What’s Up With Oil Anyway?

3 Apr

Well, it started with crutons…

They needed tossed in oil.  The instructions I had were vague.

What is the damn difference between vegetable oil, olive oil, and canola oil anyway?

Obviously my first look is nutrition values:

Vegetable Oil has 120 Calories, 14 g of fat, 9 g of polyunsaturated fat, 3 g of monounsaturated fat, and 2g of saturated fat.

This is what I know:

1. Monounsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart diseasre.

2. Polyunsaturated fats do pretty much the same thing but CAN contain Omega-3s.  (You know, those good things salmon has…blah blah blah).

3. Saturated fat is bad and RAISES your cholesterol, heightening risks of coronary problems and diabetes.

So what are the ingredients in this anyway.  Soybean oil.  Coooool.  Of all the evil things I know about industrial farming, this comes from soybean oil and is probably the most common oil to cook with.

So what about olive oil, which is one of the primary ingredients in my cooking…

120 calories, 14 g of fat, 2 g of polyunsaturated fat, and 10g of monounsaturated fat.

That means olive oil has less trans fat, 7 g less of polyunsaturated fat, but 8 g more of monounsaturated fat.


Gotta love that the primary ingredient is refined olive oils and virgin olive oils.  Purity wins over geographic undesirably.  I also having been hearing a lot from the Mediterranean area regarding food outrage of any kind so…

By the time I’m checking out the canola oil, I’m feeling totally confused.

120 calories, OK that’s the same as the other two; 14 g of fat compares with the olive oil; has 1 g less saturated fat (which, like I said, we know is the bad kind); it has 2 MORE grams of polyunsaturated fat than olive oil; and is high in omega 3 rich monounsaturated fats.

So, we’ll do a quick sum of the fat because that seems to be the first major factor.

Total Fat:

Vegetable Oil: 2 BAD, 12 OK – 14 g total fat

Olive Oil: 2 BAD, 12 OK – 14 g total fat

Canola Oil: 1 BAD, 13 OK – 14 g total fat

Canola Oil wins in both purity of ingredient and in amount of good fats.  And guess what, it can be grown in the United States.

Wait, the ingredients…canola oil.  What the hell is a canola?

Apparently its derived from this purty thing called a rapeseed.

There are some GMO-related issues with canola oil right now though.  Monsanto does own some kind of GMO canola in Canada, which “accidentally” (retarded.) “infected” a neighboring farm.  Monsanto sued the poor farmer who had no control of pollen factors or wind, which easily moved the seeds to his yard.

So what to do?

I think I’m going to switch to canola oil and hawk the shelves for a GMO-free label.  Not sure what I’m going to find – but I’ll let you know when I do.

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