When it comes to cooking and overall health, oils are an essential part of our daily routine. Two of the most popular oils on the market today are avocado oil and coconut oil, each with their own unique properties and benefits. But which one comes out on top?
Today, we’ll dive into the ultimate comparison of avocado oil vs coconut oil, looking at their nutritional profiles and uses to help you make the best choice. Let’s go!
Comparing avocado oil vs coconut oil
|Avocado oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||520 degrees||350 degrees||400 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Avocado, birch pollen, latex*||Coconut, tree nut||Coconut, tree nut|
*Avocado oil might trigger a latex allergy because it contains a protein called chitinase, which is structurally similar to the proteins found in latex.
Differences between avocado oil and coconut oil
The primary difference between avocado oil and coconut oil is in their ingredients. Avocado oil is, well, made from avocados! On the other hand, coconut oil is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. Coconut oil is typically made by extracting the oil from the coconut meat through either a dry or wet process, while avocado oil is usually made using a cold-press method.
Another key difference is the fact that avocado oil is technically a liquid fat, while coconut oil is a semi-solid fat at room temperature.
Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than coconut oil, making it better for high-heat cooking techniques like searing and stir-frying. Coconut oil, on the other hand, has a lower smoke point, which means it’s better for lower-heat cooking methods like baking and sautéing.
Coconut oil has a bit of a unique flavor that can lend itself well to certain dishes. Avocado oil, on the other hand, has a more mild, subtle flavor that’s almost buttery, but won’t overpower your food.
Virgin/unrefined vs refined coconut oil
You may have noticed there are two main types of coconut oil: unrefined (virgin) or refined.
So, what’s the difference?
Virgin/unrefined coconut oil is made from fresh coconut meat and undergoes a process of cold-pressing and filtering, retaining its natural coconut flavor and aroma, while refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat and undergoes a process of bleaching, deodorizing, and refining to remove impurities and neutralize the flavor and aroma, resulting in a more neutral taste and higher smoke point.
Baking and cooking with avocado oil vs coconut oil
Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than many other plant oils (520°F!), so it is great for stir-fries, roasting vegetables, grilling meats, or raw in dressings. Coconut oil will start smoking at high temperatures, so I recommend using it for low-heat grilling, baking, and slow cooking.
As I mentioned, avocado oil has a more neutral taste and is great for recipes where you don’t want the oil to overpower other flavors. Coconut oil has a distinct coconut flavor and is perfect for recipes where you want that tropical taste to shine through. I especially like coconut oil for baking and making homemade granola.
Can avocado oil and coconut oil be substituted for each other?
Yes, avocado oil and coconut oil can be substituted for each other in some recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for coconut oil for baking, you can easily substitute avocado oil instead. Similarly, you could use coconut oil if a recipe calls for avocado oil for a stir-fry. Just keep in mind their differences in smoke point and flavor, and adjust as necessary!
Nutrition: Avocado oil vs coconut oil
Avocado oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils out there! It’s packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and antioxidants, which can help protect against inflammation and disease.
On the other hand, coconut oil has a high amount of saturated fats, which can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. However, over 50% of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, which helps fight disease. So there are some potential health benefits to coconut oil, but it should be consumed in moderation.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Avocado oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Polyunsaturated||1.9 g||0 g||1 g|
|Monounsaturated||9.9 g||1 g||1 g|
|Saturated||1.6 g||13 g||12 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||14 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store avocado oil and coconut oil
Both avocado oil and coconut oil should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help prevent them from going rancid and keep them fresh for longer.
Both are stable at room temperature. It’s best to use avocado oil 4-6 months after opening for the best quality, and coconut oil can keep fresh for up to 2 years!
How to find the best avocado oil and coconut oil
Because both oils are critical to a great recipe, you want to have the best stuff.
And while you can make both at home, to be honest I haven’t seen a huge difference vs good-quality storebought.
As a general rule, when buying, you want to evaluate either cooking oil for:
- Ingredients – number and quality. More specifically, you want one ingredient for each – pure avocado oil, or pure coconut oil. No additives, no mixes, no nonsense. Organic if possible.
- Brand track record and reputation – what do other amateur cooks and bakers like, what’s their experience been with individual brands?
- Nutritional content – obviously you want something that’s quality, particularly heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Price – don’t overpay if you don’t have to!
You can spend a lot of time doing this research – or you can take a shortcut and just read these quick articles on the best avocado oil and the best coconut oil you can buy. We’ve done the hard work for you!
Avocado oil vs coconut oil: The ultimate verdict
So, which one wins? This was a tough one, as both are excellent healthy choices. Overall, I recommend incorporating avocado oil into your daily cooking routine. Avocado is my go-to cooking oil in my kitchen, whether I’m frying eggs, or baking a cake or muffins. Not only is it a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants, but its high smoke point and neutral flavor mean I don’t have to worry about it burning and it’s versatile for a variety of cooking techniques.
Both coconut oil and avocado oil have their own unique health benefits and uses. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and has antimicrobial properties, while avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats and has a higher smoke point, making it better suited for high-heat cooking. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and dietary needs.
There is no one “healthiest” oil to use as each oil has its own unique nutritional profile and benefits. However, oils that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil, have been linked to several health benefits and are generally healthy choices when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
It depends on your skin type and needs. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and may clog pores for some people, while avocado oil is high in antioxidants and is often used in skincare products for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s best to experiment with both and see which works better for your skin and hair.
Yes, avocado oil is an excellent substitute for coconut oil. Since they both have high smoke points, you can substitute olive oil for coconut oil in any recipe using a 1:1 ratio. Now, it’s worth noting that you’ll have a slightly different taste, since coconut oil isn’t as neutral-tasting as avocado oil, but it’s very close.