Avocado Oil Vs Olive Oil for Healthy Cooking
Is avocado oil better than olive oil in your kitchen and should you even be frying with extra virgin olive oil or can this be harmful?
This article looks at the key differences between olive oil and avocado oil and just what makes the later superior for healthy cooking.
What is Avocado Oil?
Like olive oil, avocado oil is one of the few cooking oils extracted directly from the fruit, rather than chemically extracted from seeds.
Avocado contains around 30% oil and it is cold pressed out of the fruit pulp in a similar way to the method used to produce extra virgin olive oil.
Avocado oil is a very healthy cooking oil, with a beneficial fatty acid profile, good levels of antioxidants and many other nutritional compounds. It also has a high smoke point that makes it great for frying with.
Actually, in all of these ways, a high quality cold pressed avocado oil, like this one I use in my kitchen, is superior to the much more commonly used olive oil. Here’s why.
Cooking with Avocado Oil Instead of Olive Oil
Along with healthy coconut oil, avocado oil is one of the best possible cooking oils to have in your kitchen.
It has a very high smoke point, usually listed as between 480 Fahrenheit and 520 Fahrenheit (270 Celsius). This makes it a great choice for stir-fries and other high-temperature cooking.
Olive oil’s smoking point, by comparison, can vary greatly depending on the grade of the oil and how it was processed.
Low quality ‘light’ olive oil is cited at a highest smoke point of 430 Fahrenheit (221 Celsius), which may be okay for medium heat frying.
However, extra virgin olive oil, considered the healthiest type, can have a smoke point as low as 220 Fahrenheit (105 Celsius). This makes it unsuitable for high temperature cooking or any kind of frying.
Monounsaturated Fats Comparison
Cold pressing produces a high quality and great tasting avocado oil, with very low levels of acidity and many benefits for your health. Foremost of these is the high levels of monounsaturated fats.
Extra virgin avocado oil has a monounsaturated fatty acid level of around 72% to 76%, which is even higher than olive oil’s at approximately 67%.
It also has less saturated fat, at close to 13%, versus olive oil which is usually listed at 17%.
Research has shown monounsaturated fatty acids to be some of the healthiest kinds of fats you can consume, far better for you than polyunsaturated fats in processed vegetable oils.
They are known to help reduce your LDL cholesterol levels, which can lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular problems.
Monounsaturated fats also help maintain good moisture levels in your epidermis, leading to a healthier skin tone.
If your skin is feeling dry and looking tired, switching to cooking with avocado oil in your kitchen could help improve your complexion.
There’s an even better way to quickly improve your skin tone by using avocado oil as a face moisturizer here.
Vitamin E Levels
Cold pressed avocado oil retains its high levels of vitamin E, which is known to aid in improving your skin’s appearance and ability to heal.
Vitamin E has also being shown in research studies to potentially lower your risk for of many common diseases.
Olive oil also contains some vitamin E but not as much as extra virgin avocado oil.
Phytosterols are beneficial compounds found in avocado oil, olive oil and other healthy oils that reduce cholesterol absorption during digestion.
Avocado oil contains the phytosterol beta-sitosterol in the highest concentrations, but also contains other phytosterols like campesterol and stigmasterol.
Avocado oil has around twice the beta-sitosterol of olive oil and even more than the highly regarded saw palmetto oil.
Beta-sitosterol is particularly useful for men as it blocks the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase from converting beneficial testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), largely responsible for both prostate problems and hair loss.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vs Cold Pressed Avocado Oil
There’s many reasons to recommend switching from olive oil to avocado oil, especially if you are currently cooking with olive oil. Cold pressed avocado oil is clearly superior for this purpose.
Alongside its higher smoke point, avocado oil also has more monounsaturated fats, higher levels of the antioxidants like vitamins E and over twice the beta-sitosterol of olive oil.
Finally and perhaps most importantly for many people, extra virgin avocado oil like this one I use actually tastes great too with a rich, buttery avocado flavor.
It’s much nicer than olive oil for cooking eggs and other dishes where you really notice the flavor of the oil used.
All in all, olive oil is still very good for you. It’s just that in many ways, the less well known avocado oil is even better than extra virgin olive oil for healthy cooking.
If you’d like to try it for yourself, the page on where to buy the avocado oil has the best options I’ve found and use in my own kitchen.
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