The difference between olive oil and vegetable oil and when to use them in your cooking

With so many cooking oils on grocery store shelves, choosing the best one for your recipe can be a daunting task. The two main options are olive oil and vegetable oil, and within each type there are even other types to choose from. It can be tempting to grab the first bottle you see and go home, but choosing the right type of oil for what you're cooking is key to a successful (and delicious) meal. Learn the difference between olive oil and vegetable oil. 

What is olive oil? 

Olive oil is the liquid fat found in the olive, the edible fruit of Olea europea, the olive tree. During the extraction process, a machine crushes the whole olive, and separates the oil from the pulp. The oil can then be refined, a process that removes impurities.

Types of olive oil

 Depending on the specific production method, the final oil will be classified into the following types:
Extra virgin olive oil: 

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a free acidity of 0.8 percent or less. It is cold pressed, which means that the extraction process does not use heat or chemicals. EVOO is considered the best olive oil and is less refined than refined oils.

Virgin Olive Oil: 

Like EVOO, extra virgin olive oil is extracted without heat or chemicals. However, its free acidity is 2 percent or less. Its quality is considered lower than EVOO, but higher than refined olive oil.

 Refined olive oil:

 Refined olive oil is virgin olive oil that has been refined, resulting in lower quality oil. It usually has little to no flavor. This type is often called "olive oil" or "light olive oil."


Nutritional profile
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. These "good" fats have anti-inflammatory properties and promote healthy blood cholesterol levels when used in place of "bad" saturated fats.1 Compared to refined olive oil, EVOO contains more antioxidant compounds. called polyphenols. (Antioxidants protect healthy cells by reducing oxidative stress in the body.) This is because heat and refining destroy polyphenols, so EVOO, which is slightly processed, usually contains more among them.

Cooking uses

 In recipes, different types of olive oil work best for different applications. EVOO and virgin olive oil are unstable, meaning they can burn at high temperatures. These types are best eaten raw, as a salad dressing, or sprinkled on bread. Refined oil is more sturdy, making it ideal for cooking methods such as frying, sautéing, and baking.

What is vegetable oil? 

Vegetable oil is a liquid fat extracted from plant parts, such as seeds, nuts or fruits. There are many types of vegetable oils. Common crops include soybeans, canola, sunflowers and peanuts. Depending on the source, "vegetable oils are pressed or extracted. For [oil] extraction, the grains or seeds are put into a centrifuge, which spins and extracts the oil.'' In contrast, chemical extraction uses a chemical solvent to separate the oils from the plant part. . In some cases, vegetable oil can be produced using both methods. 


 Once pressed or extracted, vegetable oil can be either unrefined or refined:
 Unrefined Oil: 

The type of oil that has not been refined (to remove unpleasant colors), derummed (to remove stickies materials that change the smoke point), or deodorized (to remove color and flavor ).

 Refined Oils:

refined oil has been bleached, degummed, and/or deodorized oils. This gives a higher smoke point.
The taste of crude and refined oils is similar. 

Nutritional profile
Depending on the type, vegetable oils are rich in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. When used in place of saturated fat, these fats can help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL3 cholesterol. Unsaturated fats also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Cooking uses

The smoke point of vegetable oils varies greatly, making each suitable for different applications. But in general, "vegetable oil is often used for frying, sauteing, and baking.

Olive oil against vegetable oil
Here's how olive oil and vegetable oil compare:

Fatty acid composition

 Olive oil and vegetable oils are low in saturated fat and high in anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats. However, olive oil contains more monounsaturated fats, while unsaturated fats in vegetable oils vary in type. "For example, canola oil and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, while soybean and corn oils are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Heat stability

Olive oil and vegetable oil have different smoke points, or the temperature at which the oil begins to degrade. The process creates noxious fumes and free radicals, and fatty acids will get unpleasant flavor.

In general, olive oil has a lower smoke point than vegetable oil, although this depends on the quality of the olive oil. For context, the smoke point of corn oil and soybean oil is 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the smoke point of olive oil is 350 to 410 degrees for EVOO and 390 to 470 degrees for extra virgin olive oil.


Flavor profile

Olive oil has a green, brownish flavor, which is most similar to EVOO. With EVOO, the flavors range from fruity to spicy. On the other hand, vegetable oil has no flavour. They are known as "neutral oils," meaning they do not add flavor or change the taste of food.

 Choosing the right oil for different cooking methods

When choosing between olive oil and vegetable oil, consider the cooking method and flavor profile required for your dish. Here are the best oils for different types of cooking:

 • High heat cooking:

 vegetable oil is best for high temperature processes such as frying and sauteing. If you want to use olive oil, choose extra virgin olive oil. Note that you should not reuse oil after frying as ding so will lower the smoke every time

• Medium heat cooking:

 For roasting, both olive oil and vegetable oil will work, although the former will add more flavor. "For baking, most recipes use vegetable oil, so it doesn't add flavor. However, some baked goods, such as olive oil bread, use olive oil specifically for flavor.

 • Low-heat cooking: 

Both oils can be used for low heat method and raw application such as salad dressings and dips. We often use extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing and finishing dishes. 

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