Avocado oil is very good for you. It’s a healthier alternative to processed (and potentially carcinogenic) vegetable oils. It contains heart-healthy fats and offers many impressive benefits.
Avocados are famously referred to as “superfoods.” After all, it’s the only fruit that supplies a significant amount of monosaturated fatty acids, which are essential to boosting your HDL or “good cholesterol” levels. Avocados also contain a myriad of other nutrients promoting everything from eye to heart health.
But what about avocado oil? Does it carry the same benefits... Or could it be bad for you?
For years, avocado oil has been added to cosmetics and toiletries—shampoos, conditioners, lotions and so forth. It has a high-moisture property, which makes it beneficial to the skin and hair. However, in recent years, avocado oil has also become increasingly popular in the kitchen.
That’s because people are seeking healthier alternatives to traditional cooking oil. The Telegraph recently ran a report revealing that cooking with vegetable oils may unleash toxic chemicals. According to the report, scientists found that heating vegetable oil can lead to the discharge of high levels of aldehydes, which have been linked to serious illnesses like dementia, heart disease, and cancer.
Here’s why: “vegetable oil” is actually a highly processed byproduct that’s extracted from the seed, grain or other solid material of the original food source using a harmful solvent called hexane. This process actually strips many of the nutrients found in the original food, converting their healthy polyunsaturated fats into detrimental trans fats.
However, unlike most other oils, avocado oil is not made from the seed. Instead, it’s pressed from the fruit itself—which means its nutritional benefits are very similar to the actual avocado. A single serving of avocado (solid or oil) offers blood pressure-stabilizing potassium, powerful antioxidants to boost eye health, vitamin B to support bone and tissue health, and more.
In addition to its many health benefits, avocado oil’s unique properties make it extremely versatile for cooking. Because of its high fat content, its extra virgin variety of oil has a higher smoke point: approximately 400°F. That means you can do pretty much anything with it—from stir-fry to salads. Additionally, avocado oil offers a rich, nutty taste, making it a popular and healthier alternative to cooking with butter.
Adding avocado oil to your recipes or beauty regimens might seem like the best way to go. But before you make the swap—there are a few minor drawbacks to be aware of. Unfortunately, avocado oil is not as readily available as say, olive oil—meaning it’s usually much more expensive. It’s also more calorie dense than other oils, which makes moderation very important.
Possible short-term side effects
- allergic reactions (common in those with latex allergies)
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- healthier alternative to vegetable oil and butter
- promotes hdl (good cholesterol)
- helps support eye, bone, and tissue health
- nourishes skin
- versatile for cooking