These days, both grape seed and olive oil are widely used in kitchens all across the world, though the former is the latest entrant. Olive oil has been used in European kitchens for over a century. Both oils are nutritionally considered as 'good' as they are high in unsaturated fat, low in saturated fat, and are cholesterol free. If you wonder about the nutritional value of both, it is similar.
Difference Between Olive Oil and Grape Seed Oil
To assess the difference between both oils, we will consider certain factors. These factors are production of both the oils, nutritional value, taste, smoke points, and versatility.
Grape seed oil is a vegetable oil that is pressed from the seeds of various varieties of grapes, which is an abundant by-product of wine-making. The supporters of this oil always talk about it being environmentally friendly, because it eliminates the waste of a byproduct of wine-making. On the other hand, olive oil is made by pressing olives. The method implemented to extract the oil are various. The first extract derived from pressing olives is known as extra virgin oil and this is an unrefined oil. The version we often use is a combination of refined and extra virgin olive oil.
If you want to base your argument on the basis of the nutritional value, there are small differences such as: Grape seed oil approximately has 71 percent omega-6, 17 percent monounsaturated fat, and 12 percent saturated fat. It has very little omega 3 fat content. On the other hand olive oil has 10 percent omega 6, 73 percent monounsaturated fat, 14 percent saturated fat, and 3 percent omega 3. Both of them are cholesterol-free, hence make for a relatively heart healthy oils. Both contain Vitamin E known for its antioxidant properties, but grape seed oil contains more Vitamin E as compared to olive oil. Grape seed oil contains 3.8 mg Vitamin E per tablespoon and olive oil contains 1.9 mg per tablespoon.
The aroma and flavor of both oils are distinctly different. Hence, this is often a point to consider while making a choice. Grape seed oil has a mild grape taste and scent, but is often neutral in taste, which simply means that it is appropriate for cooking foods that have delicate flavors that may get masked by a stronger tasting oil. It is, therefore, used for baking or in any other recipe which demands a neutral oil. Olive oil, on the other hand, often has a fruity taste and does have a slight hint of olives in it. It is the extra virgin oil that is most flavorsome while regular oil is milder. Sometimes, it is also dependent on the bran. Olive oil goes well with Mediterranean cuisine but, often, has the tendency to overpower milder flavors. At the same time, it is also a personal choice to use either of the two oils.
This is a very important point in the grape seed oil vs. olive oil debate. The smoke point of oil is the temperature at which the oil begins to emit smoke. An important point always to be remembered while cooking is that cooking oils should not be heated beyond their smoke points, else the flavor deteriorates and the oil cannot be reused and, at the same time, it can also prove to be unhealthy. If you want to use oil for sautéing or deep frying, then this becomes a very important point. Olive oil has a relatively low smoke point at 320 degrees Fahrenheit and the smoke point of grape seed oil is 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, grape seed oil can safely be used for deep frying or sautéing at high heat.
Grape seed oil is preferable for cooking in any form including salad dressings to deep frying. Since, it is neutral in flavor, it is more versatile. However, the distinct taste of olive oil limits its compatibility with other foods as it often overpower the milder flavors.
After reading about the differences between these oils, I have come to realize that grape seed oil has certain benefits over olive oil, but that does not mean olive oil is any less, in fact, its ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids is better, which makes it a healthier choice. You will have to decide what are you going to use the oil for and depending on this you can come to a decision.