Choosing the Best Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is growing in popularity as more and more people recognize its value as a superior cooking oil. Cold pressed avocado oil also has many beneficial properties for improving your appearance, disease prevention and long-term optimal health.
I’ve written before about the importance of the smoke point of the oil you cook with and why avocado oil is the best and perhaps only oil that should be used for high temperature frying.
There’s also numerous reasons why the vegetable oils in most people’s kitchens may be damaging their health and why a good avocado oil is the best replacement.
Like all natural products though, there are different levels of quality. I recently tried a new range of cold pressed and extra virgin avocado oils from Avohaus in California which were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.
On this page I wanted to cover what’s important to look for in a high quality avocado oil for the most health benefits and best taste.
5 Elements of a Good Avocado Oil
1. Smoke Point
Avocado oils stable structure, even at temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit, is especially valuable for high-temperature cooking and frying.
Many people use extra-virgin olive oil in their frying pans, believing it to be healthy. While this kind of olive oil is good on your salads, it’s also a very delicate oil with a very low smoke point. Once its smoke point is reached, extra-virgin olive oil can change structurally and become decidedly unhealthy.
There’s much more detail here about the problems with cooking with extra-virgin olive oil and why avocado oil is superior to it in just about every aspect.
2. High in Unadulterated Monounsaturated Fats
A good quality avocado oil will be derived from around three quarters monounsaturated fatty acids These beneficial fats are linked to improved cardiovascular health, a lower risk of certain cancers and, surprising to some, a reduction in belly fat.
Aside from the health benefits, you also want to look for an avocado oil that’s extra-virgin and cold pressed to preserve these monounsaturated fats if you intend to use it for health and beauty applications.
3. Preserves Nutritional Elements
A carefully produced avocado oil will be high in phytosterols like beta-sitosterol that may reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Beta-sitosterol is also believed to help regulate overactive dihydrotestosterone production, which can lead to hair loss and prostate problems in men.
A rich green avocado oil is also likely to be full of healthy chlorophyll, the carotenoid lutein for protecting your eyes and other antioxidants like alpha and beta-carotene and vitamin E.
Always look for an avocado oil that comes in a dark glass to protect these nutrients and keep it out of direct sunlight to preserve them.
4. Made from the Best Avocados
Any avocado oil is only as good as the avocados it’s made from. Avohaus avocado oil is pressed from Hass avocados and apparently has the equivalent of 12 to 14 large Hass in each bottle. If you’ve ever tried Hass avocados before you’ll know why they are considered the richest tasting and best variety.
New Zealand, with its fertile volcanic soil and completely non-GMO status is recognized as the world’s best producer of Hass avocados and Avohaus avocado oil is cold pressed there directly from fresh and ripe Hass fruit.
5. Superior Taste
As valuable as the health benefits of avocado oil are, it’s important to really enjoy the taste of your cooking oil if you’re going to stick with it.
For those used to heat and chemical extracted vegetable oils, cold pressed avocado oil will be a revelation. The rich and buttery taste lingers in the mouth like a slice of ripe avocado and is, in my opinion, far better than extra-virgin olive oil.
Avohaus actually make four different varieties of avocado oil – extra-virgin, organic, garlic and lime.
Both the extra-virgin and organic avocado oil have an intense and buttery avocado flavor, perhaps slightly stronger and more pronounced in the organic bottle. Either of these oils will be ideal for both all kinds of cooking and external beauty applications.
The garlic avocado oil smells great, blends in a savory garlic flavor and goes really well in stir fries, scrambled eggs and omelettes or I’d imagine anywhere you might normally add garlic to a meal.
Lime infused avocado oil was something I hadn’t tried before and it actually works really well, both in savory dishes like Asian meals and over steamed veggies, as well as drizzled over green salads and even to add an unusual twist to a bowl of mixed chopped fruit.
From a health perspective, having some monounsaturated fat rich avocado oil with your vegetables, salads or fruit has been shown to increase the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants, potentially minimizing antioxidant damage within your body.
Where to Get the Best Avocado Oil in California
Avohaus is a relatively new brand but appears to be growing quite quickly. If you’re in California you can try their different avocado oils for free with in store tastings in places like San Diego, Orange County, Santa Monica and LA.
There’s many more articles on Superfood Profiles about just what makes cold pressed avocado oil so good for your body, your skin and your hair.
While the highest quality is rarely the cheapest, avocado oil is one of those unusual products that is both incredibly good for you and something you’ll really look forward to using. If you can, I think it’s worth getting the best.