How Using Avocado Oil Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
In recent years, avocado oil has gained traction as a healthy oil to incorporate into your diet. Limited human studies have been conducted on its specific benefits, but its composition is similar to olive oil, which is considered one of the healthiest oils.
Avocado Oil and Cardiovascular Health
Avocado oil is predominantly composed of monounsaturated fats (69.4%), saturated fats (14%) and polyunsaturated fats (16.6%). (1) This is a similar composition to olive oil. The main monounsaturated fat found in avocado oil is oleic acid.
- Oleic Acid has been shown to reduce blood pressure, a major risk factor of heart disease. (2) High blood pressure puts excess strain on your arteries leading to a narrowing and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. (3)
So far, only animal studies have been conducted on avocado oil’s effects on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, but the results are promising. Incorporation of avocado oil led to reduced levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol and did not impact HDL cholesterol levels. (4) Keeping triglycerides and both LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels low is extremely important for cardiovascular health. These components can build up as plaque in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. (5)
- The studies have also shown that when when LDL cholesterol is in the presence of oleic acid, it is less prone to oxidation. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol exacerbates the issue of atherosclerosis–the buildup of plaque on the arterial walls. (6)
Avocado Oil and Vision
Avocado oil contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These pigments are vital for eye health, as they protect your eyes from damage. They are powerful antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals generated by UV radiation. Lutein and zeaxanthin consumption has been shown to limit Age-related Macular Degeneration, the number one cause of loss of vision. (7)
- Avocado oil is not extremely high in these pigments, but avocado oil’s high fat content allows the body to more easily absorb the pigments. Lutein and zeaxanthin are classified as carotenoids, which are much more effectively absorbed when consumed in fat sources. (8)
Cooking With Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a great resource for cooking foods at high temperatures. Olive oil, which has similar and possibly superior benefits, has a relatively low smoking point of 374°F . When smoking occurs, the unsaturated fats in olive oil are converted into trans fats, the worst kind of fat. Avocado oil’s smoking point is 520°F, so it keeps its composition and benefits well beyond the temperature threshold of olive oil. (9)