Part of my role as a Certified Health Coach is informing people about healthy foods like oils. Avocado and olive oils are two of the most popular topics that come up in conversation. Let’s answer one of the common questions people ask, is avocado oil better than olive oil?
Olive oil is better than avocado oil due to its higher percentage of minerals and vitamins. Olive oil contains some nutrients which avocado doesn’t like vitamin K, potassium, calcium and iron. Olive oil provides more vitamin E than avocado oil. Olive oil has a stronger, more favorable flavor and costs less than avocado oil.
This article will include a side-by-side comparison of their nutrients and fats. I’ll take a close look at how each oil is processed and how it affects their health benefits. In addition, I’ll examine their tastes, prices, cooking methods and if one can substitute for the other.
Avocado Oil vs Olive Oil: The Differences
Olive oil is made by extracting the oil from olives using heat and/or chemicals. Avocado oil is made by extracting the oil from avocados. The finished olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.
- Made from cold-pressed avocados.
- Has a mild, grassy to buttery like flavor.
- Cost more money than olive oil.
- Has a higher smoke point.
- Typically lighter in color with a hint of green.
Avocado oil is made by the following method:
- The skin and pit is removed from a ripe avocado.
- They are crushed into a pulp.
- The pulp is separated from the oil in a centrifuge.
- The liquid extracted consists of oil and water.
- The oil is separated from the water.
- The oil is filtered and bottled.
- Made from olives using heat and chemicals.
- Has a mild, peppery flavor.
- Cost less money than avocado oil.
- Has a lower smoke point.
- Typically lighter in color than extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil is made by the following method:
- Made by using the leftover paste from making extra virgin olive oil.
- The leftover paste is heated and kneaded with chemicals to release more oil, water and residue from the paste.
- The oil is separated from the water and residue.
- The oil is filtered and bottled.
All olive oils are held to certain USDA grade standards 1. Extra virgin olive oil is certified as having the highest grade standards for excellent flavor, odor and free fatty acid content. The extra virgin oil must not exceed 0.8 grams of oleic acid per 100 grams.
The following table compares the nutrients contained in one tablespoon:
|Olive Oil (1 Tbsp/13.5 grams)||Avocado Oil (1 Tbsp/13.5 grams)|
|Protein||0 g||0 g|
|Carbohydrates||0 g||0 g|
|Fiber||0 g||0 g|
|Fat||13.5 g||13.5 g|
|Sugar||0 g||0 g|
|Sodium||0.27 mg||0 g|
|Vitamin K||8.13 mcg||0 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.94 mg||1.69 mg|
|Potassium||0.135 mg||0 mg|
|Iron||0.076 mg||0 mg|
|Calcium||0.135 mg||0 mg|
|Omega-3||103 mg||129 g|
|Omega-6||1,318 mg||1,691 g|
|Saturated Fat||1.86 g||1.56 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||9.86 g||9.53 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.42 g||1.82 g|
The nutrients above sometimes differ slightly depending on the manufacturer. This may be due to the time of year the olives or avocados were pressed, types of olives, age of olives and other factors.
Many of the nutrients for each one are similar and it may be difficult to determine which is healthier, if any. Therefore, let’s examine the healthiness of each one.
Olive oil is healthier than avocado oil due to its higher percentage of vitamins and minerals. Olive oil contains more vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, iron, and calcium than avocado oil.
Avocado oil is healthy also and contains a good number of healthy fats and antioxidants.
- Avocado oil and olive oil contain the same number of calories per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains more vitamin K than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains 14.8% more vitamin E than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains more potassium than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains more iron than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains more calcium than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains 19.3% more saturated fat than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Olive oil contains 3.5% more monounsaturated fat than avocado oil per one tablespoon.
- Avocado oil contains 28.2% more polyunsaturated fat than olive oil per one tablespoon.
The following is antioxidant compounds present in avocado oil:
The major compounds found in olive oil are:
- Oleic acid
Find out how olive oil compared to grapeseed oil in my article, Grapeseed Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Sometimes the taste and texture is all that matters to some people. After all, if someone doesn’t like how a food tastes, they will probably choose to leave it out of their shopping cart.
Therefore, let’s examine how the taste of each one compares.
Olive oil has a slightly stronger flavor than the milder avocado oil. Olive oil has a hint of olives and is peppery. Avocado oil has a mild flavor which is between grassy and buttery.
Both of their extra virgin varieties have a stronger flavor.
I wanted to get the opinion of real people like you by conducting some original research. Therefore, I reached out to some clients, members of food groups and readers. I asked, what tastes better, avocado oil or olive oil?
- 50% said they preferred the taste of olive oil.
- 41% said they preferred the taste of avocado oil.
- 9% said they had no preference.
In the battle of taste, olive oil tastes better than avocado oil and was the winner in the poll.
Find out how olive oil compared to sunflower oil in my article, Sunflower Oil vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Sometimes people will want to substitute one food for the other in a recipe. Reasons for doing this may include availability, price, smoke point, taste or just for variety.
This makes people wonder if they can substitute one for each other.
Avocado oil and olive oil can substitute for each other in recipes not involving cooking or using heat. Although the flavor will be slightly different when substituting oils in some recipes. Avocado oil can substitute for olive oil when cooking in temperatures higher than 470°F due to its higher smoke point. Olive oil can substitute for avocado oil when cooking in temperatures less than 470°F.
Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. At higher temperatures the flavor of olive oil begins deteriorating, and an acrid burned taste develops 4.
Olive oil substitutes for high temperature cooking include the following:
- Refined avocado oil
- Safflower oil (refined and neutralized)
- Extra virgin avocado oil
- Pecan oil
Avocado oil substitutes include the following:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Safflower oil refined
- Safflower oil neutralized
- Pecan oil
- Virgin olive oil
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
- Peanut oil
The following are the smoke points:
|Type of Oil & Fats||Smoke Point
|Avocado Oil – Refined||520°F|
|Extra-Virgin Avocado Oil||480°F|
|Olive Oil – Refined||470°F|
|Olive Oil – Virgin||410°F|
|Olive Oil – Extra virgin||375°F|
Smoke point source 5
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, not just avocado and olive, and their smoke points.
You may want to find additional reasons why avocado oil should be used in my article, 11 Reasons Why You Should Use Avocado Oil for Cooking.
Which to Choose Based on Your Goals
Many people have particular goals which food plays a huge role in. Which one you choose may depend on your particular goal.
Therefore, in this section I examine the most common goals and determine if each oil is the better choice for each goal.
If you’re looking to shed some extra pounds from the mid-section, the number of calories will matter to you.
Therefore, let’s examine which is better for weight loss.
- Avocado oil and olive oil are similar for weight loss because they contain the same number of calories per tablespoon.
Keto or Low Carb Diets
The goal of any low-carb diet is to take in few carbohydrates and more protein and fat. The numbers can be so limited every carbohydrate can make a difference.
Therefore, let’s examine which one has fewer carbohydrates or more fat.
- Avocado oil and olive oil are both beneficial for low-carb diets due to their similar amount of fat and carbohydrates. Both oils don’t contain any carbohydrates and are a healthy source of fats.
If you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass, the amount of protein and carbohydrates make a difference.
Avocado oil and olive oil are similar for bodybuilding because neither oil contains protein or carbohydrates. Both contain healthy fats and are a good addition to any bodybuilding diet.
For people who wish to follow a gluten free diet or have Celiac disease, the goal is to avoid gluten. Therefore, let’s answer which one is gluten free?
- Avocado oil and olive oil are both gluten free and good for gluten free diets.
Find out how vegetable oil compares to olive oil in my article, Olive Oil vs Vegetable Oil: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Shopping for groceries was expensive to begin with, but lately the price keeps increasing. I’m sure the prices of food matters to most people. Therefore, let’s examine the prices of each one.
Avocado oil costs 77% more than olive oil per ounce. Avocado oil average cost per ounce is $0.53 and the average price for olive oil per ounce is $0.30.
To conduct my own research, I checked two different supermarkets located in my area. Both supermarkets are on different levels of pricing. Walmart is the most economical and Stop and Shop being more expensive.
Here are my findings:
- Avocado oil (Store brand) – 25.5 ounce $8.88 ($0.35 per ounce)
- Olive oil (Store brand) – 17 ounce $2.52 ($0.15 per ounce)
Stop and Shop:
- Avocado oil (California Olive Ranch) – 25.4 oz $18.29 ($0.72 per ounce)
- Olive oil (California Olive Ranch) – 25.4 oz $11.79 ($0.46 per ounce)
Avocado oil and olive oil can be stored the same.
Store avocado oil or olive oil in a cool, dark location away from light. It’s best to store either one in a tinted glass container. They should be kept at a temperature between 55-60℉, although they can be refrigerated or frozen if needed.
Both should be stored in the refrigerator if the room temperature rises above 70℉. Leaving either one in warmer temperatures affects shelf life and lessens the quality.
Due to heat-creating appliances and heated ovens, kitchens tend to be a bit warmer than most other rooms of the house. Therefore, be sure to monitor your food and the temperature of the room.
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.
They both contain a wealth of healthy fats and antioxidants. The fats and antioxidants provide many health benefits which I’ll examine in this section.
Heart disease and stroke are among the most common causes of death throughout the world. Studies have shown heart disease is lower in the Mediterranean countries where olive oil is a big part of their diets.
There are many ways both oils are beneficial for the heart including the following:
Lowering Blood Pressure
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 6.
Studies have shown an association between lower blood pressure and an increase in olive oil consumption. The Mediterranean diet has been linked to lower blood pressure and cardiovascular disease 7.
Blood Vessel Health
Olive oil has been shown to help improve the lining of blood vessels. A study published in 2015 showed blood vessels opened up and increased blood flow in people who included it in their diet 8.
An avocado study found 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. 9.
Olive oil is associated with decreases in inflammation which is a main component of heart disease. One of its antioxidants, oleocanthal, is an anti-inflammatory that also reduces pain 10.
Reducing Blood Clotting
Unwanted blood clotting could contribute to heart attacks and strokes. A study in 2017 found weekly consumption of extra virgin olive oil was beneficial to help prevent unwanted blood clotting 11.
LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
In an avocado oil study, the overweight participants 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 the oil had significantly lower levels of bad cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory cytokines and blood sugar than the butter group 12.
Studies have shown the polyphenols in olive oil to decrease oxidative stress biomarkers and improve LDL cholesterol 13.
Many studies have shown how a combination of soybean and avocado oil extracts (ASU) may help reduce the inflammation, 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 14.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia causing problems with thinking, memory and behavior. A common feature of the disease is the build-up of proteins known as beta-amyloid plaques in certain neurons in the brain.
Animal studies have shown extra virgin olive oil to clear the beta-amyloid proteins from the brain helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease 15.
Several studies conducted on humans have shown the Mediterranean diet may be associated with a reduced risk of cognitive problems and dementia 16.
Research has shown unsaturated fats, like the fats in avocado oil, may be beneficial reducing the risk of dementia and heart disease 17.
The cancer rates in Mediterranean countries is lower than other places.
Antioxidants are believed to contribute to the killing of cancer cells. In a 2015 study, oleocanthal helped kill cancer cells in less than one hour 18.
Another study published in 2015 evaluated the consumption of the Mediterranean diet and the incidence of breast cancer. For a six-year period, 4,282 women aged 60 to 80 years followed three different diets:
- Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil.
- Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts.
- A reduced fat diet.
After 4.8 years 35 of the women developed breast cancer. The lowest rate of breast cancer was seen in the women who supplemented with the olive oil 19.
Oleic acid which both are rich in, has been associated with helping to reduce the risk of cancers.
You may want to check out my comparison between olive oil and butter in my article, Butter vs Olive Oil: Which is Better? A Complete Comparison.
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- USDA: Grades of Olive Oil
- USDA: Oil, olive, salad or cooking
- USDA: Oil, avocado
- Acta Scientific Nutritional Health: Evaluation of Chemical and Physical Changes in Different Commercial Oils during Heating
- Wikipedia: Smoke point
- 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: Virgin Olive Oil and Hypertension
- (National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- 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: Olive Oil-related Anti-inflammatory Effects on Atherosclerosis: Potential Clinical Implications
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: A review on management of cardiovascular diseases by olive polyphenols
- ScienceDirect: Inclusion of Hass avocado-oil improves postprandial metabolic responses to a hyper caloric-hyperlipidic meal in overweight subjects
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Olive Oil Polyphenols Decrease LDL Concentrations and LDL Atherogenicity in Men in a Randomized Controlled Trial
- 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: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Attenuates Amyloid-β and Tau Pathologies in the Brains of TgSwDI Mice
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in the EPIC-Spain Dementia Cohort Study
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Avocado Oil: Characteristics, properties, and Applications
- Taylor & Francis Online: (-)-Oleocanthal rapidly and selectively induces cancer cell death via lysosomal membrane permeabilization
- Jama Internal Medicine: Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED Trial