Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils there are; it is really the queen of oils. It’s made from the fruit of the olive tree. Olive oil contains mostly healthy monounsaturated fats, which may help lower your risk of heart disease. They may also help regulate blood sugar.
The most popular olive oil choice is Extra Virgin (also known as EVOO) and made from pressed olives. It’s this primary squeeze that delivers the rawest goodness of the fruit, so when you can, EVOO is the best choice. Not only is it more robust in flavor, but it also contains the most antioxidants.
If you prefer a lighter flavor, then virgin olive oil is your next best option. It’s the second press of the olive and is usually lighter in color as well as flavor.
Olive oil is by far the superior oil for cooking due to its versatility – you can cook with it, use it in salad dressings, or even just mop it up with some crusty bread.
What Is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oil is the label used to describe the range of oils derived from plants, including olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, etc.
The name is a little misleading, as vegetable oil doesn’t always come from vegetables. It is extracted from different types of fruits, seeds, grains, and nuts. Vegetable oil comes in many varieties for many cooking purposes. The healthiest vegetable oils are canola; corn; olive; peanut, safflower; soybean, sunflower.
Even the healthiest oils should be used in moderation since they are high in calories and primarily fat. When cooking with vegetable oils, consider the different types of fat.
Is Vegetable Oil Healthy?
Different vegetable oils have different health ratings. Vegetable oils are generally healthy sources of fat. Still, some experts have highlighted concerns with the high amount of polyunsaturated omega-6 fats found in certain vegetable oils (like canola oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, and rice bran oil) and their effect on human health.
Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil: Which Is Healthier?
Plant oils are a common pantry staple often used for cooking practices like sautéing or frying vegetables, making sauces, drizzling onto pizzas, and preventing pasta from sticking together.
Olive oil and vegetable oils are some of the most popular plant oils used worldwide, each displaying unique characteristics.
Let’s look at the differences between olive oil and vegetable oil, including their best uses, taste, nutrition, and potential health benefits.
Olive oil and vegetable oil differ in how they’re made, their best culinary uses, flavors, and nutritional composition.
- It is derived from a blend of fats from multiple plant sources, like sunflower, corn, canola, soy, and safflower
- Used mainly in baking and frying
- The nutrients depend on the oil blend but usually retain minimal trace nutrients after processing (The possibilities are endless).
- Has no antioxidants
- Vegetable oil is highly processed
- And has a boiling point of 400oF(205oC)
- It is derived from processed olives
- Used mainly in salad dressing, sautéing, and for a bread dip
- Possesses vitamin K and E (in extra virgin varieties)
- Very high in antioxidants
- Olive oil is not processed (depends on the form, extra virgin varieties are the least processed)
- Olive oil has a boiling point of 390OF(200oC)
While olive oil and vegetable oils have different culinary uses, the healthiest option is extra virgin olive oil, which is the least processed and offers the most beneficial compounds.
Can You Substitute Vegetable Oil for Olive Oil
You can substitute vegetable oil for olive oil; that is no problem. Vegetable oil is a highly refined blend of neutral oils high in pro-inflammatory fats and lacks micronutrients. Olive oil and vegetable oil blends tend to have similar smoke points, sitting around 400°F (205°C). The smoke point is the temperature to which it can be heated before its fat begins to break down into glycerol and free fatty acids.
Just like vegetable oil, some types of olive oil are highly processed, including pomace oil. These types lack micronutrients and the characteristic flavor that you get from extra virgin olive oil, featuring a more neural taste instead.
You won’t have the flavor that olive oil brings to the party, but in the case of more refined (not extra virgin) olive oils, it really won’t make much difference. Just use however much oil the recipe calls for. It’ll be fine.
The main difference will be the flavor. Especially cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil can add an extra twist of flavor depending on quality, variety, and source. Quantity can be substituted one to one as every cooking oil has the same consistency and density.
In making pizza dough, switching olive oil for vegetable oil will only change the flavor of the final product. The conversion is 1-to-1.
In other cases, it can make a difference; for example, refined olive oil has a higher smoke point than vegetable oil, which in turn has a higher smoke point than (extra-)virgin olive oil.
Substituting vegetable oil for olive oil will make no difference in pizza dough. I would substitute it 1:1. They are not, however, interchangeable in other circumstances. Olive oil can add more flavors to a dish than vegetable oil, and it also burns at a lower temperature, so it is unsuitable for frying. I enjoy its flavor and think that vegetable oil brings an oilier texture/taste, but that could be purely personal preference. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the healthiest oil to fry with?
Oils that contain lower levels of linoleic acid, such as olive and canola oil, are better for frying. Polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, sunflower, and safflower, are best used in dressings rather than cooking.
What oil is best for high heat?
The best oils for standing up to high heat during frying are avocado, peanut, canola, sunflower, and sesame oil. These oils have a high smoke point (400°F and higher), which means they are better suited for cooking at higher temperatures.
How bad is vegetable oil for you?
Vegetable oils generally seem to be healthy sources of fat. Hydrogenated vegetable oils that are high in unhealthy trans fats are an exception to this. Some nutritionists are also concerned about the high amounts of polyunsaturated omega-6 fats found in certain vegetable oils.
Vegetable oil and olive oil are both widely used in cooking. While olive oil is derived from olives and tends to be less processed, vegetable oil is usually a blend of several plant oils and highly processed into a neutral-tasting product. You can substitute vegetable oil for olive oil because these oils share many features in common. However, vegetable oil may be found wanting when compared to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).