Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil? The Ultimate Comparison.

Olive oil and vegetable oil have much in common, but they are also relatively different in terms of their properties, flavors, and smoke points. So, if you’re weighing the pros and cons of using olive oil instead of vegetable oil, it’s important to get informed.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore everything you need to know about the two oils, as well as the similarities and differences between them. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to answer the question ‘Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil?’

What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is produced from the fruit of the olive tree. Olive oil has a light to medium green color and a unique flavor that is deeply rich while also being subtle. Olive oil offers heart-healthy benefits due to its high content of monounsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that have been shown to help reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals. It is not only used for cooking, frying or baking, but also as a salad dressing, a marinade or a dipping sauce.

What is Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil is a term commonly used to describe any oil derived from one or more vegetable sources, such as soybeans, sunflowers, corn, or safflowers. Vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats and are therefore healthier for your heart than oils high in saturated fats, such as butter.

Vegetable oils are neutral in flavor, which makes them ideal for baking and frying. They have a high smoke point, which means they can be heated to high temperatures without burning, making them ideal for frying and baking. Vegetable oil is also frequently used as an ingredient in salad dressings, mayonnaises, and other types of condiments.

What are the Differences Between Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil?

1. Flavour

Olive oil has a stronger, fruitier taste than vegetable oils, which are identified as being neutral in flavor. Many people prefer olive oil to vegetable oil because the flavor of olive oil adds a subtle richness to dishes that cannot be found elsewhere.

2. Properties

Olive oil and vegetable oil are comprised of different types of fatty acids. Olive oil is primarily made up of mono and polyunsaturated fat while veggie oils, such as corn or canola, contain some saturated fats which can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol.

3. Smoke Point

The smoke point of a cooking oil is the temperature at which it begins to smoke when heated. Olive oil has a lower smoke point than vegetable oils, which makes it less useful for frying or for high-temperature cooking. When oil begins to smoke, it will create harmful compounds which are not only unsafe for consumption but also ruin the flavors of any dishes you are cooking.

4. Nutrients

Though vegetable oils are healthier, they lack the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are found in Olive oil. Olive oil contains important nutrients such as vitamins E and K.

When Should Olive Oil Be Used Instead of Vegetable Oil?

If a recipe demands a healthy fat, olive oil is always a great substitution for veggie oils. Plus, the fact of adding one tablespoon of olive oil could suffice the requirement of good fats for the day as it contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

If a dish calls for a higher cooking temperature of over 400°F, vegetable oil should be used. High temperatures require oil with a high smoke point, and vegetable oil is preferred over olive oil because its smoke point is much higher than that of olive oil.

Wrap Up – Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Vegetable Oil?

In conclusion, there is no one oil that is purely better than the other, as both come with their own set of admirable characteristics. However, understanding their differences can make it easier to choose which oil to use in different temperatures and settings. The primary health concern is to replace saturated fats, such as butter, with vegetable oils or oils high in monounsaturated fats like olive oil in your diet for better heart health.

While Olive oil is a better option from a nutritional perspective, it’s better to substitute vegetable oil for Olive oil when it comes to high-temperature cooking. Switching out vegetable oil for olive oil in baking is a great option, as olive oil brings a richer flavor to baked goods.


  • Can olive oil be used in baking?
    Yes! Substituting olive oil for vegetable oil in recipes is a great alternative for baking.
  • Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for frying?
    While olive oil isn’t ideal for frying due to its low smoke point, it can still be used if you don’t need a high temperature cooking environment.
  • Is olive oil healthier than vegetable oil?
    Olive oil is much healthier due to its lower amount of saturated fat and higher amount of good monounsaturated fats.
  • Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil in salad dressings?
    Certainly, there are numerous recipes that call for olive oil in salad dressings. Olive oil is preferred by many people because of its strong flavor and ample benefits.


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  2. Babio, N, Toledo, E, Estruch, R, et al. Mediterranean diets and metabolic syndrome status in the PREDIMED randomized trial. CMAJ. 2014; 186(17): E649 —E657. PMID: 25179726
  3. Hu, T, Mills, KT, Yao, L, et al. Effects of olive oil on blood lipids and blood pressure in Chinese adults: a randomized, parallel, controlled clinical trial. Salud Publica Mex. 2017; 59(5): 484—493. PMID: 29172394

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