Olive Oil vs Grapeseed Oil: Which Should You Use?

The cooking oil aisle seems to get more crowded with each passing year, and grapeseed oil is one of the newer entrants to the genre. You may have found yourself in the grocery store, staring at a grapeseed oil bottle and wondering how it stacks up against your old standby olive oil. Here is what you need to know about olive oil vs. grapeseed oil.

Olive Oil vs. Grapeseed Oil: Health Benefits

It is no secret that olive oil is full of benefits. It has a very high percentage of monounsaturated fats, and a good portion of polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats help keep your bad cholesterol in check and promote your good cholesterol. Olive oil is also full of antioxidants that can help protect your cells against free radical damage, as well as several different vitamins, including vitamins A, E and K and the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

On the flip side, grapeseed oil is much higher in polyunsaturated fats, with a lower percentage of monounsaturated fats. While grapeseed oil has more vitamin E than olive oil, it contains lower amounts of all the other vitamins or doesn’t contain them at all. Overall, olive oil offers more health benefits than grapeseed oil.

Pictured: Arise

Another health difference we wanted to point out: While you can get cold- or expeller-pressed grapeseed oil, most grapeseed oils available are extracted using chemical solvents, most notably hexane. Sometimes trace amounts of hexane, which is a known carcinogen, can remain in the grapeseed oil. While these amounts are very small and the impact they have over time is still unclear, it is important to keep this in mind when shopping for cooking oils.

Olive Oil vs. Grapeseed Oil: Taste

While olive oil and grapeseed oil are both plant-based oils, they taste very different. Olive oil has that classic grassy, peppery taste that comes from the natural flavor of the olives. This taste varies depending on what olives are used to make the oil, as well as how much it has been refined. Generally speaking, extra virgin olive oil, which has not been refined and thus offers the most health benefits, has the strongest flavor. You can also buy flavored olive oils, such as basil olive oil, that are infused with additional ingredients for a more complex taste.

On the other hand, grapeseed oil has a very mild, neutral taste, somewhat similar to canola oil or vegetable oil. It does not really add any flavor to the meal or dish. This means that it works well in situations like baking recipes, where you do not necessarily want to taste the oil, but it does not do as well when making salad dressings, bread dipping sauces and other meals where you want to taste the oil. Because of this difference in taste, olive oil and grapeseed oil are not really interchangeable.

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Olive Oil vs. Grapeseed Oil: Smoke Point

High-quality extra virgin olive oil has a relatively high smoke point, around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it suitable for most home cooking applications, including sauteing and deep frying, which rarely get above 400 degrees Fahrenheit at home.

Pictured: Egg frying

Grapeseed oil also has a similar smoke point; however, it has a higher amount of polyunsaturated fats, which interact with oxygen and degrade quickly when exposed to heat. This means that the beneficial compounds in grapeseed oil tend to break down faster than those in olive oil in high heat situations, so you should definitely consider this when choosing a cooking oil to use for frying.

In the U.S., California extra virgin olive oil is usually the freshest, most beneficial option since it is harvested and bottled right here in our country. Purchasing olive oil from California means that it can be shipped to you soon after it is harvested, so it is very fresh when it arrives. At Brightland, we are very transparent about our harvest dates, as well as the types of olives we use, so you know that you are getting a quality product. Shop with us today!