Avocados are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They have been cultivated since time immemorial. The fruit contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are essential for human health. However, it is not only MUFA but also PUFAs that contribute to their benefits; they also contain vitamin E and other beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. These compounds may play a role in reducing inflammation, improving cardiovascular health, preventing cancer and even increasing longevity.
The main reason why avocado oil is so popular is because it’s low calorie content makes it ideal for weight loss diets. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, avocados are considered a “low fat” food due to their low calories and high fiber content.
It is also rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
There are many brands of avocado oil available today. Some of them claim to be pure or organic while others use the term “natural.” There are several reasons why consumers choose these products over others: price, taste, nutritional value and environmental impact.
The question remains though – what is the difference between natural and certified organic? Is there any real difference at all?
While there is no legal distinction between the two, there is a difference in how the oils are grown, produced, and processed. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) sets the standards for organic certification. In order for a food product to be labeled “organic,” it must be grown free from genetically modified organisms, industrial chemicals, and synthetic pesticides. It must also be free of antibiotics and growth hormones. In order for an oil to be labeled “organic,” it must also be free of preservatives and bleaching agents.
The main benefit of buying an organic product is that you can be assured that none of the ingredients came into contact with harmful chemicals. This gives the oil a longer shelf life and makes it safer for human consumption.
An organic avocado oil will also contain more nutrients due to the fact that the fruit was not treated with any pesticides and was grown naturally rather than organically.
When it comes to taste and nutritional value, there isn’t much difference between the oils. The main difference comes down to price and environmental impact.
Although organic foods tend to be more expensive, they are ultimately better for your health and the environment.
When it comes to selection, the best place to start is by determining what you plan on using the oil for. There are several different varieties of avocado oil on the market:
This is the most common type of oil found in stores. It has a mild flavor and is a pale yellow color.
It contains no additives or preservatives and can be used for almost any type of cooking. It is best used for high-temperature cooking such as deep frying or baking.
This oil is also pale yellow in color and has a less intense flavor than the refined variety. It contains a minimal amount of additives and preservatives but retains more of the natural nutrients than the refined oil.
It is best used for low-temperature cooking such as salads, dips or spreads.
3. Extra Virgin
This type of oil is greenish in color and has the strongest flavor of all avocado oils. It is unrefined and unpreserved which means it contains the highest nutritional value.
It can be used in salad dressings, dips or even on bread. It has a very short shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator.
This type of oil is not recommended for cooking because the flavor can be altered. It is best used for flavoring dishes rather than being used as a diet supplement.
The most common types of flavored oils are garlic, jalapeno, and lemon. These oils have a short shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator.
There are several ways to take advantage of the health benefits of avocado oil.
1. Add it to salads
The easiest and most popular way to add avocado oil to your diet is through salads. Avocado oil is very light and has a smooth, buttery texture which makes it perfect for salad dressings.
Add a few tablespoons to your favorite dressing recipe and give it an exciting new flavor. Remember, a little goes a long way!
2. Cook with it
While refined avocado oils have a high smoke point which makes them ideal for high temperature cooking, unrefined and extra virgin oils should not be used for cooking. These varieties have a lower smoke point and can easily burn or become bitter.
The best way to use these oils is in low-temperature recipes such as eggs, dips or spreads.
3. Use it in smoothies
Use a tablespoon of avocado oil to flavor your fruit or veggie based smoothies. Just make sure you stick to the unscented oils as the flavored varieties may alter the taste of your drink.
4. Add it to your coffee
Some people swear by coconut oil in their coffee, others prefer butter. If you’re looking for a new alternative, try some flavored avocado oil.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The great thing about avocado oil is that it can be used in sweet or savory recipes and it pairs well with almost any other ingredient.
Try adding a few tablespoons to your next meal and enjoy the benefits of this delicious, versatile oil!
Sources & references used in this article:
Lycopene-rich avocado oil obtained by simultaneous supercritical extraction from avocado pulp and tomato pomace by HDFQ Barros, R Grimaldi, FA Cabral – The journal of supercritical fluids, 2017 – Elsevier
Bioactive compounds and quality parameters of avocado oil obtained by different processes by FD Krumreich, CD Borges, CRB Mendonça… – Food chemistry, 2018 – Elsevier
Avocado oil: Characteristics, properties, and applications by M Flores, C Saravia, CE Vergara, F Avila, H Valdés… – Molecules, 2019 – mdpi.com
Avocado oil extraction with appropriate technology for developing countries by V Bizimana, WM Breene, AS Csallany – Journal of the American Oil …, 1993 – Springer
Evaluation of boron nitride particles on the tribological performance of avocado and canola oil for energy conservation and sustainability by CJ Reeves, PL Menezes – The International Journal of Advanced …, 2017 – Springer
Avocado oil extraction processes: method for cold-pressed high-quality edible oil production versus traditional production by G Costagli, M Betti – Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 2015 – agroengineering.org