Key Differences Between Healthiest Cooking Oils
When it comes to cooking oils, there are a lot of options to choose from. But what are the nutritional differences between extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first cold pressing of olives and is packed full of health boosting antioxidants, or polyphenols. It’s also rich in mono-saturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol levels. Avocado oil, on the other hand, is made from the flesh of avocados and has a milder flavor. It’s also a good source of vitamins E and K, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
So, what are the health benefits of these two oils? Extra virgin olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocado oil, meanwhile, can help to improve cholesterol levels and provide relief from arthritis symptoms.
According to a great new summary from Tasting Table, both oils are an excellent addition to your larder. But, looking into their properties in more details shows some key health benefits of extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
Avocado Oil Benefits For Skin And Eye Health
According to WebMD, one tablespoon of avocado oil has 124 calories and 14 grams of total fat, with 2 grams being saturated fat. Avocado oil has large amounts of oleic acid, which may reduce high blood pressure, and contains monounsaturated fat that may raise good HDL cholesterol and minimize bad LDL cholesterol, which has been known to increase the risk of heart and artery diseases and strokes. Avocado oil may also help with inflammation due to cardiovascular issues, and it has vitamin E and lutein, which are vital for skin and eye health.
Avocado oil is a high-fat food, so it should be eaten in moderation. People who are allergic to avocados should avoid consuming it, and anyone with an allergy to latex or birch has an increased likelihood of having an avocado allergy. Furthermore, anyone that takes Coumadin (known as Warfarin generically) to help with blood clots should not consume avocado oil as the oil may worsen blood clotting issues (via WebMD).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Aids In Heart Health
The definition of extra virgin olive oil is very precise regards production methods, taste and chemical composition. To be certified as extra virgin, an olive oil must:
- Come from a single source, it is not mixed / blended with other olive oils, even if they are of extra virgin quality
- Come from the first pressing of fresh, young olives, normally within 24 hours of harvesting
- Be extracted purely by mechanical means at temperatures specifically below 28C.
- Have free fatty acid or acidity level (normally measured as oleic acid) of less than 0.8%.
- Be defect free and have a perfect taste and aroma.
The lower the acidity, the better the quality and the longer the shelf-life.
High quality extra virgin olive oils also contain the antioxidants and polyphenols that give the health enhancing qualities associated with olive oil.
Per WebMD, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil has 119 calories and the same amount of fat as avocado oil: 14 grams of total fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. Of all olive oil types, extra virgin has the highest level of polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds that may help reduce inflammation and the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil may help support healthy joints and bones.
Extra virgin olive oil also contains oleocanthal and oleuropein, which are also antioxidant compounds that are beneficial for preventing the formation of bad LDL cholesterol (via Healthline). The presence of oleic acid and vitamins E and K in extra virgin olive oil help open up blood vessels to encourage blood flow and healthy blood pressure levels, aid in bone and heart health, prevent blood clots, and protect against heart disease and strokes.
Extra virgin olive oil can handle temperatures as hot as 405 F and can also be used cold, per Healthline. It’s great for marinades, salad dressings, stir-frying, sauteing, and as a finishing oil. Like avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil is high in fat, so be sure to consume it in moderation. Additionally, anyone with an olive allergy should avoid all olive oils.
Read More: Tasting Table
So, there you have it! The next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil for all your health and cooking needs.