Whether you’re paying $2.00+ extra to add it to your Chipotle bowl, brunching with your besties over some smashed toast, or scrapping the sides of the bowl for that last scoop of guacamole, avocados are all the rage and I know you can’t get enough of them. Not only are they super trendy, but they’re super healthy as well. Move over coconut oil, there’s a new fat on the scene! I give you…..Avocado Oil.
What is Avocado Oil and How Is It Made?
Avocado oil is exactly what it sounds like…oil from an avocado. It is made by pressing the pulp surrounding the avocados pit. The fancy word for this process is mechanical extraction (similar to olive oil extraction). For a more in depth and mildly corny explanation, check out this video.
What Makes Avocado Oil So Healthy?
The fat profile of this oil is one reason it is so healthy. Avocado oil is 76% monounsaturated fatty acids (very high in oleic acid) which is known to be anti-inflammatory. This oil is also high in antioxidants (a-tocopherol), chlorophylls and carotenoids. Studies have shown avocado oil may help to prevent the development of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels (1).
What Makes Avocado Oil Better Than Other Oils?
Not only can you use avocado oil in uncooked foods such as dips or for salad dressings, but it is highly recommended for cooking because of it’s smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts smoking). When the oil begins to smoke, not only does the flavor change, but the structure of the oil begins to break down and creates cancer-causing free radicals. If you see smoke while cooking with any type of oil, turn off the stove and throw away the food that has been in contact with the oil. Start the cooking process over again to avoid putting free radicals into your body.
Avocado oil’s high smoke point makes it a great option for most types of cooking, especially those at high temperatures. See how it compares to some other common fats used in cooking.
Avocado oil 520°F (12:1 ratio of omega-6 : omega-3, high in vitamin E)
Sunflower oil 440°F (inflammatory 32:1 ratio of omega-6 : omega-3)
Peanut oil 440°F (inflammatory 40:1 ratio of omega-6 : omega-3)
Refined corn oil 450°F (inflammatory 83:1 ratio of omega-6 : omega-3)
Extra virgin olive oil 320°F (73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9)
Extra light olive oil 468°F (74% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9
Butter 350°F (in so many words-grass-fed butter healthy; conventional butter is trash)
Coconut oil 350°F (86% healthy saturated, lauric acid. Has antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral properties and contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Ghee (clarified butter) 485°F
How Can I Use Avocado Oil?
This oil can be used in place of other oils to do most things in the kitchen. It’s basically the “jack of all trades” of oils:
Toss some veggies in the oil and roast
Drizzle on top of hummus or guac to be super extra and fancy
Use it to make avocado oil mayo
Place some on a dish with some balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes or sea salt as a dip for bread
Drizzle it over fish before baking or roasting
Add some to your smoothie for a MUFA kick in the face
Use it to make homemade salad dressings
Drizzle a swirl over some soup, hot or cold
Avocado oil is popping up everywhere so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding it in stores. I bought this bottle of Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil from Whole Foods for $10.99 (“on sale”). After the bottle has been opened, it will last for about 6 months (but it probably won’t make it that long because it’s delicious and wonderful and is the greatest thing since sliced bread).