Avocado Oil: Is It Good for You?

Avocado oil is oil pressed from the avocado fruit. Its mild taste and high smoke point make it a popular cooking oil, but you can also consume it raw. Avocado oil is very similar to olive oil in terms of utility and nutritional value. Like extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil is unrefined and retains some of the flavor and color of the fruit, leaving it greenish in color.

Avocado oil is also frequently applied directly to the skin as a moisturizer, and can be found in many cosmetics and skin care products. When produced for external application, the oil is usually refined and bleached, giving it a pale yellow color.

Regional differences in avocado crops and different extraction processes can produce variety in taste and, to a lesser extent, nutritional profile.

Nutrition Information

One tablespoon of avocado oil contains: 

  • Calories: 124
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Avocado oil is a good source of: 

  • Oleic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • HDL Cholesterol

Avocado oil is also an excellent source of lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid, a type of vitamin found as the yellow, orange, and red pigments in certain plants which gives these fruits and vegetables their colors.

Potential Health Benefits of Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a heart-healthy oil, high in oleic acid, which is an unsaturated fat. It contains vitamin E and also helps the body absorb other fat-soluble vitamins.

While research on the potential benefits of avocado oil is still in the animal-testing phase, current data suggests that it has the potential to provide the following benefits:

Lower Cholesterol

Avocado oil is low in LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, and high in HDL, or “good,” cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps your body eliminate LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to strokes as well as to heart and artery diseases. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Similar to olive oil, avocado oil has a high amount of oleic acid, which has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Improved Heart Health

Lower cholesterol and blood pressure contribute to good heart health, but avocado oil also may be able to help reverse the inflammatory processes associated with cardiovascular risk. One study found that rats that were fed sugar and given a supplement of avocado oil were less likely to suffer cardiac events than rats who were fed sugar without the supplement.

Continued

Improved Eye and Skin Health

Avocado oil contains both lutein and vitamin E, both of which are important for good eye and skin health. Lutein, in particular, is known to protect against age-related macular disease, which can lead to vision impairment and even blindness.

Reduced Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

When combined with soybean oil, avocado oil creates ASU (Avocado Soy Unsaponifiables). ASU are sometimes taken by people with osteoarthritis as an alternative anti-inflammatory treatment, which has had positive results.

Potential Risks of Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is largely safe to consume, but you should consult with your doctor before making any major dietary changes. As a high-fat food, it should be eaten in limited amounts. In addition, you might want to avoid avocado oil if you are concerned about any of the following:

Avocado Allergies 

If you’re allergic to avocados, you will be allergic to avocado oil. People who also have either birch pollen or latex allergies are more likely to be allergic to avocados. Consult with a doctor before consuming avocado oil if you have either of these conditions.

Medication Interference

Avoid avocado oil if you’re taking Warfarin (Coumadin). Avocados have been proven to decrease the effectiveness of Warfarin, increasing the risk of blood clotting. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 30, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology: Overall skin tone and skin-lightening-improving effects with oral supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.”

Clinical Rheumatology: Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis - a systematic review.

Clinics in Dermatology: “Pigments in avocado tissue and oil.”

Disease Markers: “Avocado oil supplementation modifies cardiovascular risk profile markers in a rat model of sucrose-induced metabolic changes.”

Molecules: Avocado Oil: Characteristics, Properties, and Applications.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: Oleic acid content is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure induced by olive oil.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Pagination

Get Diet and Fitness Tips In Your Inbox

Eat better and exercise smarter. Sign up for the Food & Fitness newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of WebMD subscriptions at any time.