4 Reasons You Should Be Eating Avocado Oil

Turns out, this popular new oil has the same health benefits (or more) as EVOO.

July 5, 2017
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If you’re thinking about expanding your cooking oil repertoire beyond the usual olive and coconut, allow us to introduce you to avocado oil.

If you’re a fan of avocados (and really, who isn’t?), it’s high time this healthy lipid earns a spot in your culinary rotation. Avocado oil is pressed from the flesh of the avocado, so it delivers many of the same health benefits as your beloved green toast topper. Plus, it’ll just plain do good stuff for your food. 

Here are four reasons to give it a try, plus the best ways to use it. 

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It's like liquid gold for your heart

In terms of foods that are good for your ticker, avocado oil is right up there with olive oil. “They’re both high in monounsaturated fats, which have been consistently linked to improved heart health and decreased levels of inflammation in the body,” explains integrative registered dietitian Megan Faletra, RDN. Avocado oil is also one of the best sources of beta-sitosterols, plant-derived compounds that are thought to help lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, promote healthy blood vessels, and reduce the risk for heart disease. (Here's why you can stop freaking out about coconut oil being "unhealthy.")

The one caveat? Researchers have been scrutinizing olive oil for decades. But avocado oil is relatively new to the scene, so experts haven’t had a chance to study its heart health benefits as closely. “You could probably say that it’s just as healthy, but we don’t necessarily have the same level of research to back up the claim at this point in time,” Faletra says. 

Related: 7 Worst Foods For Your Heart

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It's a powerful anti-ager

Loading up on healthy fats tends to be a smart move for your skin, and avocado oil is no exception. It’s loaded with the antioxidants like vitamin E—more so than olive oil, Faletra says. E fights free radical damage caused by the sun’s rays and exposure to environmental pollutants, which can help stave off wrinkles and lower reduce your risk for skin cancer. (To further protect skin, check out the 6 best mineral sunscreens for your face.) It also strengthens membranes in your skin to help it retain more moisture, so it stays smoother and more hydrated. 

Related: Top 10 Anti-Aging Superfoods Your Skin Needs

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It supercharges other nutrients in your food

Get this: Pairing avocado oil with certain fruits and veggies can actually make them more nutritious. Namely, ones that contain carotenoids (phytochemicals thought to play a role in eye health, heart health, and cancer prevention) like lycopene and lutein, which are found in tomatoes, spinach, and carrots. In fact, pairing avocado oil with these foods has been shown to increase carotenoid absorption by as much as 15 times, according to one Journal of Nutrition study. And since it’s a fat, it’ll also enhance the absorption of other fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and K (found in things like leafy greens). Salad with avocado oil vinaigrette, anyone? 

Related: 8 Foods You Should Always Eat Together

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It's super versatile in the kitchen

Health benefits aside, there’s another reason to keep avocado oil on-hand: It’s a total culinary workhorse. Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and a superhigh smoke point of around 500°F, Faletra says. (Regular olive oil’s smoke point is around 460°F. EVOO will start smoking at 320°F.) That makes it a great go-to for pretty much any cooking method, from sautéing, to stir-frying, to roasting, to grilling, to baking. As with all oils, just make sure to buy from a brand that uses a clean refining process (read: no sketchy chemical solvents like hexane). Try Chosen Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil.

Looking for a flavor enhancer? Cold-pressed virgin virgin avocado oil has a nutty, buttery taste that’s a nice alternative to the usual EVOO. It’s pricier, but a little bit goes a long way: Try adding a spoonful to your smoothie, drizzling it over salads or roasted vegetables, or using it instead of olive oil in tahini sauce, Faletra says.  

Related: How To Tell If An Avocado Is Ripe