Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

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Which is the best cooking oil: canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil

On this episode of Live Lean TV, I’m comparing the following cooking oils: canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil for cooking.

It’s Food Wars time!

Are you excited?

Food Wars is one of my favorite segments on our Live Lean TV YouTube channel.

This best cooking oils topic came as a request from multiple viewers of the show.

They asked me to put an end to the debate and confusion surrounding which oil is best: canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil for cooking.

In particular:

  • Which cooking oils should be used over higher heat
  • Which cooking oils are best consumed raw

When you dig into the cooking oil industry, there are all kinds of differing opinions and deceiving marketing practices.

So lets jump in and find out which cooking oil is best for cooking.

Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

Canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil for cooking

Even though we’re only discussing canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil, most other vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, would receive a similar review as canola oil.

Since I’ve covered why soybean oil is bad for you in a few other posts, I decided to review another vegetable oil, canola oil (i.e. rapeseed oil), for this post.

You do not want soybean oil in your body.

Also, when I’m talking about olive oil, I’m referring extra virgin olive oil.

Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

Is canola oil bad for you?

Well, many food marketers will tell you canola oil is healthy, but does that mean it’s healthy?

Lets be real and peel back the covers.

When I say, “peel back the covers”, I simply mean to question the advice you hear in the media and from food marketers.

What’s healthy for food marketers is their profit and bottom line. What’s healthy for you is often the opposite of this.

A lot of times a healthy bottom line and a healthy body do not sync up.

One of the biggest nutrition mistakes people make is blindly listening to what food marketers tell you is healthy.

So what’s the issue with canola oil?

Lets start by looking at canola oils nutrition information:

  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 14g (1g of saturated fat, 3.6g polyunsaturated fat, 8g monounsaturated fat)

Even though canola oil contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats, the issue with canola oil is the polyunsaturated fat and the refining process to extract the oil.

This heating, refining, and chemicals used to extract the oil creates free radicals and inflammation in the body, which eventually may lead to disease.

Sure, some polyunsaturated fats can be healthy, but another issue with canola oil is the unbalanced ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.

Today’s typical standard American diet has an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 20:1.

Hundreds and thousands of years ago when our ancestors only had access to real food from the earth, this omega 6 to omega 3 ratio was closer to 2:1 or 1:1.

This is another example of how consuming oxidative oils like canola oil, is increasing this unbalanced ratio, and why it’s becoming such a major cause of inflammation in the body.

Canola oil smoke point

400F.

Not that it really matters as it’s recommended to get canola oil, and most other vegetable oils, including soybean oil, out of your kitchen and into the garbage.

Lets move on.

Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

Is extra virgin olive oil good for cooking?

Lets start by looking at the nutrition info on extra virgin olive oil:

  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 14g (1.9g of saturated fat, 1.4g polyunsaturated fat, 10g monounsaturated fat)

You’re probably thinking extra virgin olive oil must be good right?

Well, depending on how you consume it, there are times when extra virgin olive oil can be healthy for you, and other times when it may be bad.

The healthiest way to consume extra virgin olive oil is in it’s raw form, at room temperature, not when cooking food over high heat.

For example, if you’re cooking food in a frying pan, like a stir fry, there are better cooking oil options, with a higher smoke point, like avocado oil.

Extra virgin olive oil smoke point

Depending on the quality, extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of approximately 375F-405F.

The smoke point simply means the temperature at which the cooking oil starts to break down and smoke, thus becoming less healthy for you.

The process of cooking extra virgin olive oil over high heat can negatively deteriorate the healthy fatty acids, and may make them oxidative in the body.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love the heart healthy benefits of extra virgin olive oil, but it’s best consumed in it’s raw form, such as in a healthy salad dressing.

Using extra virgin olive oil as a cooking oil over high heat is not recommended.

If needed, sautéing over low heat is ok, but avocado oil is the best cooking oil for cooking.

With all that said, extra virgin olive oil is going back in your kitchen, but consume it at room temperature, not as your preferred cooking oil.

Lets move on to the last oil, coconut oil.

Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

Coconut oil

If you have watched any of my earlier videos or read my blogs, you know I’m absolutely in love with coconut oil.

When you talk to any other credible nutrition professional, most praise the health benefits of coconut oil.

Lets start by looking at coconut oil’s nutrition information.

  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 14g (12g of saturated fat, 0.2g polyunsaturated fat, 0.8g monounsaturated fat)

The thing that scares most people with coconut oil is the 13g of saturated fat.

But before you freak out, make sure you dig a little bit deeper.

Naturally occurring forms of saturated fat in foods like coconut oil, are healthy for you.

The type of saturated fat in coconut oil is called a medium chained triglyceride (MCT) fat.

MCT fats are a special type of fat that are used by the body for energy, meaning it’s not stored as body fat, nor is it linked to heart disease.

Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which is excellent in helping improve your immune system.

These are just a few of the main positive benefits of coconut oil.

I add coconut oil to many of my meals and snacks, including my coconut oil coffee in the morning.

You can even use coconut oil on your skin and hair as it’s a natural version of a moisturizer and deodorant.

Coconut oil also tastes delicious and provides your body with immediate energy, without being stored as body fat.

UPDATE on cooking coconut oil over high heat and it’s smoke point

Note: check out the updated version of the best cooking oil over high heat here.

Although I mentioned in the video that coconut oil doesn’t turn oxidative in higher heat, it should be noted that coconut oil does have a smoke point of 350F.

This means when cooking over heat higher than 350F, coconut oil should not be used as your preferred cooking oil.

Hopefully this has cleared up some of the misconceptions on the best oils for cooking.

If I could re-film the video again, I would correct my comment about using coconut oil as your preferred cooking oil over high heat.

I would also introduce you to the best cooking oil over heat, avocado oil.

Canola Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil For Cooking

Avocado oil is an excellent cooking oil to use when cooking over high heat

I now recommend people stick to a healthy cooking oil with a higher smoke point like avocado oil.

Avocado oil has a smoke point of approximately 520F.

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And the Food wars winner is:

Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil are the winners of today’s Food Wars episode.

The loser is canola oil and most other vegetable oils such as soybean oil.

These vegetable oils have no place in your kitchen and need to go in your garbage immediately.

Bottom line

I get it.

With all the conflicting and confusing nutrition information, it can be super frustrating, when all you want to do, is get healthy.

Here’s my advice on how I finally gained clarity during my Live Lean journey.

I found a mentor that was getting incredible results.

When I say results, I’m not just talking healthy looking on the outside.

I’m also referring to being healthy on the inside.

Once I found that mentor, I followed their advice, ignored all the conflicting information, and started experiencing amazing results.

Doesn’t that sound better than following the advice of someone who’s out of shape, unhealthy, but has a big wallet to persuade you to fall for their deceptive marketing?

I think so.

If you enjoyed today’s Food Wars episode on comparing canola oil vs coconut oil vs olive oil for cooking, please share this post with your friends via the social media buttons.

You may have noticed, we get a lot of our video ideas from your comments.

So please leave a comment below on what you want to see on future episodes so we can deliver the type of content that you want the most.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel so we can grow our Transformation 1,000,000 mission in teaching people how eat real foods and move their body’s more efficiently.

That’s what Live Lean TV is all about.

If you’re looking for workouts that quickly burn fat, check out one of my 4 minute Tabata Workouts here.


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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.

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