In recent times, there has been a noticeable surge in people's interest in maintaining their health and being mindful of what they consume.
With the rise of wellness culture and a focus on healthy eating habits, an increasing number of individuals are making the switch from traditional cooking oils such as soybean or canola oil to healthier alternatives like avocado and grapeseed oil.
These two oils have gained immense popularity in various culinary applications, each boasting unique qualities, health benefits, and drawbacks. Therefore, let us explore which oil is the better choice for your overall well-being: avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
What is avocado oil?
Avocado oil, as the name implies, is a type of edible oil that is extracted from the flesh or pulp of avocados. It can be used both in its raw form and for cooking purposes.
One of the distinctive features of avocado oil is its exceptionally high smoke point. The unrefined oil has a smoke point of 250 °C (482 °F), while the refined oil's smoke point is even higher, at 271 °C (520 °F).
Unlike most edible oils, avocado oil is not derived from seeds; instead, it is obtained by pressing the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit. Apart from its culinary uses, avocado oil is also a popular ingredient in cosmetics, thanks to its deeply moisturizing properties.
What is grapeseed oil?
Grapeseed oil is a type of oil that is extracted from the seeds of grapes. It is an oil that is produced as a byproduct of the winemaking industry. Due to its moderately high smoke point (216 degrees Celsius), it is not used for frying anything. Rather, it is frequently used in salad dressings and baked goods.
Additionally, it is occasionally sprayed on raisins to help preserve their flavour. Grapeseed oil is also used in skincare and haircare for its moisturizing, antimicrobial, anti-redness properties etc.
Avocado oil vs grapeseed oil: differences
Even though both oils are different forms of vegetable oil that are used in cooking and the realm of beauty, they differ significantly in terms of ingredients, making process, health benefits, usage, etc.
To begin with, avocado oil is produced from avocado, specifically the flesh of avocado. On the other hand, grapeseed oil is made from seeds of grapes that are often byproducts of winemaking.
Secondly, to compare the making process of the two, mechanical extraction, cold pressing, centrifugation, and solvent extraction are common methods for producing avocado oil. However, mechanical extraction is the most often utilized method since it produces the finest grade oil.On the other hand, grapeseed oil is typically extracted using one of two methods: pressing or solvent extraction. The pressing method involves mechanically pressing the dried grape seeds to extract the oil, while solvent extraction involves using organic solvents such as Bligh and Dyer or Soxhlet to separate the oil from the seeds.
Thirdly, both avocado oil and rapeseed oil are beneficial to your health, though in different ways. Avocado oil is a great source of oleic acid, lutein, vitamin E, and monosaturated fat. Monosaturated fats are known to help reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and promote heart health. It can also help your eye and skin health due to the presence of vitamin E and lutein.
Again, grapeseed oil contains Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants that help improve your heart health, skin, improved inflammation etc.
Also, both oils will bring different types of flavouring to the dish. Avocado oil has a more prominent grassy and buttery flavour. It also adds an extra bit of creaminess to the dish. On the other hand, grapeseed oil is light, gentle, and delicate in flavour.
Finally, avocado oil and grapeseed oil also differ in their smoke point. Therefore, they have different uses when it comes to cooking. For example, Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil.
To be precise, avocado oil has an abnormally high smoke point. This indicates that avocado oil can be used for high-heat cooking methods like grilling and frying, whilst grapeseed oil is better suited for low- to medium-heat cooking methods like sautéing and baking.
Avocado oil vs grapeseed oil: which is better?
1 tablespoon of avocado oil contains 124 calories, 14 grams of total fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. Again, 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil contains 120 calories, 14 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat.
Now, taking into account their nutritional values, usage and other properties, though they have some differences, you can easily substitute grapeseed oil with avocado oil and vice versa. Therefore, there is no concrete way of determining which is better. Therefore, the decision of whether avocado oil or grapeseed oil is better for your health ultimately depends on your individual preferences, nutritional goals, and specific health needs.
To sum up, avocado oil and grapeseed oil have become increasingly sought-after substitutes for less healthy oils. These oils each possess distinctive characteristics, such as differences in smoke point, flavour profile, and nutritional value, as well as having various culinary and skincare uses. If these features align with your preferences and nutritional goals, both oils can be excellent options for integrating into your daily meal preparation routine.