Grape seed oil and canola oil have a similar nutritional profile. They’ll both give you vitamin E, lots of healthy fats and roughly the same number of calories per serving. Although they’re both full of beneficial nutrients, they are still full of calories, meaning you want to consume them only in moderation.
Antioxidant Vitamin E
Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, travel through your body looking for free radicals. Normally, free radicals are available to cling onto healthy cells, a process that damages them permanently, leading to serious health problems. You need to get 15 milligrams of vitamin E every day to meet the recommended dietary allowance, the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine states. Grape seed oil has 4 milligrams from 1 tablespoon, or more than 25 percent of your daily needs. Canola oil has less than 2.5 milligrams, which is about 15 percent of the RDA.
Vitamin K Levels
Every time you have an injury, it's vitamin K that steps in and stops the bleeding. Vitamin K's role is starting the coagulation process, making scabs or clots form so you can heal. The RDA for vitamin K is 120 micrograms daily for men or 90 micrograms a day for women. Canola oil has vitamin K -- roughly 10 micrograms per tablespoon, or 8 percent to 11 percent of your requirement. But you won't get any from grape seed oil.
Total Calories and Fat
Grape seed oil and canola oil have a similar calorie count and total fat content. You’ll get approximately 120 calories from a tablespoon of grape seed oil and around 125 calories from the same amount of canola oil. In both cases, all of the calories come from fat. Grape seed oil offers a little over 13.5 grams of total fat, whereas canola oil provides about 14 grams of total fat per tablespoon.
Types of Fat
Both grape seed and canola oil are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats -- MUFAs and PUFAs -- known as the “good” fats that keep your heart healthy. By having more MUFAs and PUFAs in your diet than trans and saturated fats, you can improve your cholesterol levels, lessening your risk of long-term cardiovascular complications. In grape seed oil, more than 85 percent of the fats are mono- and polyunsaturated. But canola has an even higher amount of these beneficial fats, with over 90 percent of the total fats stemming from MUFAs and PUFAs.
Saturated Fat Considerations
Saturated fat hardens arteries, leads to clogs and, over time, can increase your chances of having heart disease. Less than 10 percent of the calories you have should come from saturated fat -- 22 grams at the most for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. You’ll get some saturated fat from grape seed and canola oils, although grape seed oil has slightly more. One tablespoon of grape seed oil gives you 1.3 grams, or 6 percent of your daily limit. The same amount of canola oil offers just 1 gram, or less than 5 percent of your maximum allotment. Because saturated fat can quickly add up, measure each time you cook with either oil to avoid adding too much of the harmful fat to your entree.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Oil, Grapeseed
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Oil, Canola
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E
- American Heart Association: Monounsaturated Fats
- American Heart Association: Polyunsaturated Fats
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K