For the longest time, the only oil I bought was extra-virgin olive oil.
Then a friend, who was also a chef, told me that there are actually times when olive oil is not the best choice. So I looked into the best uses for olive oil, and when to choose another oil.
When To Use Olive Oil
When you’re making salad dressing or sautéing vegetables over medium heat, olive oil is an excellent choice. Since it has a distinct flavor, use it in dishes where you want to taste it—drizzled over steamed vegetables, soup or bread, for example. Olive oil has more monounsaturated fat than other oils, making it a great choice for heart-healthy cooking.
If you’re cooking over high heat, don’t choose olive oil. Olive oil has a lower smoke point—the point at which an oil literally begins to smoke (olive oil’s is between 365° and 420°F)—than some other oils. When you heat olive oil to its smoke point, the beneficial compounds in oil start to degrade, and potentially health-harming compounds form.
What To Use Instead
Canola oil, on the other hand, has a higher smoke point and is a good choice if you’ll be cooking over high heat, as when you’re roasting vegetables or sautéing food over high heat. It also has a neutral flavor and is packed with heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid, which makes it ideal for baking. It’s also cheaper than olive oil.
From Olive Oil to Canola Oil
To help you make the switch and leave olive oil on the shelf (at least for now), click through to find recipes that use canola oil to make everything from breakfast to a tasty dinner appetizer.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Use canola oil to create the perfect breakfast muffin.
If you can’t find sour cherries, don’t fret—it’s also delicious with sweet cherries. The filling has a hint of clove and honey, which gives it a novel flavor. Serve this cherry pie with your favorite light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. Associate Nutrition Editor for EatingWell Magazine
For the longest time, the only oil I bought was extra-virgin olive oil. After all, it's high in heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Then a friend, who was also a chef, told me that there are actually times when olive oil is not the best choice. So I looked into the best uses for olive oil, and when to choose another oil.
Check out the slideshow above to learn about olive oil alternatives.