Here’s why you should start cooking with avocado oil (recipe included)
01/19/2022 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Here’s why you should start cooking with avocado oil (recipe included)

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating avocado, then you know that it’s different from other fruits. Unlike most fruits, avocado is rich in unsaturated fats that support your health in many ways.

Today, avocados aren’t just enjoyed as fruits. They are also used to produce avocado oil. It may not be as popular as olive oil, but avocado oil is just as delicious and holds its own when it comes to nutrition. Aside from healthy fats, avocado oil contains powerful antioxidants that have been linked to many health benefits.

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Read on to learn more about avocado oil and how to use it for cooking.

A heart-healthy oil

As far as cooking oils go, avocado oil is unique because it’s extracted from the flesh of the fruit itself instead of the seed. The flesh of avocado is extremely rich in monounsaturated fats, hence avocado oil’s high fat content. Monounsaturated fats are well-known for reducing high blood cholesterol levels, a risk factor for heart disease.

A monounsaturated fat called oleic acid makes up the bulk of healthy fats in avocado oil. Oleic acid can reduce cholesterol levels, fight inflammation and promote better heart health.

Avocado oil also contains polyunsaturated fat, another type of healthy fat that boosts your cardiovascular health. Avocado oil has about two grams (g) of polyunsaturated fats per tablespoon.

Avocado oil also contains modest amounts of saturated fats. These fats have been linked to heart disease, which is why the American Heart Association warns that you should choose oils with less than 4 g of saturated fat per tablespoon. At just 2 g of saturated fats per tablespoon, avocado oil is a healthy choice.

Additionally, avocado oil is rich in carotenoids, a group of more than 750 naturally occurring pigments. These pigments are responsible for the brightly colored peels of various fruits and vegetables. Two of the most common carotenoids found in foods are alpha- and beta-carotene. Avocado oil contains both.

Beta-carotene, the red-orange pigment in carrots and sweet potatoes, is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and protect the brain from oxidative stress, which has been linked to brain aging.

On the other hand, alpha-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. High blood levels of alpha-carotene are associated with a longer life and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Avocado oil is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. They are the only carotenoids that accumulate in your retina, the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of your eye. They accumulate in the central region of the retina called the macula, which is essential for vision.

Lutein and zeaxanthin protect the macula from harmful free radicals. It’s believed that low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula can lead to poor vision over time.

Cooking with avocado oil

Avocado oil, particularly the unrefined version, has a high smoking point. This means it can be used for cooking at high heat and is great for stir-frying. Avocado oil also works well for baking, roasting, searing and grilling. Avocado oil doesn’t have much flavor, which makes it great for cooking.

Here are other ways to use avocado oil:

  • Use it in place of olive oil in salad dressings
  • Mix it with sea salt and red pepper flakes for a simple bread dip
  • Add it to your favorite breakfast or post-workout smoothie
  • Drizzle it over hummus
  • Add it to soups
  • Drizzle it over fresh fruit slices

You can even make your own mayonnaise with avocado oil. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, water and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix the ingredients.
  2. While pulsing, pour the oil into the feeder tube of the food processor. Do this for 2-3 minutes or until all the oil is taken in by the yolks and the mixture gets thick.
  3. Scoop the mayonnaise into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

If you love avocados, why not give avocado oil a try? It is rich in heart-healthy fats and antioxidants that support your health in many ways. Incorporate avocado oil into your cooking today to enjoy its benefits.

Sources:

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

NutraIngredients-USA.com

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