat frying, including deep frying and searing. However, you can use any of the two oils in pan-frying and other moderate-heat frying methods.

Other uses

Olive oil is mostly consumed raw, drizzled over finished or uncooked food. Extra virgin olive oil has a savory flavor profile and imparts a rich Mediterranean flavor to whatever food it is added to. Extra virgin olive oil is best used in making dips, salad dressing, and drizzled-over meta dishes.

Some people do not like the raw and distinct flavor of extra virgin olive oil. Such individuals should opt for neutral-flavored regular olive oil.

Refining is an important step in canola oil processing as it deodorizes and bleaches the oil. So, there isn’t anything special about the flavor of canola oil due to which it is best suited for baking and frying. 

Which one is healthier?

Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest option when compared with canola oil and regular olive oil. Religious use of olive oil is linked with decreased heart disease risk factors, improved blood sugar levels, and a lower risk of death.

Olive oil reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke by lowering the blood LDL and Triglyceride levels. All of these health benefits of olive oil are ascribed to its rich antioxidant profile. 

Canola oil, due to extensive processing, loses most of its essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The health benefits of olive oil are well-known and scientifically proven. But the same cannot be said about canola oil. More research is needed to prove the claimed health benefits of canola oil.

The bottom line is that you should opt for olive oil if you are concerned with your health, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can you substitute canola oil for olive oil?”, and what is the difference between canola oil and olive oil?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.