First things first: I am a strong advocate for the Mediterranean-style of cooking, eating and experiencing nutritional cuisine.
That said, I have frequently extolled the virtues of regularly consuming extra virgin olive oil as part of your diet. Of course, there is a very good reason for this.
This type of fat is not only tasty and adds a great deal of flair to the preparation of rice dishes, vegetables and grilled seafood, but more importantly, it’s very good for you!
Along with the regular use of extra virgin olive oil, I have also suggested that you begin eating more avocadoes. Why? Olive oil and avocadoes are both high in fat, which is a good thing in this case. In fact, avocadoes are approximately 80% fat by weight. However, these two nutritional superstars have one unique attribute: They both contain high amounts of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids.
What does this mean to you and how do you benefit?
Well, the intake of omega-9 fats has been shown conclusively to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These fats have also been proven to reduce the progression of dementia and extend life expectancy.
How to live long and healthy?
Certain inhabitants residing in smaller regions in the southern Mediterranean have some of the best longevity statistics in the entire world. This fact is attributed to their diet; more specifically the type of fat they consume on a regular basis.
Well, what about my latest discovery?
I love avocadoes and I was in the grocery store last week picking up a few things and decided to try some avocado oil. I have to admit, I was rather hesitant because I was not sure how it would taste.
When I got home, I opened the bottle and smelled the oil. Wow! Sweet, light and aromatic. I placed a small amount on my finger and tasted it. It was delicate with that creamy tang of avocado, and delicious. I should have bought this sooner.
I immediately used it to make some grilled baby potatoes and onions which I wrapped in foil and placed on the barbecue. I also added some garlic and chili powder for good measure.
Best Versatile Healthy Oil (next to extra virgin olive)
I was pleasantly surprised by avocado oil’s sweet and delicate flavor, and how it adds a wonderful mouth-feel to my food. I now use it to make my famous brown rice and peas dish, and for grilling vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini.
One note on buying oil: Purchase only oil in dark, glass bottles properly sealed with a screw cap. Fresh oil should smell fresh and aromatic with no other fishy or suspect aromas.
Avocado oil contains the highest amounts of monounsaturated fat currently available for purchase, 72%. It also has all the nutritional attributes shared with olive oil and is an important part of Mediterranean cuisine. It is excellent to use for cooking at lower temperatures and, as I said, tastes great. This oil also is recommended to help control high blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and help keep the inside of your arteries clean.
I recommend that you consume at least one to two tablespoons of this oil three to four times per week. You will love discovering it just as much as I did. Tasty good health.
Birkbeck, J., “Health Benefits of Avocado Oil,” Olivado website; http://www.olivado.com/studies3.htm, last accessed July 7, 2014.