Spark It or Scrap It: Can Avocado Oil Improve Your Health?

By , Melissa Rudy, Health & Fitness Journalist
The avocado has a long, rich history: There is evidence that the avocado tree was grown approximately 10,000 years ago in Coaxcatlan, Puebla (Mexico). Since 500 B.C., the fruit had been an essential food source in Mexico, Central America and South America. During the 16th century, it was highly popular among the Spanish conquistadors. In the early 1900s, farmers in Florida, California and Hawaii began growing the avocado as a commercial crop, but it would be another half century before the fruit gained widespread appeal.
 
According to Pinterest, avocado oil will take coconut oil's place as one of the top 10 trending foods for 2016. From salad dressings to skin care, it’s everywhere: There are thousands of “avocado” hashtags on Instagram. Its popularity has grown consistently year-over-year; as of 2014, Americans purchased around 4.25 billion avocados. That’s a lot of guacamole. But do the benefits warrant the buzz?
 
Miracle Elixiror Just a Myth?
 
It’s the liquid inside the avocado that’s making health headlines. Extracted from the creamy pulp of the fruit, the oil was originally used as a skin moisturizer and rejuvenator before gaining culinary demand.
 
According to the American Oil Chemists’ Society, avocado oil is chock full of health-boosting vitamins, minerals, nutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering levels of bad cholesterol. It’s also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, which most of us are lacking, and carotenoids, which have been shown to reduce the occurrence of certain types of cancer and other diseases. The oil is particularly high in the carotenoid lutein, which helps to preserve eye health.

Additional studies of avocado benefits have found that consumption of the fruit--
including its oils--has been shown to support weight loss, ensure healthy aging, reduce inflammation and promote adequate fiber intake. Its high MUFA content also works to prevent diabetes and blast dangerous belly fat.
 
15 Ways to Cook with Avocado Oil
 
Avocado oil is often used as a healthier substitute for extra virgin olive oil. It has a mild, grassy flavor with a trace of the original fruit’s essence. Avocado oil can be used as a recipe enhancement or as a cooking oil. Its high smoke point makes it a good choice for stir-frying, searing or sautéing foods at temperatures up to 449°F.
 
If you’re convinced that avocado oil lives up to the hype, there are many ways you can introduce it into your diet. Below are just a few ideas:
  1. Use it as a marinade on top of salmon, tilapia or other light meats before baking.
  2. Substitute avocado oil when you would normally use canola oil or olive oil.
  3. Combine it with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes or dried Italian herbs for a tasty and healthy bread dip.
  4. Drizzle the oil on top of a homemade flatbread pizza.
  5. Add a little avocado to your favorite smoothie or shake.
  6. Mix it with your favorite salad dressing.
  7. Substitute it for butter when baking.
  8. Drizzle it over popcorn.
  9. Use it to make healthy homemade mayonnaise.
  10. Enhance the flavor of guacamole by topping it with a little avocado oil.
  11. Swirl a little of the oil into a bowl of soup.
  12. Craving the taste of fried food? Coat your chicken in avocado oil before rolling it in breadcrumbs and baking it for a healthier alternative.
  13. Spread it over toast instead of butter or jam.
  14. Drizzle it over vegetables before roasting or grilling.
  15. Use it as a topper for your favorite fruits (or a fruit salad).
If you choose to add avocado oil to your diet, we’d love to hear about your experience. What’s your favorite way to use avocado oil when cooking? Have you noticed any benefits?
 
Join us each month as we sift through the so-called life hacks and miracle cures to get to the bottom of the latest buzzworthy trend. Get the facts and decide for yourself if you should Spark It or Scrap It.

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Comments

MJ7DM33 4/12/2021
Thanks Report
COUNTRYGALINNY 4/12/2021
I use avocabo oil in my cooking. It has a high smoke point Report
MAW_OH 4/12/2021
I love baked egg in avocado! Report
METOBE 4/12/2021
Avocados and avocado oil are great for heart health (especially coronary artery disease) per my cardiologist, my cardiac rehab dietician, and the more reliable scientific/medical sites and literature I've researched. As a recent heart patient, I've had to forego my beloved butter and substitute olive oil and avocado oil. (Coconut oil, however, is very high in saturated fat so it's not recommended.) I tend to use avocado oil instead of olive oil if using high heat (because it has a higher smoke point) or if I want a more neutral flavor than olive oil gives. Report
GMACAMI 4/12/2021
interesting article and comments Report
WEDDWT 4/12/2021
I buy avocado oil at Costco; they have the 2L size (2.11 quarts) at a good price. I like it because it has a 500degreeF smoke point for best sautéing. Report
CECELW 4/12/2021
I'm not sure i've ever tried avocado oil. I do love avocado's though Report
JCARYS 4/12/2021
But it's still oil, so you get 9 calories per gram of fat, and just about nothing else. For those that don't think in grams, that's 120 calories in a tablespoon. Personally, I can find plenty of other foods I want and that have positive nutritional value for those 120 calories. And they take up a lot more space than a tablespoon. If you're trying to lose weight, ditch all the oils. Once you get to your maintenance weight, you can add some back if you feel the need. You don't need it for healthy living. Report
WOUBBIE 4/12/2021
I love avocado oil precisely because of its neutral flavor. I'm not a fan of olives, for instance, so adding that taste to foods is a real turn off. Avocado is very subtle, so it works with almost any dish. Report
CECTARR 4/12/2021
Thanks Report
GOLDENRODFARM 4/12/2021
I tried avocado oil, but much prefer the taste of olive oil for most of my cooking. Love eating avocados though. Report
ARCHIMEDESII 4/12/2021
Like others, I enjoy eating an avocado in a salad, guac or maybe a piece of toast (how trendy is that lol). I've been using good quality extra virgin olive oil for years.

But I have been trying different oils for their health benefits as well as their flavor. I really enjoy the flavor of toasted sesame seed oil. So, I have tried avocado oil in place of EEVO for my salad dressings. I like the flavor, but prefer EEVO for the flavor of a good olive. Report
1CRAZYDOG 4/12/2021
I prefer olive oil, though I DO enjoy eating an actual avocado. Report
CORVETTECOWBOY 4/12/2021
Thanks Report
MAREE1953 4/12/2021
I will try avocado oil. Report
NEPTUNE1939 4/12/2021
ty Report
NASFKAB 4/12/2021
Great idea Report
-POOKIE- 4/12/2021
I like avocado oil. I hate the taste of olives and olive oil so it's a useful alternative. I mostly use cold pressed rapeseed oil. It has a nutty taste. Report
JANIEWWJD 4/12/2021
I will certainly give it a try!!! Report
GREYTDOLPHIN 4/12/2021
My doctor is a board certified internist and board certified in medical weight management. I thought he was kidding when he told me to eat an avocado a day. He wasn't. Also when I got some All-Clad pans they suggested using avocado oil instead of olive oil when cooking in the pans. Report
ROSEMARY1541 1/14/2021
I use olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. It makes a nice salad dressing and I’ve use it in baking. Report
These are good ideas. I have a bottle but just was afraid to use it Report
Spark it. Avacado is awesome Report
Spark it. Avacado is awesome Report
Avocado oil taste better then olive oil. I use it to saute with butter and many other seasons. Plus, I eat a avocado a day and make truffles out of them. I eat monosaturated fat as a free food. I count saturated fats and cholesterol. I love the flavor of avocado oil on asparagus and a salad. Report
JACKIEYOUNG3
I love avocados. Where do I get avocado oil? Report
I'm not sure that I believe all the hype, but from what I have researched it seems healthier than coconut oil. I have been using it for about a year. I can't really notice a difference compared to olive oil. I try to use very little of any oils. I prefer to get my healthy avocado from eating the fruit instead of the oil because I really like avocados. Report
Thanks for letting us know about our honest mistake regarding the history of the avocado. It's been updated. Report
JMB369
I, too, was put off by that questionable "discovery" date. Too bad, because avocados and avocado oil really are healthy additions to our food choices. I live in Mexico where both are plentiful and affordable. We use the oil in cooking because of bland flavor and high smoke point, but prefer EVOO for salad dressings. I often have avocado for breakfast as it keeps me satisfied. We also like it blended into homemade mayonnaise, and avocado/mango guacamole is a great topping for fish, turkey burgers, etc. A nice alternative to traditional tomato onion cilantro guacamole. Report
If you google "avocado 291 bc", you will find numerous places that talk about avaocdos showing up in Mayan art and such. I think the writer actually meant that the avocado has been around since early times and the Spanish discovered them when they arrived on the scene much later. Report
GREYTDOLPHIN
I'm going to get some and try. In Florida there are huge avacados that are so tasty. Some are bigger than a softball, maybe the size of a small kid's play ball. We really love them. Report
So, the avocado didn't exist until it was discovered in Mexico by Spanish explorers - in "291 BC, to be exact". Wow - can't wait to see the references showing where this history-changing timeline was determined and by which archaeological experts.

Oh, wait - no references listed. No point in looking at the rest of the article, except perhaps for entertainment purposes (the only use for pure fiction). Such total departure from fact in the first sentence pretty much shows how much any other information in the article can be trusted.

Report
I've loved avocados since I was a teenager, but I've never tried the oil. I will get some on my next trip to the store though. Report