Rich in unsaturated fats and antioxidants, what’s not to like about avocado oil? This oil is gaining momentum as a superfood for its purported health benefits – a real “green gold.”
Today we’ll be breaking down the facts about this “miracle” oil – is avocado oil a seed oil? Or are its alleged properties scientifically proven?
- Is Avocado Oil A Seed Oil?
- Key Takeaways
- Avocado Oil – What Kind Of Oil Is It?
- Avocado Oil – How Is It Made
- Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
- What is the difference between seed oil and fruit oil?
- How is avocado oil produced, and what makes it different from seed oils?
- What are the health benefits of avocado oil compared to seed oils?
- Can avocado oil be used as a substitute for seed oils in cooking?
- What are the best ways to incorporate avocado oil into a healthy diet?
Is Avocado Oil A Seed Oil?
Avocado oil is a fruit oil made from the pressed pulp of an avocado rather than from the seed or pit.
- Avocado oil is a fruit oil made from the pressed pulp of an avocado not the seed or pit.
- Avocado oil is higher in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats with small amounts of myristic and arachidic acids in contrast to seed oils.
- Avocado oil has a long shelf life and can last for months up to a year.
Avocado Oil – What Kind Of Oil Is It?
Avocado oil is a natural oil made from the pressed pulp of an avocado. This oil is a relatively new innovation, used primarily for culinary purposes. It was during the 1940s when scientists started producing avocado oil as a substitute for fats and cooking oils, which were in short supply during the war years.
Since avocado oil is made from the fruit itself (oil can also be extracted from the skin), it’s considered a fruit oil, not a seed one as commonly thought, nor is it a kind of vegetable oil like grapeseed, canola, and soybean. Knowing this difference matters to one’s health since oils are major sources of dietary fats that satisfy nutritional needs.
Avocado Oil – How Is It Made
One can buy avocado oil in some supermarkets and healthy-options stores, but they’re generally more expensive than olive oils. Thankfully, it’s relatively easier to harvest your own avocado oil, especially if you have overripe avocados or leftover avocado skins.
The extraction process normally goes like this:
- Mash the avocados – First, the avocados are mashed into a smooth paste. One can use a hand masher or a blender/food processor for this procedure.
- Dry the paste – The paste is left to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area (not in direct sunlight) for a few days. A dehydrator can be used to speed up the process.
- Respread the paste – Once it has turned a light brown, the paste is mixed and re-spread into a thin layer. This process is repeated twice a day until the entire paste is completely dark brown.
- Extract the oil – Place the avocado paste in a muslin cloth or a milk bag. Squeeze the bag and let the oil drip over a container like a glass jar and leave it to drain until all the oil is extracted.
Extracting your own avocado oil at home is a great way to ensure that your oil is fresher and free from additives, preservatives, and chemicals. It’s a more affordable option that helps you reduce waste by using leftover or overripe avocados.
Avocado oil has a long shelf life and can last for months up to a year. It should be stored in an airtight container away from direct heat and sunlight. Storing the oil in the refrigerator can extend the shelf life further.
Seed Oils vs. Fruit Oils
The main difference between seed oils and fruit oils is that fruit oils are extracted from the contents of the fruit, while seed oils are sourced from a fruit/vegetable’s seeds. Aside from avocado oil, other examples of fruit oil include olive oil, coconut, and tangerine.
Avocado Oil vs. Seed Oils
Seed oils like grapeseed oil contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), linoleic and linolenic acids, and a-tocopherol, while fruit oils like avocado oil are richer in monounsaturated fats and have different compositions depending on the fruit. (Monounsaturated fats are considered to be healthier than polyunsaturated fats)
Avocado oil, for example, is higher in oleic acid with small amounts of myristic and arachidic acids in contrast to soybean oil, a seed oil with more linoleic acid.
→ Is Olive Oil A Seed Oil or Fruit Oil?
Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a heart-healthy oil rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E and also helps the body absorb other fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin D. Avocado oil is particularly rich in monounsaturated fats that help reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
Avocado oil offers important health benefits such as:
- Prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Promotes skin, eye, and dental health
- Reduces symptoms of arthritis
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Lessens inflammation
- Can suppress appetite and support weight loss
Studies show that avocado oil is heart-healthy thanks to its monounsaturated fat content reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol. Researchers have also discovered that the phytochemicals in avocados can inhibit cancer cell and pre-cancerous cell growth and induce apoptosis in cancer cells.
What is the difference between seed oil and fruit oil?
Fruit oils are extracted from the fruit itself, while seed oils are sourced from seeds.
How is avocado oil produced, and what makes it different from seed oils?
Avocado oil extraction is more mechanical and physical than seed oils, which are more chemical.
What are the health benefits of avocado oil compared to seed oils?
Avocado oil is higher in monounsaturated fats than polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are considered healthier since they increase good cholesterol.
Can avocado oil be used as a substitute for seed oils in cooking?
You can drizzle avocado oil over a salad as a marinade, baking ingredient, or topping.
What are the best ways to incorporate avocado oil into a healthy diet?
While avocado oil can be added or seasoned to foods, doctors recommend taking it raw to better enjoy its benefits.
Avocado oil is a fruit oil rich in monounsaturated fats and other important antioxidant-rich nutrients proven by science to improve heart, skin, and eye health, making it an ideal healthier substitute to other commonly-used oils.
When buying avocado oil, be sure to get a richer and greener color and check brand reviews for better quality. You can also make your own oil at home to enjoy fresher and purer oil and save up on fruit waste.