When it comes to choosing a proper oil to cook, there are so many options. As cooking oils play an important role in determining your health, adequate care and caution is needed while selecting it. Among the oils used widely, olive oil and avocado oil emerge as the healthiest. But which among these two fares better? A detailed comparison can help understand it.
As much as olive oil’s popularity, avocado oil has gained ground, owing to its health benefits. Avocado oil is extracted from its fruits. Like avocado oil, olive oil is also derived by cold-pressing its yellowish-green fruits.
In terms of their edible nature, olive oil scores higher than its counterpart. Not only on edibility, olive oil is also rated high when it comes to lipid profiling, stability, safety, etc. Within the various grades of olive oil, extra-virgin is rated highly. The reasons being, this type of olive oil is unrefined and hence is processed only to a minimum. This makes it less acidic, giving it a compelling taste.
Benefits of avocado oil include reduction of blood pressure levels, inhibition of bone loss – especially your bones in gums and treatment of skin disorders. In case of patients suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis, application of avocado oil has resulted in providing needful relief. Cure for skin diseases has been found to be faster when the oil is used along with vitamins, especially vitamin B12.
Health benefits associated with olive oil include, enhancing your good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol in your blood. These benefits are due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids in sizeable proportions. The oil also has benefits for people with diabetes as it can bring down blood sugar and regulate insulin levels. This cooking oil is recommended for people prone to risks of type 2 diabetes. This oil also has carotenoids and vitamin E to treat skin diseases, heart problems, swollen joints and disorders associated with your nerves.
Taste and texture
These two oils almost have the same kind of taste and texture. But among the two, olive oil is found to be moderately bitter. Another way to differentiate these two oils is avocado oil tastes less fruity. Also, avocado oil is not as sharp as olive oil and is milder. Olive oil’s bitter taste depends solely on its fruits. Oil extracted from greener olives is bitter than oil extracted from its ripened fruits.
Calorific values of these two oils
The calorific values of these oils show that they are more or less similar to each other. One tablespoon of avocado oil is found to have about 125 calories, while a same quantity of olive oil has nearly 120 calories. It is also an interesting fact to note, both oils derive their calorific count from their content of fats. It is so because these oils are devoid of carbs or proteins. As the calorific values are relatively higher for both these oils, you are strongly recommended to practice moderation while using them.
This is the point where oils get to lose their nutritional values. They are not recommended for consumption if heated beyond their respective smoke points. If oils are heated beyond such points, it may lend toxicity to oils and can also trigger carcinogenic properties in them.
Among the two, avocado oil is found to have a higher smoke point. Its smoke point ranges from about 478 degree Fahrenheit to nearly 518 degree Fahrenheit. Such high smoke point only means avocado oil is best suited for high temperature cuisine like stir frying, etc. This property also makes avocado oil the preferred choice for frying and searing meat. On the other hand, olive oil does not have a very high smoke point; i.e., compared with avocado oil. Its smoke point is noted at about 428 degree Fahrenheit. This characteristic of the oil makes it work well for cooking at medium temperatures.
In case of extra virgin olive oil – the most popular category of olive oil – the smoke point is as low as about 219 degree Fahrenheit. Such a low level makes it unfit for cooking at very high temperatures.
Proportion of unsaturated and saturated fats
Avocado oil scores higher than olive oil when compared on unsaturated fats. However, both oils are found to have almost same levels of saturated fats. On the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats, olive oil scores higher. But, avocado oil is not far behind olive oil on this ratio.
Share of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
Dietary studies have been done to compare these two oils on this important count. Assessments indicate avocado oil having a marginally higher share of such fatty acids. Their scores on this front more or less tend to be the same, thus signifying no big differences between the two.
Presence of antioxidants
These two oils exhibit a lot of similarities with regard to cholesterol. While used as a cooking medium, they can help decrease your bad cholesterol and restore cardiac health. Both these oils are found to have phytosterols owing to their origin from fruits. Avocado oil has effective antioxidants which are essentially phenolic compounds. Olive oil has a sizable proportion of vitamin E as well as an abundant presence of antioxidants.
Other uses of these oils
Olive oil can be used to dress salads and as an accompanying dip for breads. In many instances, it has also been used as a great substitute for butter and other dairy based food products.
Avocado oil is also used as a great substitute for butter and other dairy products. Its high share of vitamin E makes it widely used to maintain a healthy skin. The oil is also rich in potassium and it is a mineral that helps maintaining a good heart by controlling your blood pressure levels. One measure where avocado oil trumps olive oil is in its share of carotenoids. These substances possess proven properties to cure cancer, reverse the symptoms of aging as well as do a lot of good to your eyes.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the intake of plant sterols, which these two oils have in great proportions. The phytosterols have proven capabilities to inhibit cardiac damages and discourage absorption of cholesterol inside your gut. In sum, these plant based minerals are found to lessen your cholesterol levels by upto 14% if consumed moderately on a regular basis.
It has been inferred, both these oils score way too higher than other vegetable oils with their impressive health benefits. Based on the style of cooking, you can choose to use either of these oils. The choice rests on the smoke points of these oils. If you are making a recipe that needs cooking at a high temperature, you are recommended to opt for avocado oil; thanks to its high smoke point.
On the other hand, for your medium temperature cooking or for dressing your salads, olive oil may be the go-to oil. You will see their smoke points are a big difference between them. But it remains an undeniable fact that these two oils carry a lot of benefits to help you pursue a healthy lifestyle.