Avocado and olive oils are healthy oils popularized for their many skincare perks, culinary applications, and heart-related benefits. Despite small variations in vitamin E and unsaturated fat concentrations, they are both healthy picks that can be used interchangeably.
Avocado and olive oils are among the healthy cooking oils in the market, and they both have wide arrays of culinary applications. Besides, the two oils have skincare benefits and are used to soothe dry skins, improve their conditions, and promote wound healing. As if that’s not enough, avocado and oils have vitamin E antioxidants that are good for fighting free radicals that, when left attended, results in oxidative stress, damaging cells. Still, these two types of healthy fats have high concentrations of oleic acids, primarily the healthy omega- 9s touted as suitable for heart health. Nevertheless, you may still wonder how these two oils compare and if any is healthier. Treat this article as your informant, and use it to know what olive and avocado oils are, how they compare nutritionally and their associated health benefits and variations, and if any is healthier.
Understanding avocado oil
As suggested by the name, avocado oil is produced from avocado (Persea americana) fruit touted as healthy for its fiber, antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and healthy fat contents. The creamy fruit is left to ripen then pressed to extract avocado oil. Avocadoes have a Central American origin but have popularized worldwide and can be found in Africa, New Zealand, America, and other countries. Avocadoes are creamy, giving them a wide range of culinary applications. Besides, they blend well with different recipes and can be eaten alone, blended into smoothies, used as spreading or incorporated into salads.
There are two versions of avocado oils; the refined and unrefined types. Refined avocado oils have a less flavorful taste, are deodorized, and bleached; hence they don’t retain the color. They are often extracted using chemical solvents or heat, leading to the mentioned changes. Contrarily, unrefined avocado oils are extracted through cold-pressing, allowing them to retain their natural color and flavor. Besides, they also taste better and are slightly richer nutritionally. Whether refined or unrefined, avocado oils are linked to reduced triglyceride and bad cholesterol concentrations, and better heart health.
Understanding olive oils
It’s now time to explore olive oil, another healthy fat with many culinary and skincare applications. Olive oil is manufactured from olives and packs many nutritional benefits. There are basically three types of these oils: pure, virgin, and extra virgin olive oils. Pure olive oils feature a mixture of virgin and refined olive oil, meaning that they incorporate cold-pressing and chemical solvents and/or heat in producing them. Contrarily, virgin and extra virgin versions of the olive oils are strictly produced by cold-pressing olives and are therefore unrefined. Like avocado oils, olive oils are nutritionally rich and owe the body many health benefits, including lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
How do avocado and olive oils compare nutritionally?
The nutritional profile of any dietary component, including healthy fats, is important in gauging the health contribution of the component in question. Of course, both olive and avocado oils have a rich nutritional profile loaded with vitamin E antioxidants and healthy fats. While the profiles are technically similar, small variations exist, particularly in vitamin E and polyunsaturated fat concentrations. A tablespoon (15 ml) of avocado or olive oil has 120 calories, 12 g of total fat, and 10 g of monounsaturated oleic fat. However, the same volume of avocado oil packs 23% of vitamin E and 2 g of polyunsaturated fat, while olive oil offers 33% DV of vitamin E and 1.5 g of polyunsaturated fat. Clearly, the calorie counts and oleic fat concentrations are similar, and the polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E variations are insignificant. Having the same amounts of oleic fats means that both oils are critical for controlling blood pressure, promoting heart health.
How do avocado and olive oils compare in other benefits?
Avocado and olive oils are essential healthy fats with minor differences, but they are generally ideal for the body and can be used interchangeably. Here are the benefits of the two oils and how they compare;
- They both have antioxidants
Avocado and olive oils are extracted from plants and supply the body with antioxidants, particularly vitamin E. These have been found to help the body fight free radicals by donating the missing electrons to stabilize the initially unstable molecules. While both oils have vitamin E, olive oil packs more of this antioxidant than avocado oil. For instance, a 15 ml spoon of olive oil offers 33% DV of vitamin E, while the same volume contributes to 23% DV of vitamin E antioxidants. As such, you may want to use olive oil in your cooking, especially if you want to boost your body’s total antioxidant count. Still, both oils pack other antioxidants as well, including lutein which helps promote eye and skin health.
- They both have skin enhancement benefits
Avocado and olive oils are both skin-enhancing, so they feature in many skincare products besides their culinary applications. The oils have antioxidants such as vitamin E and lutein, resulting in the mentioned benefits. Studies have shown that using avocado oils alongside B12 vitamin supplements may help ease psoriasis, a serious skin problem. Besides, you can revive dry or chapped skin by topically applying avocado oil. On the other hand, olive oils also have skin-enhancing benefits and have been shown to effectively pressure wounds and promote the healing of burns and cuts.
- They both help the body with nutrient absorption
Studies have shown that avocado and oils have many far-reaching benefits to nutrient absorption. Many antioxidants, particularly the fat-soluble carotenoids, are better absorbed into the body through healthy fats as in olive and avocado oils. As such, adding drops of olive oil to tomato juice enhances absorption of lycopene, the antioxidant, and pigment behind tomato’s red color. Besides, adding avocado oil to some veggies helps the body absorb lutein antioxidants.
- They both have high smoke points
Smoke point is the temperature at which an oil degrades, releasing aldehydes and other dangerous compounds to the air. Oils with higher smoke points are deemed safer since the dangerous compounds oxidize and promote damage oxidative stress. Olive and avocado oils have high smoke points, but the latter have a high degrading temperature. Consequently, avocado oil works better for high-heat cooking such as searing, deep-frying, grilling, sautéing, etc.
Avocado and olive oils are healthy fats loaded with vitamin E antioxidants and monounsaturated healthy fats. They are technically similar since they have the same concentrations of total fat, unsaturated fat, and calories. However, they slightly vary in vitamin E & polyunsaturated fat concentrations and smoke points. Nonetheless, avocado and olive oils are both healthy and can be used for multiple culinary applications, with avocado oil better suiting high-heat cooking.