Rapeseed Oil Vs Olive Oil

This is a cause that is close to my heart (mainly because it really does wind me up). In recent years, campaigns and recipes by certain celebrity chefs (cough, Jamie Oliver, cough) have convinced the nation that the oil of choice for your kitchen should be olive oil. I am going to attempt to convince you that you should change your shopping habits and pick up a bottle of rapeseed oil. Let’s look at the facts.


Olive Oil

Rapeseed Oil

Energy (cals)



Total Fat (grams)



Saturated Fat (grams)



Burning Point (degrees C)



As you can see from the above table, it is the fat content of rapeseed oil which makes it really stand out against olive oil. With much lower levels of saturated fat, you can clearly see that rapeseed oil is a less unhealthy oil than olive.

We now turn to the burning point (smoke point) of both of the oils. Rapeseed Oil has a significantly higher burning point, which means the nutritional value of the oil is retained when cooking on a high heat. Conversely, all nutritional value of olive oil is lost when cooking at high heat. This is why olive oil smokes so much when used for frying, and why it often has a very bitter taste when cooked at high temperatures.

These points are important, but, crucially, buying rapeseed oil means buying British.

For me, it is of huge importance to shop and buy locally. Buying local products mean supporting your local economy, local farmers, and it causes less environmental damage. If you buy locally the carbon footprint of the food you are eating is so much lower than that of imported food, and that can only be a good thing, right?

So next time you’re at the shops, please do pick some rapeseed oil up and give it a try. You can buy cold pressed rapeseed oil, which are great for dipping breads in and making salad dressings, as well as cooking with.

Finally, my top tip is to buy vegetable oil from your local supermarket, because the chances are it isn’t actually vegetable oil at all – it is, in fact, rapeseed oil!

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