With all the health craze going on, there is much talk about grapeseed oil and olive oil. Have you tried either? Do not be confused, they are not the same!
In this article, we will discuss the ins and outs of grapeseed oil and olive oil and how to use either.
What Is Grapeseed Oil?
Grapeseed oil comes from processing the seeds of grapes, usually a byproduct of winemaking. This oil is usually made by crushing the seeds and using solvents. However, a healthier type of oil will use cold-pressing or expeller pressing.
While many believe that grapeseed oil may be bad for your health due to its high hexane content, these are mostly removed during production. This oil has a very high smoking point of approximately 421 °F. Since it also has a neutral flavor, it is easy to use and cook with.
Even though grapeseed oil contains a high content of essential oils, the majority is omega 6. In moderate amounts, this oil can be beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol and reducing inflammation.
Do not use this oil for frying, though, because it contains polyunsaturated fats that may react with oxygen to form free radicals.
One tablespoon (13.6 g) of grapeseed oil has the following nutritional content (*):
- 120 calories
- 0 g protein
- 13.6 g fat
- 0 g carbohydrate
- 3.92 mg vitamin E
- 1.31 g fatty acids, saturated
- 2.19 g fatty acids, monounsaturated
- 9.51 g fatty acids, polyunsaturated
Is Grapeseed Oil Healthy?
Grapeseed oil is not the most nutritious of oils, but it contains mainly omega 6, a few omega 3’s, and vitamin E. This oil also has a very high smoking point, which makes it safe to cook at any temperature. You can also find healthier grapeseed oil made without any added ingredients.
Despite the bad press that omega 6 gets about being an anti-inflammatory, studies have shown that linoleic acid does not contribute to inflammation (*). This is the type of fatty acid that grapeseed has at about 74.7%. In small amounts, linoleic acid is good for your body, especially nerve connections and skin maintenance.
As mentioned earlier, grapeseed oil is also high in vitamin E. This vitamin is considered an antioxidant, which can help fight off oxidative stress in your body and prevent disease. You can get about 19% of the recommended daily allowance for this vitamin by using grapeseed oil.
When compared to other oils, like sunflower and canola, grapeseed oil is a better source of polyunsaturated fat. This oil is also more effective at improving insulin resistance for those with type 2 diabetes. In the long run, using this oil sparingly poses no harm and could even be beneficial.
You should be aware, though, that grapeseed oil may contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds are harmful and cancerous in animal studies. For the most part, the grapeseed oil you find in grocery stores has low levels of PAHs.
To remain safe, avoid using grapeseed oil when pan-frying and deep-frying food. You can instead use it for baking, as part of salad dressings, or low-heat sauteing. Remember to always consume grapeseed oil in moderation.
What Is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is the product of pressing and extracting the fat from olives. This oil has been part of Mediterranean cuisine for centuries. You can now find olive oil as an ingredient in cosmetics, household items, and even pharmaceuticals.
Various types of olive oil have different uses. Olive pomace oil, pure olive oil, refined olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra-virgin olive oil. You will probably only see refined olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra-virgin olive oil available commercially.
Not all olive oil is meant to be used with heat, but for the most part, this oil is healthy and safe. This oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, making it a healthy choice. You can find it everywhere these days, as it is considered the top choice when it comes to fats. The shelf life of olive oil is between 12–18 months.
One tablespoon (14 g) of olive oil has the following nutritional content (*):
- 124 calories
- 0 g protein
- 14 g fat
- 0 g carbohydrate
- 0.14 mg calcium
- 0.078 mg iron
- 0.14 mg potassium
- 0.28 mg sodium
- 2.01 mg vitamin E
- 8.43 µg vitamin K
- 1.93 g fatty acids, saturated
- 10.2 g fatty acids, monounsaturated
- 1.47 g fatty acids, polyunsaturated
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
In terms of fats, olive oil is regarded as the healthiest one. This is true because it contains a very healthy level of monounsaturated fats while being lower in saturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can obtain a few vitamins and minerals with this oil as well.
You should know that not all olive oil is safe to cook with. For example, you should not heat extra-virgin oil beyond 410 to 421 °F, or it will burn and create dangerous compounds. For high-temperature cooking, use refined olive oil or pure olive oil.
Olive oil contains oleic acid in high quantities. This fatty acid is known as omega 9, and it has anti-inflammatory benefits. Oleic acid also improves insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
Unlike grapeseed oil, olive oil contains more antioxidants that can prevent inflammation and oxidative damage. Oleocanthal is one of the antioxidants in olive oil that works just like anti-inflammatory medications (*). This antioxidant can also reduce pain when consumed daily.
Aside from oleocanthal, olive oil also contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant too. It also contains more minerals and vitamins than most oils. You can get a high amount of vitamin K and trace amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium.
Extra-virgin olive oil is probably the healthiest type, and it improves HDL cholesterol while reducing LDL and the risk for blood clots. You should use it when you make salad dressings or sautee at low heat. Otherwise, use virgin or refined olive oil to prevent burning.
What Are The Key Differences Between Olive Oil and Grapeseed Oil?
To start with, the main difference between grapeseed oil and olive oil is their origin. Grapeseed oil, as the name suggests, comes from the processing of grape seeds. Olive oil, instead, comes from the processing and extraction of fat from olives.
The types of oils that you can find when it comes to grapeseed and olive oil also vary. Grapeseed oil comes only in the form of cold-press and pure grapeseed oil. Olive oil can be olive pomace oil, pure olive oil, refined olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Another key difference between these two oils is their fatty acid content. Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, with 9.51 g per tablespoon. Olive oil contains more monounsaturated fatty acids, with 10.2 g per tablespoon.
These two oils are not the same either when it comes to nutrient content. Grapeseed oil only contains vitamin E aside from fatty acids. On the other hand, olive oil contains calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium, as well as high amounts of vitamin E and K.
Another difference is the omega fatty acid they contain. Grapeseed oil contains high amounts of omega 6 with very few omega 9s. Olive oil has high amounts of omega 9 and does contain omega 3, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant fatty acid.
One final difference is how good they are for cooking. Grapeseed oil has a very high smoking point, but due to its polyunsaturated content, it should not be used to fry food because it can react with oxygen and create damaging particles. Olive oil is also safe to use at high temperatures and can be used for frying as long as it is not the extra-virgin kind.
|Main Differences||Grapeseed Oil||Olive Oil|
|Origin||Eastern Europe and West Asia||Northern Africa and the Mediterranean|
|Production||This oil is produced from the seeds of grapes.||This oil is produced from the processing and extraction of olives.|
|Smoke Point||420 °F.||374 to 405 °F.|
|Taste and Smell||The taste is neutral, almost non-existent. The aroma is sweet and slightly fruity.||The taste is slightly pungent and bitter. The aroma is slightly fruity and aromatic.|
|Food Pairings||Salad dressings, fresh vegetables, herbs, sauteed food, and baking.||Salad dressings, herbs, fish, lean meats, and baking.|
|Cost||$6 to $30||$4.50 to $15.00|
|Calories per 100g||884 calories||884 calories|
Is Grapeseed Oil or Olive Oil Healthier?
Both these types of oil are considered relatively healthy and a better alternative to saturated fats. However, when it comes to overall health, olive oil is much healthier. You can consume both of these without much problem as long as it is in moderation.
While both oils have antioxidants, olive oil has a higher amount. Grapeseed can be a good alternative to oils like canola and sunflower. Olive oil, however, is the superior choice to reduce the risk of chronic illness, inflammation, and oxidative damage.
Be careful when you cook foods at very high temperatures with either one of these oils. Both grapeseed and olive oil can be dangerous for frying. In the long-term, choose olive oil, and for deep frying go with refined olive oil.
Now you know what to choose next time you go to the grocery store before cooking your favorite meal. Try using olive oil whenever possible, but grapeseed oil is a good second choice when used in moderation. Both these oils are healthier than some of their counterparts.
*image by studioM&NewAfrica/depositphotos