by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
If you are one of the people who have never tried avocado oil — it is time to change that! Nowadays, more and more people start to realize what a health-boosting superfood this lovely fruit can be, and not only on the table. And for those who think avocados are vegetables, you’re incorrect because it has a seed (the more you know, fun fact).
If you have ever had the pleasure of eating an avocado, you would be aware of how it is different from other fruits. Unlike most other fruits, it is rich in healthy fats and can be used to make avocado oil. Many use avocado oil as a cooking oil, part of a salad dressing, or even lightly added to food items to meet your macro goals for the day.
What many fail to realize is that avocado oil has various health benefits, mostly linked to its content of healthy fats and antioxidants.
In this article, we will take a deeper dive and look into avocado oil to help you understand why this may be a great option to add to your nutrition plan.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before adding avocado oil to your nutrition plan to ensure it will not interact with any medications your doctor may have prescribed for you.
The Nutritional Value of Avocado Oil
Let’s look at the nutritional value of avocado oil before getting into its benefits. One hundred grams of avocado oil contains:
- Fat: 100g
- Protein: 0g
- Calories: 884
- Carbohydrate: 0g
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: 70.6g
- Saturated Fatty Acids: 11.6g
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: 13.5g
The Many Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It is a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids and essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and E. It also contains numerous antioxidants, which help protect the body from free radicals that can modify, damage, or destroy healthy cells.
Avocado oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, and medicinal purposes. Here are some of the health benefits of avocado oil:
1. Rich in oleic acid, a very healthy fat
Avocado oil is the natural oil from the pulp of an avocado. Nearly 70% of avocado oil has heart-healthy oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
The fatty acid is also the primary component of olive oil, and it is believed to be partly responsible for its health advantages. In addition to that, around 12% of avocado oil is saturated fat, and approximately 13% is polyunsaturated fat.
According to most research, a diet rich in unsaturated fats is important for health and may decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and dementia.
2. Reduce cholesterol and improves heart health
Avocado oil replaces saturated fats found in many foods with unsaturated fats, which may reduce blood cholesterol levels in people suffering from high blood cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia).
High levels of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because they thicken artery walls, which makes them more likely to develop blocked arteries or atherosclerosis — potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
In a small crossover study using 13 subjects, participants were given a control meal of butter (25g saturated fat) or a test meal of avocado oil (25g unsaturated fat).
Blood samples taken over a 240-minute post-meal period showed that the test-meal group had significantly lower levels of triglycerides, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, inflammatory cytokines, and blood sugar than the control group.
3. Improve eye health
Avocado oil contains large amounts of carotenoids, which act as antioxidants to protect your eyes against free radicals. Free radicals can damage your eyesight by causing diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
According to research, a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin is important for eye health and may decrease the risk of muscular degeneration and cataracts, which are some common eye-related eye diseases.
4. Promote gum and tooth health
Have you ever heard of periodontitis? It is a type of gum disease that begins with a bacterial growth in your gums and can lead to extreme inflammation ending in tooth loss.
Avocado oil has extracts of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables that can block one of the main proteins that may lead to gum disease.
Avocado oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote dental health by preventing the buildup of plaque on your teeth. The omega-3 fatty acids in avocado oil may reduce inflammation in your mouth and potentially reduce the ability of bacteria to stick to the surface of your teeth. This can make your teeth less susceptible to cavity formation and other oral infections like gingivitis and periodontitis.
5. Reduce symptoms of arthritis
Avocado oil may help reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
6. Hydrate the skin and helps in wound healing
Avocado oil has anti-aging properties that help to reduce wrinkles on the skin and make it look younger. It hydrates the skin deeply without causing any irritation or rashes on the skin’s surface. It also helps heal wounds faster by promoting healing at cellular levels. This makes it good for people with sensitive skin who cannot use chemical-based products on their face or body for various reasons like allergies or sensitive skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc.
According to a study of 24 people with plaque psoriasis, it was found that a cream containing 20% avocado oil and vitamin B12 enhanced the symptoms of psoriasis after 12 weeks of treatment.