I often find that the status of avocado oil is right where coconut oil was only a few years ago; caught in that place where everyone is asking the questions, “Is it healthy for me? Is it stable at high temperatures? Does it taste good?”. Let’s get to the bottom of these questions together! First off, we’ll take a look at the top five reason as to why the nutrients in avocado oil give us good reason to be eating it often.
1. Fat is Not the Villain it Has Been Portrayed to Be
If you have been avoiding avocados because you think they are fattening, think again! Yes, they contain fat, however, fat is absolutely essential for brain function, heart health, cellular membranes, and sexual function. People on a low fat diet tend to look tired and haggard. I can almost always spot someone who is avoiding fat just by noticing the way his or her skin has lost its moisture. Fat nourishes us, moisturizes us, and gives us fat soluble nutrients essential for bone health, hormonal balance, brain function, and heart health.
2. Avocados For a Healthy Heart Fat is actually one of the cleanest burning sources of fuel for the heart. Yes, you heard that right… fat! Avocados’ fatty acid profile is very similar to olive oil, which means that if you enjoy olive oil and believe it to be heart friendly, your belief system can nicely accommodate avocado oil as well. An average-sized avocado contains the following:
76% monounsaturates (oleic and palmitoleic acids)
12% polyunsaturates (linoleic and linolenic acids)
12% saturates (palmitic and stearic acids)
Avocado, like olive oil has shown to increase HDL, or “good,” cholesterol which helps to support the structure of all of our cell membranes. These monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats also help to manage blood pressure. Both of these factors work to improve heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
3. Avocado Oil To Melt Your Muffin Top
If you’ve ever been on a low-fat diet, you will know that it is rare to feel truly satiated. This can result in binge eating, emotional eating, or eating when you are not hungry. Incorporating a little fat into your diet will fulfill your appetite and help to prevent binging. This reduces any tendencies to overeat and can play a significant role in eliminating that annoying fat that may be spilling out over your belt buckle. Remember that healthy fats like avocado oil are not what causes it! Trans fats in processed foods, and sugars are the main culprits.
4. Boost Nutrient Absorption
Unrefined avocado oil boosts absorption of carotenoids (free radical scavengers) in your food. The fat-soluble carotenoids found in many brightly-colored vegetables actually rely on dietary fats for their absorption, but most foods that are high in carotenoids are low in fat (such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and carrots). These low fat veggies makes avocado oil ideal for use in salad dressings and stir-fry dishes to increase nutrient absorption.
In one study from the Journal of Nutrition, both high and low amounts of avocado oil enhanced absorption of a number of nutrients (up to 15 times) in a salad, versus a salad without avocado oil [I].
5. Plump and Juicy Skin
In addition to the fat mentioned earlier that will deeply nourish the skin, avocado oil also contains sterolin, a substance which has been shown to soften the skin and reduce the appearance of age spots. Throughout history avocado oil has been used to moisturize skin. Only recently have we returned to avocado oil to reduce the signs of aging. The antioxidants found in this oil can also help heal sun-damage and dryness.
Simply apply the oil directly to your skin and feel it work its magic! Why would you reach for a lotion that contains chemicals and toxins when you can reach for a natural oil to nourish your skin?
By now you well know that avocados and its oil don’t need to be limited to an occasional scoop of guacamole! This fat is supremely healthy for you ….as long as it has been properly extracted and unrefined. Quality Matters
High-quality avocado oil starts with high-quality, perfectly ripe fruit that is cold-pressed and naturally refined without the use of solvents and chemicals. By using a low-heat process, nutrients and fatty acids are protected and the integrity of the oil is preserved. Therefore, expeller-pressed, unrefined, organic avocado oil is the way to go. Also take note that this type should be somewhat green due to its chlorophyll content; don’t be fooled by a clear version.
Good Decisions recommends Ava Jane’s Avocado Oil. Their avocado oil is pressed from ripe avocados, grown by hand, and is extra-virgin and unrefined. It is emerald green, unlike the clearer yellowish oils you will typically find at the grocery store. Click Here to try a bottle for free!
Cooking With Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has a distinct, yet very pleasant taste. You can use it like you would any other oil— for drizzling, dressings, and sautéeing. Avocado oil is delicious in summer recipes such as Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Citrus Avocado Sauce, spicy shrimp drizzled with Avocado Pesto, and a Creamy Avocado Lime Vinaigrette for your salads. It can also be used in many different salsas, and pairs well with any dish utilizing cilantro.
While avocado oil is not quite as stable as coconut oil or ghee, it is about a middle of the line oil, as it can tolerate heat up to 350 degrees F. This makes perfect sense to me when you consider that unrefined olive oil has a very similar fatty acid profile and is also only stable up to 350 degrees F. This means if you are cooking on your stovetop, keep the heat around medium to ensure you don’t lose any of the phenomenal nutrients and antioxidants in this oil.
Expeller-pressed, organic, unrefined avocado oil is a very Good Decision. It’s healthy fats will promote heart health, skin health, increased nutrient absorption and weight loss.
So move over olive oil, you’ve got a new contender in town!
[I] Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. “Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil.” J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. Web. August. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15735074>.