Light olive oil is ideal if you want some of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil without being limited by its strong flavor and low smoke point. Light olive oil is known for its versatility in that it can stand up to high temperatures without burning or generating toxins and its flavor is close to neutral, so it won’t affect the flavor profiles of your dishes. If you can’t find any at your local grocery stores and need it now, here are some of the best light olive oil substitutes.
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Your best bet: Avocado oil
Like light olive oil, avocado oil is extracted from an oil-rich fruit. It is extracted from the flesh of the avocado fruit. It has the benefit of a very high smoke point (up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit (271.11 °C)), which means that it can tolerate high heat without generating smoke and producing toxins.
You can use avocado oil for any dish that requires light olive oil. It is suitable for stir-frying and deep-frying. It is similar to light olive oil in that it has a mild flavor. You can use it in any dish where you don’t need a strongly flavored oil. It is great for baking and for use in dishes with subtle flavor profiles since it won’t dominate the way a stronger-tasting oil might.
Like the avocado fruit, avocado oil is renowned for its health benefits. It is rich in oleic acid like olive oil. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat with a host of health benefits. Avocado oil also shares one of light olive oil’s most important nutritional characteristics, which is its antioxidant content.
The main drawbacks of using avocado as a light olive oil substitute are its cost and availability. Avocado oil is not as widely available as light olive oil and will usually cost more.
A decent second choice: Canola oil
Extracted from a plant in the mustard family called rapeseed, canola oil has many of the characteristics that make light olive oil desirable. For starters, it has a high smoke point of about 400 degrees. While its smoke point is substantially lower than that of light olive oil, it is still high enough for you to be able to use it in many of the same kinds of dishes.
Canola oil is well known for its very mild flavor. It is arguably the most neutrally flavored of all the cooking oils. The two have a lot in common from a health perspective since they both consist mostly of monounsaturated fats and are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E. Canola oil has the benefit of being widely available and relatively affordable.
In a pinch: Vegetable oil
Vegetable oil can refer to any oil extracted from plants. Vegetable oil is often a blend of multiple oils including canola. soybean, or safflower. It shares light olive oil’s high smoke point (use it at temperatures up to 428 degrees) and neutral flavor. It is a good source of monounsaturated fat and omega 3 fatty acids. Vegetable oil is one of the most affordable and widely available cooking oils.
Grapeseed oil is neutrally flavored and has a high smoke point, which are the main factors that make it a good light olive oil substitute. It also has many of the same nutrients found in light olive oil.