Questions...I love em'
So please let me know...what is it you have questions about? I try my best to answer them, and if for some reason you asked and I haven't answered PLEASE ask again!
Feel free to leave message in the comments about what you're wanting to know about and I'd be glad to answer!
In regards to THIS post on a healthy vegetable chili, Kara recently asked...
"Could you substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil? (I'm still a little freaked out by your veg. oil post recently). It seems like it wouldn't change the taste...right?"
Great question Kara. I am a bigger fan of olive oil, and was actually was going to change the vegetable oil to olive oil in the recipe when I posted it. Due to the fact that I got the recipe from cookinglight.com, I decided just to leave it how it was with the nutrition facts straight off the website as well.
Here is the difference: Olive oil has more flavor to it and has a lower smoke point, which makes a difference when you're frying or searing food. It doesn't get as hot as vegetable oil does, and if you are looking for heat doesn't work as well. From a health perspective, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Studies have shown that including olive oil in your diet can lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, and increase HDL "good" cholesterol. It is well tolerated by the stomach and can actually lower the occurrence of gallstone formations and aid in the prevention of heart disease and colon cancer. Olive oil is high in calories and fat (although good fats) one should still use in moderation.
Vegetable oil is actually a combination of canola, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil and/or peanut oil. Although I gave it a bad wrap in THIS post on my zucchini bread recipe, vegetable in small amounts isn't horrible for you. It has some of the same health benefits as olive oil as far as monounsaturated fats go, but it IS high in calories. My point in that post was to prove to you that substitutions are WELL worth it when baking. That much vegetable oil condensed into a small serving of bread is a LOT of fat and a LOT of calories, which I don't think it worth it. Like i mentioned above, vegetable has a high smoke point so it get's really hot, making it great for cooking. It also has virtually no flavor, so it won't compete with the flavors of the dish.
So...in answer to your question, you really can use either and feel good about it. I personally always pick olive oil. I never bake with oil because I think it adds too many calories and fat, and it's just not worth it. With my own food choices I prefer olive oil because I feel it offers more health benefits. Hopefully that helps! Remember...keep the questions coming!