Whether you're simply looking for cooking oil alternatives or looking to go towards the healthier route, cooking oils all have different qualities that you should look into. One of the most popular choices we've seen over recent years is the use of avocado oil for cooking, and we will delve deeper into this topic in this article.
Avocado oil is a great choice for shallow frying. This oil is high in fat, full of Vitamin E, unrefined, and has a higher smoke point than most cooking oils, making it a perfect choice for frying. This oil is also an excellent choice to use if you are planning to sear meat.
We know we've barely scratched the surface on cooking with avocado oil. This is why we will be discussing more the benefits of using avocado oil and which recipes it is most suitable to use. Keep reading to learn more about this healthy oil and whether this is something that will be good for you.
Can You Use Avocado Oil For Frying?
Avocado oil is a yellow, mild-tasting, and odorless oil that comes from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It is unrefined, high in healthy fat, and full of vitamin E. This oil is also known for having a very high smoke point of about 500°F, making it a choice oil used for different cooking methods.
The high smoke point of avocado oil is one of the prime reasons why you should use it for frying. If you're looking for a good, healthy oil to use for shallow frying, avocado oil is a great choice. The high levels of monosaturated fat help the oil stay stable even when it is heated at a high temperature.
You can also use avocado oil for roasting vegetables and as an ingredient in meat marinades. It is also great to use on salad dressings, drizzling oil for soups and dips like hummus, or as the choice fat ingredient for baking.
Does Avocado Oil Taste Like Vegetable Oil?
A lot of people think that avocado oil tastes like fruit, much like other refined and pressed oils that are available on the market. However, avocado oil is flavorless and odorless just like vegetable oil, making it a great choice to use for cooking if you are in need of a neutral-tasting oil.
However, if you are going to use the cold-pressed variety of avocado oil, you may be able to slightly taste the flavor of the fruit. Fortunately, avocado is commonly used for both savory and sweet dishes, so the taste is very negligible. The cold-pressed variety of avocado oil is great if you are looking to add a little avocado flavor to your food.
Benefits of Using Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is known to be a very healthy oil because of its high nutritional value. It is heart-healthy, and it is also high in oleic acid, which is unsaturated fat. This oil is also packed with vitamin E and other fat-soluble vitamins. Here are some of the benefits you can get from using avocado oil.
Helps Lower Cholesterol
Loaded with a good amount of monosaturated fat, avocado oil is known to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is commonly linked to stroke, heart, and artery diseases, so using avocado oil in your diet will greatly reduce this risk.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure
A rat study has been made to compare avocado oil to losartan, a blood pressure medication. This study shows that after 45 days of use, it has greatly reduced the diastolic and systolic blood pressure of the test subject. This is most likely because of avocado oil's high concentration of oleic acid which has been shown to lower blood pressure, similar to what losartan does.
Improves Heart Health
Lowered blood pressure and lower cholesterol can greatly improve one's heart health. Avocado oil is also known to help reverse inflammatory processes that are connected to cardiovascular risks. This is because avocado oil is rich in heart-healthy oleic acids. Diets rich in unsaturated fats reduce the risk of heart disease, making avocado oil a prime choice for dietary conditions.
Improves Eye and Skin Health
Consuming avocado oil in your diet not only affects your heart but also affects eye and skin health. Avocado oil is rich in lutein, a carotenoid and antioxidant that is found in our eyes. Diets rich in lutein is essential for eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts and other age-related eye diseases.
This oil is also rich in vitamin E and A, nutrients that are linked to good skin health. Avocado oil is also commonly used in many cosmetic items for topical applications because it is known to help improve skin issues. Wound healing and overall skin health are greatly improved because of the high amount of fatty acids and antioxidants found in avocado oil.
Helps Increase Nutrient Absorption
Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K need to be combined with fat for our body to absorb them. Carotenoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin cannot be absorbed well without fat. These nutrients are found in many fruits and vegetables, and adding avocado oil to dishes with these ingredients can help increase our body's ability to absorb nutrients.
Adding avocado oil to your dishes, whether it is in a salad or even for cooking, can greatly improve the chances of our body absorbing the nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Not only does the oil make it more flavorful, but it also enhances the health benefits of our meals.
Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis
Avocado oil, when combined with soybean oil produces ASU (Avocado Soy Unsaponifiables). For many people who suffer from osteoarthritis, ASU is used as an alternative anti-inflammatory treatment to help relieve the pain and stiffness they typically suffer.
Rich in Antioxidants
Avocado oil is rich in carotenoids, tocopherols (different forms of vitamin E), and various plant sterols. These are antioxidants that the body needs to fight free radicals that can damage cells over time. Adding avocado oil to your diet can greatly increase your body's capability to fight these free radicals, making you a lot healthier and brighter.
Kinds of Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is still a fairly new kind of oil, which is why there are very few variations. There are two main types of avocado oil—extra virgin and refined avocado oil. This is defined by the kind of processing the avocado had to get to extract these oils.
Extra-Virgin Avocado Oil
Extra-virgin avocado oil remains a lot of similar properties to the avocado fruit. You will commonly find that extra-virgin avocado oil will retain the deep green hue of the fruit. It also has a buttery, fatty flavor that you might typically get when eating the avocado fruit.
This oil also has a lower smoke point than refined avocado oil. However, with 482°F as its smoke point, it is still a prime choice to use for frying.
The oil is deep green in color because it retains the chlorophylls found in the skin and the flesh of the avocado fruit. Because of this, it is important to store extra-virgin avocado oil away from light to prevent it from triggering oxidation and to keep the oil from going rancid.
Refined Avocado Oil
Refined avocado oil is lighter in color and typically translucent yellow. The filtering process of the virgin oil to remove the small particles and other impurities ultimately causes the oil to lose its signature deep green hue, flavor, and aroma of the oil.
One of the major differences between refined avocado oil from the extra-virgin variant is the higher smoke point. Refined avocado oil typically has a smoke point that ranges between 500 to 520°F, which makes it a better choice for shallow frying or roasting.
It is also easier to store refined avocado oil because it does not have the chlorophylls found in the initial process of extraction from the fruit. While it is preferred to store avocado oil away from light to prevent it from going rancid, you should be able to keep it in the pantry or the refrigerator.
Always remember that being healthy does not mean you should settle for sad, unappetizing food. Using avocado oil for your dishes can greatly enhance the health benefits of your dishes, with the addition of making them very flavorful. Try using this oil on your dishes and see how it transforms your meals.
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