Cooking with healthy oils can give you certain health benefits. Canola oil is considered one of the healthiest oils among cooking oils as it is poor in saturated fat and rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and even has omega-3 fats (see Wikipedia). However, in case you are short of canola oil or allergic to it (there are cases of canola oil allergy) you may easily find healthy canola oil substitutes.
Vegetable oil can be a healthy substitute for canola oil. According to Wikipedia vegetable oil is a mixture of several oils derived from plants. Soybean oil makes often the main part of it. Vegetable oil usually has a high smoke point. It means that it smokes only at high temperatures and is perfect for high-temperature cooking. If oil smokes it turns into trans fats and makes the food harmful. Vegetable oil also consists of healthy unsaturated fats and is good for the cardiovascular system.
Sunflower oil is another canola oil substitute. It is also neutral in taste and flavor as canola oil. It has a high smoke point, so you may use it for deep frying or baking. It won’t change the taste of your dishes and will provide sunflower oil health benefits as its fatty acids are associated with preventing diabetes and regulating cholesterol levels.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Comparison of Canola Oil vs Sunflower Oil
Due to a high smoke point and beneficial fat profile safflower oil may be a healthy substitute for canola oil as well. Their taste and smell are similar. According to the study carried out in the Ohio State University a daily usage of safflower oil helps lessen blood sugar, reduce inflammation and regulate cholesterol in obese postmenopausal women suffering from type 2 diabetes. That’s why safflower oil is good for you.
Olive oil is an awesome canola oil substitute as it has almost the same fat profile and, moreover, contains more antioxidants, polysterols and vitamins. It is also high in monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids and proven to prevent heart diseases. Extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil is a perfect alternative for canola oil as far as salad dressings and low-temperature sautéing are concerned. However, keep in mind that olive oil has a more vivid flavor than canola oil and may influence the taste of your food and its smoke point is low. If you decide to use olive oil as a canola oil substitute for cooking at medium to high temperatures choose only extra light olive oil and never use extra-virgin one for these purposes.
Applesauce as a canola oil substitute in baking
Canola oil and other oils used to replace it provide you with some health benefits; however, they have a lot of calories. The American Dietetic Association states that as 1 tablespoon of oils has 120 calories one should consume not more than 2 tablespoons a day. Applesauce can be an ideal substitute for canola oil in baking as it makes your cakes and brownies less caloric and adds pleasant taste and texture. You may replace 2/3 of canola oil with applesauce for good results. Avoid sweetened applesauce as it also adds calories and makes the cake sweeter.