Canola Oil Vs Olive Oil: Which Is Better?

Canola Oil Vs Olive Oil Which Is Better

When it comes to cooking oil, canola oil, and olive oil are the two most popular options. Both of them are healthy and offer many health benefits. While some people prefer the former one, others like the taste and flavor of the latter more.

If you are also confused between the two, we have got you covered. The article will compare canola oil vs. olive oil and differentiates the two based on different characteristics. 

Keep reading!

Difference Between Canola Oil and Olive Oil



Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed. Since rapeseed contains a high amount of erucic acid and glucosinolates (toxic compounds), it is brewed while processing (1). In the process, these toxins are removed, making oil suitable for consumption. 

In processing, Canola oil undergoes the following –

  • Heating
  • Pressing
  • Chemical extraction
  • Refining

Later, the oil is bleached and deodorized to give its typical color and odor. 

What is OLIVE OIL?

olive oil

Olive oil is extracted from the fruits of the olive tree (2). This oil is available in two forms namely, regular or pure and extra virgin olive oil. The difference between the two is their method of processing. 

As the name indicates, extra virgin olive oil contains only pressed or virgin oil whereas regular one contains both- virgin as well as refined olive oil. While virgin oil is made after pressing, refined oil is heated or chemically extracted. 

It is the reason why extra virgin olive oil is more expensive. 

Nutritional Content of Canola Oil and Olive Oil

Both oils are a good source of healthy fats and vitamins. They share equal calories and fat wherein olive oil contains more saturated and monounsaturated fats and canola oil contains more polyunsaturated fats. 

The amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin K is the same in both oils. 

Talking about their antioxidant profile, olive oil contains a good amount of polyphenols, making it a powerful source. Here, it is important to mention that extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than regular olive oil. It is because the refining process decreases the antioxidants. 

The antioxidants present in olive oil (3) are-

  • Oleuropein
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • Oleocanthal 

All these are associated with improving the heart condition and reducing the risks of heart ailments.

Below is the table comparing canola oil vs. olive oil under different heads to give a better clarification between the two-

FeatureCanola OilOlive Oil
SourceExtracted from the seeds of the canola plant (Brassica napus)Extracted from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea)
FlavorMild flavor, almost neutralDistinctive fruity flavor, varies depending on the type and quality
Smoke PointHigh smoke point, typically around 400°F (204°C)Varies depending on the type; extra virgin olive oil around 320°F (160°C), refined olive oil around 470°F (243°C)
CompositionHigh in monounsaturated fats (about 63%) and low in saturated fats (about 7%)Predominantly monounsaturated fats (about 73%) with lower levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fats
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsContains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acidContains small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, primarily oleic acid (omega-9)
Health BenefitsMay help reduce the risk of heart disease due to its high monounsaturated fat contentMay improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and support weight management
CookingVersatile and suitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying, baking, and grillingBest used for low to medium-heat cooking, salad dressings, and as a finishing oil due to its flavor
Shelf LifeHas a longer shelf life compared to olive oilGenerally has a shorter shelf life, especially extra virgin olive oil which is more prone to oxidation
Culinary UsesWidely used in a variety of cuisines and dishes around the worldCommonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and dishes that benefit from its distinct flavor
ProcessingOften undergoes refining and may be genetically modifiedExtra virgin olive oil is minimally processed and extracted without the use of chemicals, while lower grades may undergo refining

What’s Better for Culinary Uses of Canola Oil or Olive Oil?

Due to their unique characteristics and health benefits, both are suitable for cooking; however, one oil is suitable for deep frying while the other is good for pan frying. 

The smoke point of canola oil is 238 degrees Celsius (4) while of olive oil is 210 degrees Celsius (regular) and 195 degrees Celsius (extra virgin) (5). It is the temperature when oil forms toxic compounds like aldehydes, ketones, and alcohols and becomes unpleasant in taste and flavor.

Even though the smoke point of olive oils is less than canola oil, they do not get bitter or develop unpleasant flavor after reaching it, unlike other oils, including canola. It is because they do not develop toxic compounds. 

Still, overheating can reduce their antioxidants. 

Therefore, for pan and moderate frying olive oil is suitable whereas for high-heat or deep-frying canola oil is better. 

Olive oil is also consumed raw due to its peculiar fruity flavor. Other uses of olive oil are-

  • Dips for breads 
  • Salad dressing 
  • Add spice and color to dishes 

Canola Oil Vs Olive Oil: What’s Healthier?

When comparing the health benefits of the two, olive oil, especially the extra virgin, secures more points. Below are its health benefits-

  • Reduces the risk of heart ailments 
  • Improves blood sugar levels 
  • Enhances skin health 
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties 

On the other hand, canola oil is refined and thus contains fewer nutrients and antioxidants. 


Olive oil clearly contains more nutrients and antioxidants and is, therefore, more beneficial for health. However, it is more expensive than canola oil. 

When it comes to culinary purposes, both olive and canola oil are suitable for medium and deep frying. But you can consume olive oil raw as well using it as salad dressing. 

If you have heart ailments, you better go for extra virgin olive oil to reap maximum benefits. 

Image Source : canva

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