Should you use olive or avocado oil when you’re in the kitchen? Which is healthier? Can one be dangerous? This article will break down the differences between the two oils.
Both of them have something in common, which is that they’re extracted directly from the fruit and not chemically extracted from different seeds. The fruit of the avocado has about 30% oil and the oil is extracted similar to extra virgin olive oil.
Avocado oil is healthy and contains beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants, and its smoke point is high so you can fry it with ease. This makes it better than olive oil in many ways. Below explains why.
Frying With Olive or Avocado Oil
Avocado and coconut oil are two of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking. It has a high smoke point, which is around 480-520 F or 270 C. It’s a great oil for stir-fry or just other forms of high temperature cooking. Olive oil’s smoke point depends on what you have. Low quality olive oil has around 430 F (210 C,) so you can use it for frying.
But if you use extra virgin, which is the healthiest, the smoke point is kind of pitiful. It’s only 220 F (105 C,) so you shouldn’t use it in any high temperature or frying situations.
If you’re going to use virgin avocado oil, keep it around 375-400F when you cook. While it claims to have a high smoke point, a few studies say otherwise. Cook safely and don’t burn your house down!
While it’s still higher than virgin olive oil, don’t have your oil smoke while on the pan. The health benefits will suffer and it may even form dangerous compounds.
Avocado Oil and Monounsaturated Fats
Avocado oil has low acidity and oxidization levels, and this is formed via cold pressing. It also has many health benefits, including lots of healthy fats like the monounsaturated kind.
Extra virgin avocado oil contains a monounsaturated fatty acid level of about 74%, which is higher than the 67% that olive oil boasts. The saturated fat levels are lower as well. Avocado has 13%, while olive oil has 17%.
So what does monounsaturated fat do? It’s known as being the healthiest fat you can have. It lowers your bad cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can give you a better skin tone as well. If you have dry skin, avocado oil can help you with that.
Avocado, Antioxidants, and Vitamin E
Avocado oil is high in vitamin E, which has been proven to help with your skin tone. Not only that, some research reveals that it can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some cancers.
Unrefined avocado oil also contains lutein, an antioxidant that is found in your eyes. Lutein is said to block UV and powerful blue light rays, which can damage your vision. Consume enough lutein and it will help your eyes in the long run and prevent it from diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, which is a high cause for blindness.
Avocado Oil and Phytosterols
Avocado oil, as well as pumpkin seed oil, contains phytosterols. These can lessen the absorption of cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract. It contains different phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. It even has twice the betal-sitosterol of saw palmetto oil. So what does beta-sitosterol even do?
For men, it blocks the enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone to DHT. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, can cause prostate trouble and can lead to hair loss.
So Which Oil Should You Choose?
If you’ve read this article, the choice should be clear. Avocado has more vitamins and antioxidants in it than olive oil, and is safer to cook with due to its high smoke point. It even tastes better, if you like the butter-like avocado flavor.
It’s not that olive oil is unhealthy; in fact, it’s good for you. But avocado oil knocks it out of the park when it comes to cooking smart. Try some and you’ll see why.