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Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?
Each respective oil has unique benefits, both for culinary as well as health purposes, but with different flavor profiles and smoke points. Though they have similarities, olive oil and vegetable oil is not the same thing. Olive oil is believed to have been on planet earth since 4000 B.C. and is not as highly processed as many other invented oils of the 19th century. Actually, those other oils often contain a combination of several seeds and nuts.
Also, olive oil is derived only from the olive fruit, where its vegetable counterpart is often a blend of many oils. Olive oil has many health benefits, a positive impact on cardiovascular health, diabetes and reduction in cancer rates. It is even believed to help ward off Alzheimer’s as well as fight inflammation. In this sense, olive oil is the key star in the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Diet, and it is bountiful in omega-3 and omega-6, rich in antioxidants and high in vitamins K and E.
This makes it a better choice when looking for a heart-healthy option according to numerous studies. However, olive oil, even it is typically listed as a “healthy fat”, does have a higher fat content, so it could contribute to weight gain.
On the other side, vegetable oils are derived from plants, like peanut oil. Also, they are trans-fat free and are said to have fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, and they tend to be more processed than olive oil.
Olive oil instead of vegetable oil
Both each olive oil and vegetable oil have their merits, depending on what you’re preparing. From a culinary standpoint olive oil is a celebrated culinary rock star. However, oils such as peanut, safflower and sesame have higher smoke points and are used in hot food cookery and frying. Also, blended oils can certainly be used in hot food applications, but you must keep your eye on the temperature, and they all have varying degrees of smoke points.
Olive oil is great for salad dressings and marinades, and for roasting veggies and sauteing too. Besides, depending on the type of olive oil you buy, you can use it to finish dishes such as soups, vegetables, and breads. You can also substitute in olive oil for vegetable oil when baking, but you may not want to use extra virgin olive oil because of its strong flavor. Depending on what you’re cooking or baking, olive oil may have varying impacts if it’s used as a vegetable oil substitute.
In this sense, extra virgin should be your go-to for cold food applications. Also, extra virgin is best reserved for drizzling on food such as fresh mozzarella cheese, vegetables, and such. You also can swap out vegetable oil for olive oil for a cake, including cake made from a mix.