Although, we the da Silva family at Bella Vado avocado grove in Valley Center, CA humbly consider ourselves to be avocado oil experts, now that we collectively have well over a half-century of experience cultivating our “green gold,” we have to admit that when we first envisioned purchasing an avocado grove, we didn’t completely realize that avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with.
Like most people, we weren’t fully aware of the innate dietary wisdom of traditional societies that thrived health-wise, if never introduced to modern food inventions like processed wheat.
Walking into a supermarket, we’d be dazed and confused, dumbfounded at the dozens of choices of cooking oils.
Abundant were (and still are): vegetable and seed oils made from corn, soybean, safflower and sunflower, among others.
“Too many choices! What to buy? What’s the healthiest oil to cook with?” we wondered, over a decade ago, before we became the only U.S. company that grows, harvests, presses and bottles avocado oil at the same location.
Well, now we know. After researching the benefits of avocado oil, we became aware of native cooking wisdom. Traditional societies never cooked with vegetable or seed oils. These types of oils are all modern inventions.
Native cultures who subsisted on locally-grown and seasonally-harvested foods always used cooking oils derived, most of the time, from either the oil of a fruit (avocado, olive, or coconut) or animal fat (such as lard and butter).
The main reason why avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with, and why most vegetable and seed oils are the worst to cook with can be summed up in one word: heat.
When subjected to heat, like a cooking fire, vegetable oils turn rancid. Of the three main types of dietary fat–saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated–vegetable and seed oils are mostly comprised of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs).
The molecular structure of PUFAs become warped when exposed to heat. (Exposure to light can also cause rancidity. Thus, veggie oils can be rancid just sitting on the store shelf, unopened!)
Avocado oil is comprised mostly of the all-star dietary fat of the Mediterranean Diet, monounsaturated fat (MUFA). Several medical studies such as this one in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, conclude: “There is epidemiological evidence that dietary MUFAs have a beneficial effect on the risk of CHD (cardiovascular heart disease).
Here are some other reasons why avocado oil is healthy to cook with:
- It is a high smoke point: If you’re cooking, and the frying pan is starting to smoke, that’s a bad sign. Cancer-causing carcinogens could be created when you’re cooking at too high a temperature. Bella Vado’s unrefined, cold, first-pressed avocado oil has a smoke point approaching 500 degrees.
- It contains saturated fat: Monounsaturated fat makes up 70% of avocado oil. Another 12% is saturated fat. Despite possible preconceived unhealthy notions about saturated fat, it provides stability to the cell membranes. As a result, avocado oil won’t spoil nearly as easily as vegetable and seed oils, which sometimes are high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.
- It lowers LDL levels: High LDLs, commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’, are associated with inflammatory conditions in the body. Some nutritionists believe that if you can reduce inflammation in the body, you will lower LDL levels.
- It fights inflammation: To elaborate the point above, avocado oil lowers LDL levels, which rise, in response to inflammation, which occurs after consuming too many processed grains and vegetable/seed oils.
Hopefully you’ve learned why avocado oil is one of the healthiest foods to cook with. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us! We are passionate about contributing to your health….
From our Grove to your Table,
The da Silva Family – Bella Vado’s California Avocado Oil