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.
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:
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.
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:
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.