Olive Oil vs. Vegetable Oil
Olive oil and vegetable oils are some of the most popular plant oils used around the globe, each having unique characteristics. But the question we ask ourselves is which one should we use and why?
Olive oil has been known for its health benefits including improved heart health and immune system performance, in addition to a decreased risk of chronic disease. But why do some people still prefer to use vegetable oil for frying and baking?
Before we start comparing the two oils, let’s take a look at how they are made. Olive oil is made from pressed olives. Extra-virgin olive oils in particular are the least processed, meaning they retain the most beneficial nutrient compounds. On the other hand, vegetable oil is made by mixing oils from different sources, such as canola, cottonseed, sunflower, soybean, corn, and safflower.
Unlike olive oil, vegetable oil requires more processing to remove impurities and create a neutral-flavored blend. Although the processing of the vegetable oil creates a neutral flavor that many prefer, it also removes healthful antioxidants.
Now to answer your question, let’s clear the misconception that exists around using olive oil for frying and baking. Vegetable oils have a smoke point of 460°F. Extra virgin olive oils have a smoke point of around 410°F. Further, the level of harmful polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils are much higher than those of olive oils (61% VS 9%). According to a study published by ACTA Scientific Nutritional Health, refined oils higher in polyunsaturated fats proved to be less stable under high temperatures and oxidized much more quickly than oils lower in polyunsaturated fats. The study compared ten of the most commonly used oils and found that extra virgin olive oil is the most stable cooking oil.
As a general rule, all olive oil is a healthy choice. The more flavor the olive oil has for example Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, means the oil had the least amount of processing, meaning there are more potential health benefits it has due to the unique olive antioxidants and polyphenols.
However, if you prefer to use a neutral-flavored cooking oil while maintaining the health benefits of olive oil, use Filippo Berio Olive Oil or Filippo Berio Extra-Light Olive Oil for a more neutral flavor, while still reducing the level of polyunsaturated fats and retaining some anti-oxidants. And always remember, olive oil can take the heat!