Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a standard in the kitchen for most chefs and ‘clean eating’ cooks, but is it the best oil to use for cooking and dressings or does rapeseed oil (called Canola oil in Canada and the USA) offer greater benefits?
It is little wonder that rapeseed oil has been called ‘the British olive oil’ in recent years. As you cross the United Kingdom, you will often be wowed by the bright yellow fields that pepper the landscape in the Summer.
As with extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO as some people like to call it, rapeseed oil has a high ‘flash point’. That means it is well suited to roasting potatoes and vegetables. It can even be used as a butter replacement in crumbles and and mashed potato. It heats well in a wok and so lends itself to healthy stir-fry dishes too.
As we know, getting the right type of essential fatty acids is important to a well-rounded diet. Both EVOO and rapeseed oil contain high levels of Omega 3, 6 and 9; known to reduce cholesterol, improve brain function, assist joint function and maintain heart health.
Both rapeseed oil and EVOO are high in vitamin E too, and both can be heated to ‘deep-frying’ temperatures without losing their colour or antioxidants.
Where EVOO and rapeseed oil differ, however, is in the levels of saturated fat. Rapeseed/Canola oil is the clear winner here, with half the saturated fat levels of extra virgin olive oil.
For salad dressings and use in cooking and frying, try rapeseed oil instead of reaching for EVOO as your standard. Priced similarly to a good quality EVOO, you’ll gain all the benefits that olive oil delivers but with half the saturated fat.
Canola oil, as it is known in the US and Canada, has been the subject of much controversy due to genetic modification and factory processes. If you want the best possible product, buy the cold-pressed rapeseed oil produced in the UK.
Have you tried using rapeseed (Canola) oil instead of extra virgin olive oil? Let us know in the comments below…