I found that olive oil is the healthiest thing to cook with because of the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. “Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.”
While I usually cook with olive oil (because it tastes so good), I’ve heard that canola oil is the healthiest oil to cook with (and that olive oil is the second healthiest).
I also often use Benecol Spread, which is similar to margarine but more healthy and also very tasty. It has plant stanol esters, which are helpful in lowering cholesterol.
Here is what the Benecol packaging looks like (I’ve found not all super markets carry it):
Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. In addition to lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer, it can provide a wide range of anti-inflammatory benefits that can positively impact diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and asthma. You can read more about the health benefits of olive oil using the link below.
Olive oil and canola oil definitely fight for the right to be the best, but in the end, it appears the “pros” of olive oil beat out the lack of “cons” for canola oil. Check out this graph with easy-to-read analysis.
I think it depends some on the type of cooking that you’re doing. I agree with mcosta that olive oil is probably healthier than canola oil. If you’re using oil for deep-frying or stir-frying, you’ll want to keep the oil’s smoke point in mind. Out of the different types of olive oil, extra light olive oil has the highest smoke point at 468 degrees. Also, if you plan to reuse oil for deep-frying, please note that the smoke point decreases after each use. Check out the link below for more information about the uses of cooking oils and their smoke points.
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