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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at www.debilynsmith.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"O" Is For OLIVE OIL VS CANOLA OIL


It’s a slippery argument to say the least. 

While both olive and canola oil are deemed heart healthy oils the two are very different. Olive oil is made by pressing ripe olives and collecting their juices; canola oil is made from a hybrid of the rapeseed plant. The different types of olive oil refer to the amount of pressings. Cold pressed being the best method to extract all the nutrients, extra virgin being the first most beneficial pressing while pure and light being the last, least beneficial.

Here's what I found:

Canola oil is manufactured at high temperatures, using a mechanical process that often involves the toxic chemical hexane. Hexane is extremely harmful to humans yet  "probably" safe at the low levels found in Canola oils. Canola oil is degummed, deodorized, bleached and further refined at high temperatures. 
All in all, olive oil is considered the healthier oil because of the nutrients it contains. Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants, polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids with can promote cardiovascular health and cognitive function as well as boosting your immune system and protecting you from many types of cancer. Olive oil can even help prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes, since it helps your body produce adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Olive oil even has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be of immense benefit to those with inflammatory diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
But I also read that that while the two oils are  identical in caloric content (9 calories/gram), canola oil has less saturated fat than olive oil. Your body needs a certain amount of fat per  day (about 25 percent to 30 percent of calories consumed) to function normally, but saturated fat is associated with increased LDL and cardiovascular disease, so canola oil is the better choice. It's also high in the omega-3 fatty acids and other monounsaturated fats that help to promote healthy cardiovascular function. 

So confusing ………………..

Until I found this:
 OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Unsaturated, or heart-healthy, fats are not identical with regard to their function in the body. Some fall into the sub-category of omega-3 fatty acids, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, are particularly helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). According to Canola Info, canola oil is higher in omega-3 fatty acids (11 percent of the total fat) than olive oil, in which only 1 percent of the total fat is omega-3.

OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-6 fatty acids also are unsaturated fats, but they are less beneficial to the cardiovascular system than other unsaturated fats. According to the Mayo Clinic, although omega-6 fatty acids don't increase LDL like saturated fats do, they can lead to swelling of artery linings, which is associated with narrowed arteries and heart disease. Canola Info says canola oil contains 21 percent omega-6 fatty acids, a much higher percentage of these less healthy fatty acids than olive oil, which contains only 9 percent.

I think I like the cancer preventitive polyphenols and anitoxidants together with the fact that olive oil is a natural, non-modified food.
Yet you have to also garner in that olive oil has a slight taste where canola oil does not, so health benefits aside, some chefs prefer canola when baking.
Personally, I can’t imagine anything tasting bad when olive flavoured?
You decide.