Avocado Oil Versus Olive Oil: Which is Better for Healthy Cooking?
Is avocado oil better than olive oil to use for cooking in your kitchen? And should you even be frying with extra virgin olive oil or can this be harmful?
Here are the key differences between these two culinary oils and which one is superior for cooking.
What is Avocado Oil?
Extra virgin avocado oil is one of the few cooking oils extracted directly from the fruit, rather than chemically derived from seeds.
Avocados have the highest fat content of any fruit. These fats are cold pressed out of the fruit pulp in a similar way to the method used to produce extra virgin olive oils.
The resulting oil is rich in beneficial monounstated fats and has good levels of antioxidants and other nutritional compounds.
Avocado oil also has a particularly high smoke point that makes it great for frying with.
In all of these ways, a high quality cold pressed and organic avocado oil, like this one I use in my kitchen, is superior to the more commonly used olive oil. Here’s why.
Which Cooking Oil is Best?
Cold pressed avocado oil has a strong claim as the best cooking oil to use in your kitchen.
It has a very high smoke point of 480 Fahrenheit (248 Celsius). This makes it a great choice for grilling, frying, roasting and other high temperature cooking.
By comparison, extra virgin olive oil has a much lower smoke point of 383 Fahrenheit (195 Celsius). This makes it unsuitable for high heat frying.
Lower quality ‘light’ olive oil has a smoke point of 430 Fahrenheit (221 Celsius), which is okay for cooking. Unrefined avocado oil is much better for you nutritionally than heat extracted oils though.
Cold pressing extraction produces high quality and great tasting oil from avocados, with very low acidity and many beneficial properties. Foremost of these are high levels of monounsaturated fats.
Extra virgin avocado oil is up to 76% monounsaturated fatty acids. This is even higher than olive oil’s at approximately 67%. It also has less saturated fat at 13%, versus 17%.
Monounsaturated fatty acids, from plant sources like avocados and olives, are some of the best dietary fats for improving circulatory wellbeing.
Oleic acid and other omega-9 fats are also important for maintaining good moisture levels within your skin’s epidermal layer.
If your skin is feeling dry and looking tired, switching to cooking with avocado oil may help to 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
Natural vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant for combating free radical damage. It’s also beneficial for skin health and healing.
Cold pressed and unrefined avocado oil has high levels of alpha and gamma tocopherol. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in vitamin E, though amounts can vary greatly depending on processing and growing region.
Phytosterols are beneficial compounds found in both of these culinary oils that may reduce cholesterol absorption during digestion.
Avocado oil has the phytosterol beta-sitosterol in the highest concentrations. It also contains other phytosterols like campesterol and stigmasterol.
It has around twice the beta-sitosterol of cold pressed olive oil and even more than the highly regarded saw palmetto oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Versus Avocado Oil
There’s many reasons to recommend switching to avocado oil in your kitchen, especially if you are currently cooking with extra virgin olive oil at high temperatures. Cold pressed avocado oil is clearly superior for this purpose.
Alongside its higher smoke point, it also has more monounsaturated fats, more antioxidant vitamin E and more beta-sitosterol than olive oil.
Finally, and most importantly for many people, the extra virgin oil, like this organic one I use, tastes great with a rich and buttery flavor.
It also has a much better taste for cooking eggs and other dishes where you really notice the flavor of the cooking oil used.
All in all, extra virgin olive oil is still very good for you, especially unheated. In many ways though, the lesser known avocado oil is much better.
If you’d like to try it for yourself, the page on buying avocado oils has the best bulk and organic options I’ve found and use in my own kitchen.