For years now, olive oil has enjoyed being the topmost commonly chosen oil by health fanatics and those looking to reduce their cholesterol levels. It is true that olive oil is a healthy alternative to refined vegetable oil, butter, ghee and lard. However, is it the ONLY healthy oil option out there?
As you guessed it, the answer is NO. Today, many nutritionists and healthcare providers are promoting Avocado oil, and with good reason.
Much like olive oil, avocado oil is also a healthy cooking oil that is extracted directly from a fruit, rather than being chemically extracted from seeds or being a vegetable oil.
Avocado fruit contains around 30% oil and it is extracted in a similar way to extra virgin olive oil. In many ways, it is truly superior to the more commonly used olive oil, especially considering the fact that olive oil comes in many inferior quality with a low price point too.
Here is why I think avocado oil is more superior to olive oil.
1. A High Smoke Point
The smoke point of olive oil depends on the grade (or quality) of oil you are using. Light oils or Extra-Virgin Olive Oils have a fairly high smoke point of around 220 degree Fahrenheit, though the more commonly used Olive Pomace Oil has a lower than desirable smoke point. This makes regular olive oil varieties unsuitable for high temperature cooking or any kind of frying.
On the other hand, avocado oil has a much higher smoke point of 375-400 degree Fahrenheit. Oils that smoke in the pan break down into dangerous compounds and all healthy compounds of the oil being used are lost.
This is why, the superior avocado oil is far better for high temperature cooking and frying, retaining its health-benefiting properties even at high temperatures.
2. High Levels of Monounsaturated Fats
Cold pressed avocado oil is not only great tasting and light in texture; it also contains extremely high levels of monounsaturated fats. What is better, it has low levels of acidity and oxidization, which means that it is one of the healthiest kinds of oils around. Extra virgin cold pressed avocado oil has around 72%-76% monounsaturated fatty acid levels and only 13% saturated fats. On the other hand, olive oil contains about 67% monounsaturated fatty acids at best, and up to 17%-19% saturated fats.
Avocado oil also contains 12% omega-6 polyunsaturated fat and 1% omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids are good for heart health and reduce LDL cholesterol levels, while also promoting a healthier skin tone and hair texture. These fats are also anti-inflammatory and can be very beneficial for medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and arthritis.
Switching to avocado oil in your kitchen can improve skin texture and keep all signs of premature aging at bay.
3. High Content of Phytosterols
Phytosterols help reduce absorption of cholesterol in the GI tract and are commonly found in pumpkin seed oil…as well as avocado oil. Cold pressed avocado oil is rich in phytosterol stigmasterol and campesterol, and contains twice the amount of beta-sitosterol as contained in olive oil. These phytosterols keep hair loss and prostate problems at bay too.
4. Wonderful Flavour
While most of us will make a switch to a healthier oil to enjoy more health benefits, who doesn’t love great tasting healthy fats?! Avocado oil has a nice buttery, mild taste that adds a punch to the overall flavour of your food. Be it salads, baked goodies or roasted veggies and meats, avocado oil requires no taste adjustments. What is even better, it comes in a nice liquefied form, taking away the effort of having to soften butter or coconut oil for cooking and baking!
5. All-Purpose Beauty Balm
If you like to use the contents of your pantry on your hair and skin like me, you will be pleased to know that avocado oil is one of the most penetrative and nourishing natural oils. That’s the reason it’s so loved by the beauty industry, and makes its way as an ingredient for most creams, lotions, body butters and haircare products! Whether consumed regularly or applied topically, avocado oil increases the production of collagen and keeps the skin supple, soft and younger looking. You can also use it as carrier oil for essential oils.
It is known that this oil was widely used by Mayan Indians, Incans and Aztecs — cultures that have been studied and revered for their superior knowledge of natural power foods. Although olive oil and avocado oil are similar in their chemical structure, the above mentioned reasons make avocado oil a little superior to olive oil. While olive oil is still healthier oil compared to refined vegetable oil, butter and margarine, it is safe to say that avocado oil goes a step further when it comes to cooking oils.
Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Olive Oil