Olive oil has more going for it than just good taste, it is also the richest source of monounsaturated fat. The rich, fruity liquid is 77% monounsaturated fat, which helps lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol, and boasts an abundant supply of powerful antioxidants like polyphenols and tocopherols. These antioxidants protect cells from damage, helping to fend off heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and Alzheimer's and may even slow the natural memory-jarring effects of aging. Recently, scientists discovered an anti-inflammatory compound (phytochemical) similar to ibuprofen, and is found only in extra virgin olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Best of the bunch with the most good-for-you antioxidants, extra virgin olive oils all contain not more than 0.8 percent acidity. The lower the acidity, the better quality of olive oil and the better the taste. The higher the acidity, the faster it will go rancid and taste bitter. Use it as a finishing or seasoning ingredient to finish soups and stews or on fish, poultry and meats, but not for cooking. Heating destroys some of the beneficial polyphenols, in particular the anti-inflammatory compound oleocanthal. It also changes the taste, lessening the flavour.
Virgin Olive Oil: This grade has 2 to 3.3 percent acidity. While virgin olive oil contains some polyphenols, it doesn't compare with the level in extra virgin oils. Use it in salads and marinades or when sauteing. Both virgin and extra virgin are made by physically pressing the olives. Virgin olive oil has as high smoke point and can be heated to 410 degrees F.
Extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil are "cold-pressed" from olives using minimal heat and no chemicals. As a result, they contain the highest amount of phytochemicals, polyphenols and nutrients compared to "pure olive oil," "olive oil," and "light olive oil" which have been refined (using heat and chemicals).
Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
Some cooking oils are also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from the harmful effects of unstable oxygen molecules (free radicals). Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is such an oil, rich in vitamin E as well as containing a compound called beta-sitosterol, which plays a role in lowering cholesterol. The oil has low levels of free fatty acids and phosphatides, which give it a high smoke point (up to 276C or 529F), so is a good choice for sauteing and pan-frying of fish, poultry and other meats.
Extra Virgin Grape-seed Oil
Polyunsaturated oils provide essential fatty acids called linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). They are essential because your body can't make them on its own; they must be supplied by your diet. Grape-seed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, as well as a good source of Vitamin E. It also has a high smoke point so is good for deep-frying, stir-frying and sauteing.