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Expert Advice, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

Is Avocado Oil as Healthy as Avocado Fruit?

February 24, 2021

With consumers growing increasingly health-conscious with each passing year, little-known topics like the health consequences of processed vegetable oils have gained increasing attention. As people shift away from oils like canola, soybean, and corn oil, they’ve turned to options like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee. 

Avocado oil is relatively new on the scene, so we figured we’d break down what it is, how it’s different from a whole avocado, and the health benefits of this new wunderkind. 

What is Avocado Oil?

Avocado oil is just as it sounds! It’s an oil that’s been pressed from the inside (a.k.a. the pulp!) of an avocado. Unlike other vegetable oils made from the relatively low-fat source material (like soybean or corn), avocados are rich in healthy fat and easy to extract oil from, meaning there’s no need for harsh chemical solvents or extra processing. When buying avocado oil, make sure you’re opting for the cold-pressed version to ensure it retains all of the awesome benefits that we’ll talk about today!

What are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?

Much like avocados, the benefits of avocado oil are extensive! It’s made up of nearly 70% oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Aside from its fatty acid composition, avocado oil may also have beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels. The studies in question have only been performed in animal models, so more research needs to be done.

Avocado oil is also high in antioxidants like carotenoids. It’s a good source of lutein, which is beneficial for eye health and must be obtained from our diets. We also get carotenoids from veggies like carrots, but most sources of carotenoids are low in fat. Healthy fat enhances the absorption of carotenoids and vitamins like A, D, E, and K, so combining plant foods with a healthy oil like avocado oil is a way to greatly increase the bioavailability of the antioxidants and nutrients contained in those foods. 

Another awesome benefit of avocado oil is its high smoke point. This means that it’s less likely to oxidize, smoke, or otherwise degrade at high temperatures and makes it a great option for cooking. 

How is Avocado Oil Different from a Whole Avocado?

More research has been done on the benefits of whole avocados vs avocado oil as an isolated fat source. While many of the benefits of avocados overlap with those of avocado oil, avocados do offer more nutrients overall. Avocados also boast an impressive amount of fiber, with about 7 grams per avocado. Research has been done on the benefits of whole avocados on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and the results are impressive! Not only did eating avocado reduce total cholesterol levels significantly, but it also reduced triglycerides, lowered LDL, and increased HDL. All good things! While cholesterol isn’t the best marker of overall heart health, these are still really interesting results. 

How Can You Use Avocado Oil?

Avocado oil is super versatile, with plenty of potential uses. You can use it for cold uses, like salads, as a healthy fat in smoothies, or in homemade mayo, but you can also cook with it. Avocado oil is great to mix with vegetables and seasonings before roasting or sauteing, or as part of a marinade for meat. You can also drizzle it on your meal before eating as a way to add more healthy fat to your plate. 

The bottom line? This oil deserves a place in your pantry! 

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