Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is one of the healthiest oils to use for cooking at high temperatures

The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it breaks down and smoke appears. At this point the nutrition and flavour decrease. An oil with a high smoke point can be used for cooking at high temperatures without becoming damaged. Consumption of damaged fats can cause cellular damage and may contribute to illnesses such as cancer and speeds up the ageing process.

When an oil is labelled ‘Extra Virgin’, this means it is a high quality form of the oil and has gone through little processing, therefore little damage to the fats. However these unrefined oils are more susceptible to damage by heat. This means extra virgin oil should be avoided when used for cooking and should be saved to incorporate with food after cooking. The exception to this rule is extra virgin avocado oil as it has an usually high smoke point (temperature at it can reach without becoming damaged) and is still ‘extra virgin’ so has undergone little processing. This oil is ideal for any cooking, but especially useful when high temperatures are required such as in stir-frying or sautéing.

Avocado oil is low in saturated fats, high in monounsaturated fats, high in vitamin E, cholesterol free, and may have cholesterol-lowering effects.

You can buy avocado oil in all good health stores and some supermarkets, it is more expensive than other oils but used sparingly it goes a long way, and it is much better to eat small amounts of oil even the healthy ones.

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