Why I love cooking with avocado oil

Fats and oils have undergone a major cultural identify update in recent years!

After being told that fat was bad, and “low fat” was good for a really long time, these recommendations have done a virtual 180. It’s finally been validated (I’ve been saying this for ages) that “low fat” is really bad, and that not only are fats not the bad guys that we were told, but some of them are actually very good for us. This is great news, because fats are yummy and satisfying.

There are lots of reasons that “low fat” is bad, but the main one is that foods with that label are usually full of high fructose corn syrup, which is truly harmful. So it’s really best to avoid that and go for healthy fats. (Generally, healthy fats are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and unhealthy are the vegetable oils high in Omega 6.)

Which leads me back to avocado oil….

Olive oil has been my oil of choice for many years, but the extra virgin stuff has a strong flavor that I ofteny don’t want in my cooked dishes. So I used to use EVOO basically raw for salads and stuff, and just a pure or light olive oil for cooking.

Then I started hearing that coconut oil is the only good oil to cook with because it has a high smoke point, which EVOO does not, and is safer at higher temperatures. I completely reject this notion, because olive oil has been the oil of choice in the Mediterranean since the beginning of time, and they have one of the healthiest diets in the world.

But unfortunately there is an olive oil crisis going on. The Italian crime families have apparently gotten hold of the olive oil market, and now we’re being told that most of what is being marketed commercially as olive oil isn’t really olive oil at all, but one of the lesser quality vegetable oils that are high in Omega 6’s, not the healthy Omega 3’s that are in olive oil, coconut oil, and yes, avocado oil.

So I no longer buy what is labeled as pure or light olive oil. I shop carefully for EVOO, and buy the ones that I’m pretty confident are really olive oil. And I do use coconut oil as well, but the coconut flavor doesn’t always work in my recipes, and my grass-fed butter and ghee don’t always work either. There was a gap: I needed a very mild tasting healthy oil that I could trust.

And that’s why I love cooking with avocado oil! It’s a healthy, Omega 3-rich, mild tasting oil with a really high smoke point. And although it was somewhat expensive, Trader Joe’s now carries it at a reasonable price.

If you haven’t tried avocado oil yet, it’s a terrific substitute for all those unhealthy vegetable oils you may be using (canola, sunflower, safflower, soy, peanut, etc.). Enjoy!

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