Avocado Oil 101
Our resident dietitians share why avocado oil is one if their top oils for cooking and daily use.
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If you’re looking for an oil that’s not only nutritious but versatile in and out of the kitchen, then grab a bottle (or two) of avocado oil the next time you’re in the supermarket.
While most oils come from the seed of a plant, avocado oil, like olive oil, is actually made by pressing the flesh of the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, a berry to be precise!). Similar to olive oil, avocado oil is lauded for its numerous health benefits and applications, which happen to be more than just using it in cooking.
A Heart Helper and Inflammation Fighter
Rich in oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat that’s found in olive oil, avocado oil is supportive of heart health. It has been shown to lower triglycerides, raise HDL (“good” cholesterol) and decrease blood pressure. It is also anti-inflammatory by virtue of being high in polyphenols, antioxidants that help neutralize damaging free radicals caused by pollution, a poor diet and environmental toxins.
Nourishes Skin and Hair
Not only is avocado oil a source of anti-inflammatory hydrating fat, it’s also a good source of vitamin E, which improves inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis as well as nourishes hair. Applied directly to the skin, the oil soaks through tough outer cell walls to moisturize from the inside out.
High Smoke Point
The temperature at which the oil visibly starts to smoke is called the smoke point, which is also the temperature at which it begins to break down and produce damaging free radicals. Avocado oil’s smoke point is estimated to be 500°F, which means it’s perfect for high-heat cooking.
Use it in the Kitchen
Here are five ways to amp up your cooking with this versatile oil.
- Use it to marinate meats along with herbs prior to grilling.
- Make a homemade mayo.
- Bake with it! Its neutral flavor and high smoke point allows avocado oil to be used in breads, muffins, cakes and waffles.
- Whip up a quick vinaigrette using your favorite acid, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Add some rosemary and lavender essential oils and apply to your scalp before bed to help stimulate hair growth.
- Mix with coconut sugar to form a face and body scrub, or just apply the oil to dry patches on your skin.
For more information on the best oils to use in your kitchen, check out The Best Clean Cooking Oils. And don’t forget to read about oils to avoid in The Right (and Wrong) Way to Do Vegetable Oils.