Is Avocado Oil Healthier than Olive Oil?
When it comes to eating healthy, we talked about everything from what fruits are packed with potassium, which greens are the best for your diet, and even talked about the latest food crazes like fruitarianism and even flexitarianism. One thing that we haven't talked about is avocado oil and olive oil. Avocado Oil and Olive Oil are both known for their own health benefits, both containing heart-healthy fats that have been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and lower your risks of heart diseases. Today in this blog post, we are exploring all that the newest and latest food craze avocado oil has in store while answering the aged old question of, "Is Avocado Oil Healthier Than Olive Oil?"
What Is Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is made from the fruit of the avocado tree - locally sourced from those found in Central America. Over the past few years, avocados have been fully grown and cultivated throughout that of New Zealand, the United States, and South Africa. The avocado contains about 60% of oils that can be used to manufacture and process avocado oil. When it comes to purchasing avocado oil, you can buy wither unrefined or refined oils, where the unrefined oil is generally cold-pressed, preserving its natural colors and fruity flavors. In comparison, when it comes to refined oils, refined avocado oil is extracted using heat - sometimes even being made with chemical solvents. These types of oils are often bleached and deodorized, losing a ton of the natural flavors they usually contain. It is definitely not as well known as olive oil, which we will compare in the next paragraph.
What Is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is made from pressing olives, generally being found that about 14% of the oil is saturated fats and 11% is polyunsaturated - such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. However, the fat that is found predominately within olive oil is the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, making up 73% of the total oil content. Olive oil is rather beneficial to one's health as the oleic acid can help reduce inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
There are many varieties of olive oil found, such as pure olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, and just virgin olive oil. When it comes to purchasing olive oil, it is important to known that virgin and extra virgin olive oil are extracted through cold-pressing methods, while those that are marked with “olive oil” or “pure olive oil” contain a mixture of cold-pressed oil and refined oil that has been extracted with the use of chemicals or heat. We will compare the nutritional value of both avocado and olive oil in the next paragraph.
The Nutritional Value of Avocado Oil VS Olive Oil
The nutritional value of avocado oil and olive oil are rather similar, having a very comparable profiles. The table below compares both one tablespoon of avocado oil and olive oil according to the USDA:
|Information||Avocado Oil||Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|14 grams||14 grams|
|2 grams||2 grams|
|10 grams||10 grams|
|2 grams||1.5 grams|
|23% of the DV||33% of the DV|
As you can see, one will find that the calories of both avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil is exactly the same for one tablespoon of each oil. When it comes to their fats, saturated fats, and monounsaturated fats, they are also extremely comparable. However, avocado oil has slightly more polyunsaturated fats than that of extra virgin olive oil, though the difference is rather insignificant. When it comes to each oil, their monounsaturated fats are both full primarily of oleic acid, which can also be beneficial to reduce blood sugar levels.
Health Benefit Comparison
When it comes to the benefits of each oil, both are found to be comparable within their health benefits. Here are the health benefits that come from consuming each oil:
- Antioxidant Content - Both avocado oil and olive oil contain large amounts of antioxidants which can help reduce oxidative stress within your body. Vitamin E is found throughout both oils, but is found slightly more in olive oil than in avocado oil. Additionally, avocado oils and olive oils are fully of the antioxidant known as lutein, which is beneficial for both your eye and skin health.
- Skin Health - Studies have found that avocado oil can be beneficial for dry, chapped, or damaged skin, due to the large amount of lutein and Vitamin E found within its makeup. More so, applying a moisturizer full of avocado oil may actually be helpful in soothing psoriasis, according to a study from the National Institute of Health. It was also found in several studies that avocado oil can be affective in treating collagen production and decreasing inflammation to heal in wound aid. There have been several studies also showing that olive oil is both beneficial to your skin and hair.
- Nutrient Absorption - The high level of monounsaturated fats found in both olive oil and avocado oil have been known to help in nutrient absorption throughout the body. This is especially true for carotenoids, which is an antioxidant found in many colorful fruits and vegetables. They are fat-soluble, meaning that they are best consumed by your body when eaten with other high-fat foods.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to choosing one oil over the other, their is little differences to be made. Both are so similar within their nutritional composition and their health benefits that it truly comes down to a matter of taste and cooking preferences. Avocado oil is said to have a higher smoking point than that of olive oil, so it is beneficial high-heat foods and cooking methods.
If you want to cook with avocado oil, here are a few suggestions:
- Add a tablespoon to a smoothie for the added health benefits.
- Drizzle over a salad and make dressings with mustard, lemon, garlic, and salt.
- Use it as a marinade for grilling meat.
- Include it when baking.
- Use it in homemade mayo for a much healthier alternative.
- Drizzle it over vegetables before roasting.
- Top hummus off with it.
- Drizzle it over cold soups, such as gazpacho.
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