The #1 Best Oil to Cook With, According to a Dietitian
Whether you're making a stir fry or whisking together a homemade vinaigrette, having the right oil on hand can make all the difference when it comes to the flavor of your food. However, not all oils are created equal when it comes to your health—and certain types of cooking fats, like partially hydrogenated oils, may be doing more harm than good when you add them to your favorite dishes. Luckily, there's one type of oil that's not only delicious but confers plentiful health benefits with every pour: avocado oil.
"It's extremely versatile because of its mild flavor and high smoke point (520 degrees F). With a mild flavor, you can use it in place of canola oil in baking, as the base for a homemade dressing, or in your weekday stir fry. And because it has such a high smoke point, it's a great oil to use for high-temperature cooking, like air-frying, roasting, or broiling," Trisko explains.
Better yet, avocado oil has a wide array of benefits for your cardiovascular health.
"Avocado oil is great to use in your kitchen because it contains both healthy forms of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy, and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential to consume through food because they are required for various functions in our body, but we can't produce them ourselves," says Trisko.
In fact, according to a 2018 meta-analysis published in The FASEB Journal, consumption of whole avocado and avocado oil was linked to an increase in HDL-C, or "good" cholesterol, and the body of research studied indicated "a potential association between avocado intake and reduced [cardiovascular disease] risk."
If you're adding avocado to your favorite vegetable dishes, you may even get an additional health benefit. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that avocado oil improved study subjects' ability to absorb carotenoids, a type of naturally-occurring pigment commonly found in yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables. Studies have linked carotenoid consumption to improvements in vision and a reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.
So, if you're reaching in your cabinet to grab an oil with which to prepare your next meal, consider making it avocado oil—your body will thank you.