Healthy Alternatives: Olive Oil or Canola Oil?

Olive and canola oil have been gaining press with healthy eaters because these oils are known to be healthier than other oils. The “good fats” in them are even beneficial to your health. However, despite some minor differences, canola oil is emerging as the healthier of the two.

What are Good Fats?

Monounsaturated fats are the types of fats found in nuts, avocado and vegetable-based oils, like canola and olive oil. These fats don’t raise LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and may even lower it.

To Good to be True?

Just because these oils are called “good” fats, doesn’t mean that they should be poured on your food. Both oils contain about 120 calories per tbsp, and are total fat. They are not healthy additions to your diet, but are healthier choices than other fats.

Canola Trumps Olive

Olive oil, long known as the healthiest oil option, has also been found to hinder blood flow around the body following meals that were made with large amounts of the oil. Olive oil is higher in saturated fats (14%) than canola oil (6%), causing that blood flow shift, and therefore is less ‘heart healthy’ than canola oil.

Benefits of Canola Oil

Canola oil, on the other hand, contains omega-3 fatty acids, known for their health benefits. Omega-3’s are known for inhibiting inflammation in the body and reducing your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. They are also associated with lowering blood pressure.

Canola oil is also higher in essential vitamins, like vitamin K. Canola oil also has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it great for cooking as well!

Keep in mind that no matter what oil or fat you choose, keeping it low — only 25 g per day — is your best bet. Try using an oil sprayer when cooking so you don’t over do it. Alternatively, always measure the oil that you do use!

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