I typically avoid heating oils, except for coconut oil, which has a high smoking point. The smoking point is the temperature at which the oil produces smoke. At that point the oil composition begins to change and starts transforming from a healthy ingredient to a potentially cancer-causing one. The healthiest type of olive oil — cold pressed extra virgin olive oil — has a low smoking point, meaning it doesn’t take a lot of heat to make it carcinogenic. I only use olive oil on salads. Avocado oil does have a high smoking point, meaning it’s fine to heat at most temperatures. But I prefer using avocado oil for delicious summertime gazpacho and mixing into salad dressings. I’m also obsessed with all kinds of oils for beauty treatments — coconut oil, argan oil, agave oil, and now avocado oil.
Top image courtesy of La Tourangelle.