What's considered a healthy cooking oil these days? Specifically for pancakes and other where Olive Oil's scent is too strong?
I think canola ...
In the end, few of us keep count of grams of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, of course. All edible oils are a blend of these two types of fat. Edible oils also contain at least some saturated fat. The amount of saturated fat in oil may be a more important consideration than the ratio of monos to polys.
Olive oil, for instance, contains 73% monounsaturated fat, 11% polyunsaturated fat, and 14% saturated fat.
Soybean oil, by contrast, is 24% mono, 61% poly, and 15% saturated fat.
Canola oil wins high marks. It’s 62% monounaturated, 32% polyunsaturated, and only 6% saturated fat -- by far the lowest among edible oils.
I use neutral canola oil.
grape seed oil
I use canola oil regularly. But I find I am enjoying neutral grape seed oil now that Costco stock it in a large bottle at a good price. It has a high smoke point so it is good for frying. It is 88%-90 polyunsaturated fat. And good for salad dressings, when you want a neutral taste.
Canola can sometimes have an off taste and odor. A blend of canola and soybean offers just about the same health benefits, without the off qualities.
There are olive oils that are very, very light that I've used for different baked goods and they've been an acceptable substitute, but most often I use store brands of vegetable (soybean) or corn oil. More health for the buck.
Peanut or soy oils. Canola can get an off (fishy, IMO) flavor and aroma if it gets heated too high, especially the cheaper ones. I finally stopped using canola because of it, although I haven't tried any of the blends. That'll be next on the agenda, because both peanut & soy are pretty pricey. Olive oil that is 1st or 2nd press should have less of a distinct flavor than extra virgin, too.
This is just my opinion, but for something like pancakes where you're using a well seasoned skillet or griddle and need a minimal amount of fat, any oil that tastes good to you will be fine. But some of the most recent research suggests that "heart-healthy oil" may be an oxymoron, at least for the percentage of the population who are at risk for developing heart disease.
Canola and I second the motion on Costco's grapeseed oil.
Canola oil is highly unhealthy, especially if you are cooking (heating) with it. Any polyunsaturated fat (common vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, corn, soy, safflower) are the worst oil to use in cooking. They are high in Omega 6 oils and get damaged when exposed to heat. The healthiest oil to use in cooking and baking, or any time you expose the oil to heat is coconut oil. Olive oil is very healthy only as long as it is not heated.