Avocado oil is a natural oil extracted from the pulp of an avocado. It’s being used for many reasons, health and otherwise. It’s becoming more favored for cooking which is making some people wonder, why use avocado oil?
11 reasons why you should use avocado oil for cooking:
- High smoke point.
- Versatile for many cooking methods and uses.
- Unique flavoring.
- Rich in healthy fats.
- Improve cardiovascular health.
- Eye health.
- Reduce arthritis symptoms.
- Gum disease.
- Healthy blood sugar levels.
- Skin health.
This article will examine each one of the reasons above in detail. Therefore, let’s get started and discover the wonders of avocado oil.
Reasons To Use Avocado Oil For Cooking
1. High Smoke Point
The smoke point is the temperature when the oil and fat begin to break down and start to smoke and burn. It’s at the smoke point when the oil releases harmful compounds like free radicals 1.
In addition, it affects the taste of the food. More importantly, the nutrients and antioxidants in the healthy food start deteriorating. Of all the oils available, refined avocado oil has the highest smoke point at 520ºF.
This is why avocado oil is becoming popular for cooking, especially frying food which cooks food at higher temperatures.
I wrote a whole article on the topic of avocado oil and frying which you can check out right here, A Guide For Frying With Avocado Oil. It also includes a complete list of all the oils and their smoke points.
If an oil has a lower smoke point, cooking with it becomes more challenging, as you must be extremely careful when heating it 2. With avocado oil there’s no concern about any method of cooking which leads me to the next section of this article.
2. Versatile For Many Cooking Methods and Uses
Due to avocado oil’s high smoke point, there are many cooking methods which can be used other than frying. Avocado oil may be used for the following cooking methods and uses:
Besides frying, many people use avocado oil for dressings or dipping. Additionally, you can use it to marinade meat, dress your salad or combine it with other ingredients to achieve a unique taste you can add to the food.
Be careful when grilling on a barbecue. Grilling temperatures can get extremely high depending on the flame, closed or open lid and the height of the grate above the heat.
The grilling temperature can easily exceed 520 degrees which is beyond any oil’s smoke point. The following are typical cooking temperatures of popular cooking methods:
- Deep frying: 320-356ºF
- Pan frying: 248ºF
- Sauteing: 248ºF
- Oven baking: 350-400ºF
3. Unique Flavoring
If you’ve had avocado before, you have an idea about how avocado oil tastes like. However, after turning the avocado into oil, the flavor becomes milder yet just as delicate, making it ideal for cooking and dressing.
Other oils have an overpowering flavor while avocado oil is light and fresh. Its avocado taste falls between nutty and grassy. It’s a perfect substitute for olive oil, coconut oil and other popular oils.
The exact taste will depend on whether the avocado oil you’re using is:
- Refined: This is milder and often used for cosmetics.
- Unrefined: This has a stronger taste, which makes it great for cooking or as a salad dressing.
You can use refined and unrefined avocado oil for many things, therefore you have an unlimited number of options for each type of oil.
4. Rich in Healthy Fats
Avocado oil contains many healthy fats and nutrients 3, which are excellent for consumption as part of a diet. Some of the nutrients found in avocado oil include:
This is a type of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid which accounts for almost 70% of avocado oil’s contents 4. Oleic acid is a heart healthy fat which helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of developing heart disease.
Because of avocado oils high fat content, it helps the body absorb many important nutrients. Many fat soluble vitamins need to be combined with fat to allow the body to absorb them.
One study compared how the body absorbed nutrients when eating a salad with avocado oil and without. When combining the fat from the avocado oil to the salad, the absorption rate increased significantly.
The following nutrients are absorbed easier:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Antioxidants are important because they help fight free radicals. Free radicals are unstable compounds that cause to the body’s cells. This leads to oxidative stress which is a major cause of aging and illness.
This damaging process can increase the risk of medical issues like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Antioxidants can help neutralize the free radicals and prevent much of the harm caused by them 5.
Avocado oil contains a large number of antioxidants including the following:
- Plant sterols.
6. Improve Cardiovascular Health
The monounsaturated fats avocado oil contains are linked to reduced LDL cholesterol levels, which can cause strokes and heart disease. It addition, it has high levels of oleic acid, great for lowering blood pressure.
These two factors combined make avocado oil an excellent remedy for cardiovascular diseases backed by the following scientific studies.
In a three year-old study the participants, who were overweight, were given a meal using butter or the same meal using avocado oil.
Over the next four hours, the people who ate the meal with avocado oil had significantly lower levels of bad cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory cytokines and blood sugar than the butter group 6.
In a blood pressure study, rats with high blood pressure were given the blood pressure medication losartan or avocado oil. The researchers found the avocado oil group lowered systolic blood pressure 21.2% and diastolic BP 15.5%, similar to the medicated group 7.
These claims are backed by another study founding rats fed sugar and an avocado oil supplement were far less likely to suffer cardiac arrest or a similar condition than rats who were only fed sugar. 8.
Find out if olive oil or sesame oil provided the most benefits in my article, Sesame Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
7. Eye Health
Avocado oil contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients naturally existing in the eyes. The body doesn’t produce them, so they must be consumed through your diet.
A lutein and zeaxanthin-rich diet reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are two age-related eye diseases. In addition, it greatly reduces the chances of blindness or extremely poor eyesight in the later years of life.
These two nutrients are great for overall eye health and may even improve eyesight in certain cases 9.
Find out how avocado oil compared to olive oil in my article, Avocado Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? A Comparison.
8. Reduce Arthritis Symptoms
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, involves painful inflammation of the joints and a breakdown of cartilage. Thanks to avocado oil’s anti-inflammatory effects, it may be useful in reducing symptoms of arthritis.
Many studies have shown how a combination of soybean and avocado oil extracts (ASU) may help reduce the pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis.
A recent scientific review and analysis of previous studies examined ASU and its effects on arthritis. The results concluded a positive effect of osteoarthritis of the knee from ASU supplementation 10.
9. Gum Disease
Gum disease and irritation can be excruciating and uncomfortable. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, avocado oil can be very effective in treating gum irritation.
According to a recent study, avocado soybean unsaponifiable (ASU) can effectively block a protein called ILIB. It’s known for its inflammatory effects and as a driver for tissue damage in gum disease 11.
Avocado soybean unsaponifiable is a combination of ⅓ avocado oil and ⅔ soybean oil.
10. Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Recent research analyzed data from over one hundred previous scientific studies about how eating healthy fats in place of saturated fats or carbs affected risk factors for diabetes 12.
The participants in the studies were given meals containing various kinds of fats and carbohydrates. The studies focused on blood insulin, blood sugar, insulin resistance and sensitivity.
The results found consuming food high in monounsaturated fat, like in avocado oil, had a positive effect on blood sugar control. As mentioned earlier in this article, most of the nutrients found in avocado oil is healthy fats.
We already know lower cholesterol is linked to consuming monounsaturated fats. CDC statistics indicate a high percentage of the people diagnosed with diabetes also have high cholesterol levels 13.
11. Skin Health
Research has shown consuming healthy fats, like the ones found in avocado oil, may help the skin remain healthy and retain its elasticity. In addition, antioxidants are associated with skin health.
The number of dietary fat intake is closely related to the lipid composition of skin tissues. Insufficient intake of essential fatty acids leads to skin diseases 14.
Wrapping Up Avocado Oil For Cooking
Avocado oil is popular because it has so many cooking uses, making it easy to incorporate into your life.
It’s very versatile, as you can consume it cold, but it’s also excellent for high-heat cooking and stir-fries as it has a high smoke point compared to other cooking oils.
Avocado oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants beneficial for your health. Those benefits include heart health, cholesterol, eye, skin and arthritis.
Read Next – More Oil & Food Articles
- Wikipedia: Smoke point
- IJETSR: A Study on Smoke Point and Peroxide Values of different widely used Edible Oils
- Nutrition Value: Avocado Oil
- USDA: Oil, avocado
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Avocado Oil: Characteristics, Properties, and Applications
- ScienceDirect: Inclusion of Hass avocado-oil improves postprandial metabolic responses to a hyper caloric-hyperlipidic meal in overweight subjects
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Comparative effects of avocado oil and losartan on blood pressure, renal vascular function, and mitochondrial oxidative stress in hypertensive rats
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Avocado oil supplementation modifies cardiovascular risk profile markers in a rat model of sucrose-induced metabolic changes
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Efficacy and safety of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables for the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects of avocado/sotbean unsaponifiables (ASU) on the treatment of ligature-induced periodontitis in rats
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects of Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate on Glucose-Insulin Homeostasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Feeding Trials
- CDC: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Diet and Skin Aging – From the Perspective of Food Nutrition