Wheat germ oil and canola oil are often sought after as healthier alternatives to other oils and fats, but which is better?
Whether you care about finding healthier options or simply love cooking, join me as I compare these two oils to see which one comes out on top!
Comparing wheat germ oil vs canola oil
|Wheat germ oil
|Solid or Liquid?
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)
|Good for Cooking…
|Raw, low, moderate, and high heat
|May contain traces
Differences between wheat germ oil and canola oil
To begin with, the sources of these oils differ significantly. Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ, or innermost part, of the wheat kernel. It is rich in essential nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
On the other hand, canola oil is derived from the seeds of the canola plant, which is a type of rapeseed. Canola oil is known for its low saturated fat content and high levels of monounsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
Baking and cooking with wheat germ oil vs canola oil
Whereas wheat germ oil has a nutty or grassy taste to it, canola oil provides a more neutral taste, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to shine. This makes it a versatile choice for baking, as it won’t overpower the natural flavors of your desserts.
So, if you’re making a delicate vanilla sponge cake or a light and fluffy angel food cake, canola oil provides a moist texture without altering the intended taste.
Given its lower smoke point, it’s important to use wheat germ oil for low-heat cooking. This includes gentle sautéing over low heat, in salad dressings, or using it as a flavorful finishing oil, drizzled over cooked dishes to add a final touch of nutty goodness.
For high-heat cooking methods like frying, searing, or deep-frying, it’s best to stick with oils like canola oil or other oils with higher smoke points, as they can withstand the heat without breaking down or producing smoke.
Can wheat germ oil and canola oil be substituted for each other?
Wheat germ oil and canola oil can totally be swapped in certain situations, especially when it comes to chilled recipes like salads, dips, or other cold dishes.
Just keep in mind that wheat germ oil has a lower smoke point compared to canola oil, which means it doesn’t handle heat well.
So, if you’re cooking something that requires high temperatures or frying, stick with canola oil. But for those cool and refreshing recipes, go ahead and give wheat germ oil a shot. It can add a unique flavor and some nutritional benefits too!
Nutrition: Wheat germ oil vs canola oil
Speaking of nutritional benefits, wheat germ oil is packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants, promoting immune function and skin health. However, it is calorie-dense and may not be suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivity.
Wheat germ oil is a lot higher in polyunsaturated fats, while canola oil is known for its higher content of monounsaturated fats. It also contains low levels of saturated fat, with a more favorable balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids compared to wheat germ oil.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)
|Wheat germ oil
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store wheat germ oil and canola oil
In my experience, wheat germ oil is quite sensitive to light, heat, and air exposure, so it’s best to store it in a cool, dark place, like the fridge. This helps maintain its nutritional properties and prevents it from going rancid.
Canola oil, on the other hand, is more forgiving. It can be stored in a cool, dry pantry away from direct sunlight. Remember, both oils benefit from being sealed tightly to prevent any unwanted odors or flavors from seeping in.
Wheat germ oil vs canola oil: Which is better
Alright, after weighing the pros and cons, I’m leaning towards canola oil as the winner overall. Wheat germ oil has its perks with its vitamin E and antioxidants. But when it comes to everyday cooking, canola oil steals the show. Its versatility in the kitchen, neutral flavor, and higher smoke point make it the go-to choice for most recipes. Not to mention, it’s got those good-for-you monounsaturated fats and barely any saturated fat, keeping our hearts happy.
Individuals with wheat allergies or gluten intolerance should avoid wheat germ oil.
Wheat germ oil is rich in nutrients and can provide several health benefits, but it should be consumed in moderation due to its high caloric content.
Wheat germ oil is generally safe for most people, but in rare cases, it may cause allergic reactions or digestive discomfort.