Cooking with canola oil... There are variety of oils that are used in cooking such as vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, herbal oils and olive oil.
For me, olive oil is the best all around cooking oil! Olive oil is not only healthy for you but it also tastes the best.
If you're looking to substitute olive oil, the other oil that is commonly recommended is canola oil. It has beneficial health properties like olive oil and it's also used as all purpose cooking oil from salad dressing to pasta.
Canola is cultivated from the rapeseed plant that was was originally bred in Canada. Today, it is a crop that is mass produced in the United States as well as some other parts of the world with suitable climates, such as Australia.
Here's a fun fact: Canola oil was made short for Canada oil. Its name is derived from mustard rape oil seed (from the mustard family), which is usually called the rapeseed. The Canadian government changed the name to Canola oil as the "rapeseed" had such a negative association.
Like olive oil, canola oil is low in saturated fat at just 7%. In fact, it contains even less saturated fat than olive oil, which has 15% saturated fat. It has the lowest amount of any of the common cooking oils and fats.
A diet that is high in saturated fat carries an elevated risk of coronary heart disease, so canola oil is a great substitute if you're looking for an all around cooking oil.
Like olive oil, canola oil is very high in unsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is believed to actually help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in people who consume it in moderation. Not all fats are created equal! Click here to learn more about different kinds of fats.
Canola oil shares this beneficial characteristic with olive oil. However, olive oil is still king of the hill when it comes to monounsaturated fat content, with a significantly better ratio of monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fat content.
One thing that canola oil does have over olive oil is it's ratio of fatty acids, particularly the omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
These are chemical compounds found in fats and oils that have beneficial health effects, particularly for the heart.
When we say that monounsaturated fat is good for you, it's because it contains these essential fatty acids. Click here to learn about the importance of Essential Fatty Acids.
One of the turnoff of using canola oil is that it doesn?t have that fruity taste is it is inherent in olive oil. Many people love the taste of olive oil and are happy to use it for all purpose cooking from salad dressing to baking and frying.
Another good characteristic of canola oil in cooking is that it is very heat-tolerant or has a high "smoke point". Smoke point is the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke.
When cooking with canola oil, you should never allow the oil to reach the smoke point as the smoke will not only release the nutrients in the oil but will also release carcinogens, which are toxic properties.
Also, when oil reaches its smoke point, it starts to break down and can make the food taste unpleasant.
Monounsaturated oils like canola oil and olive oil are considered the best all-purpose cooking oils as they can generally take higher heat than polyunsaturated oils like safflower, sunflower and soybean.
Canola oil can be used for high temperature frying, for example, without the food having to get too smoky.
If your options are either canola oil or olive oil, you?re guaranteed never to make a bad decision! Canola is an excellent choice as an alternative cooking oil.