Types of vegetable oils that plants offer you

The plant world provides us in the XXI century with a great capacity to extract fresh food, oils and seeds from it.

In this first article, we are going to talk about the different vegetable oils that plants and trees provide us and that are widely used both in the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industry and in our food.

The first thing you are thinking about is olive oil. Yes, but there are many more.

However, let’s start the other way around. First, comment on a novelty that involves using oils without having to control the hypercaloric intake of most of them.


One of the biggest conflicts that all vegetable oils create in us that we will discuss later is their great caloric power.

In many diets its use is restricted or limited to small daily spoonfuls in salads or fried, and this is a big problem when it comes to flavoring the food we want to eat.

Lately, a line of oils with low calorie content has come out, which are usually used for fresh consumption.

The calorie – free oil , as it is called, is a mixture of oils, one with calories and another, with no calorie intake, which is often used for fresh consumption and salad dressings and other foods.

It is usually a mixture of olive oil (provides calories) and paraffin oil. The difference in calorie intake is abysmal. When a tablespoon of olive oil provides about 135 kcal, hypocaloric oil or caloric oil only gives 13.5 kcal.

Differences with respect to olive oil. Source: Ordesa

The olive oil content with beta-carotene is 10%, so the calorie reduction is 90%.

One thing to keep in mind. Its consumption is only fresh between 1 and 3 tablespoons! For salad dressing or cold sauces. Not for frying!


Olive oil is an indispensable component in Mediterranean cuisine and, increasingly, it is spreading to other continents.

Well known, olive oil is a healthy component from the olive tree, whose oil extraction is done on the fruits in the phenological stage where it has more fatty acids.

There are different compositions, both olive oil and extra virgin, and with different degrees of acidity.

It is used in the cosmetic industry and in the food industry.

One tablespoon of olive oil provides 125 kcal. Therefore, its consumption is limited in low-calorie diets .


From an agronomic point of view, the Argan ( Argania spinosa ) is a tall tree (between 8 and 10 meters), of a thorny type, very typical of the Moroccan area.

The extraction of the oil from the almond-type fruits is used today extensively in the cosmetic industry.

Surely more than one has read on gel and cream labels that it contains argan oil for hair, nails and skin care.

However, as has also happened with olive oil , only in a reverse process, argan oil is also used in the food industry .

  • Reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Control blood pressure.
  • Regulates the functioning of the liver.
  • It has an appetite suppressant effect.

In short, many of these properties are similar to those provided by olive oil. The bad thing is the calories that they contribute to our diet. Healthy calories, but calories.


Most vegetable oils come from the extraction of the fruits. In this case, it was not going to be less, it comes from extracting the oil from the soybean fruits ( Glycine max ).

It contains similar healthy characteristics of olive oil, with the exception that soybean oil is somewhat more balanced, since it contains essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 .

However, today it is one more supplement for alternative use to olive oil , which is the king of the house. Although it may not sound like much to you, soybean oil is widely consumed in other countries, even above palm, sunflower or rapeseed oil.

Soybean cultivation


Another great known in the house to make different recipes and fried or as an economical substitute for olive oil is sunflower oil .

Well known, sunflower oil, from the sunflower cultivation, provides a high content of linoleic and oleic oil (90% of its composition), vitamin E and great antioxidant power.

It is one of the most consumed seed oils in Spain and, in all probability, in Europe.

It also has a high caloric intake.

Definitely. It is essential to play with the different oils and use them conveniently within a Mediterranean diet, combining with the hundreds of vegetables that we can grow.

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