Looking for healthy heart-friendly fats to add to your diet?
Avocado oil might be the perfect choice, as it has numerous benefits for your health and beauty – and it tastes amazing! It’s becoming pretty well-known that the most commonly used cooking oils are downright terrible for our health.
Those who follow a Paleo diet are most likely familiar with coconut oil as a healthy substitute. Interestingly, there are other healthy choices as well, though coconut oil still reigns supreme as your go-to cooking oil, since it won’t oxidize at low temperatures.
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But variety is the spice of life, so it’s a great idea to mix up your healthy oils, giving you a wider spectrum of experience.
What Is Avocado Oil?
While there are many other healthy oils in the Paleo cupboard, avocado oil is often overlooked. While avocados themselves have seen a huge upswing in popularity, the oil has been mostly left out.
But I highly recommend you find some delicious avocado oil and start experimenting, because it has a wide variety of uses. For example, you can use avocado oil in healthy smoothies, or drizzle it over fish before being roasting or baking it.
How Avocado Oil Is Made
Avocado oil is made in a fairly straightforward way, though there are numerous ways to produce it. The most common production method is to pick the avocados, let them ripen naturally, wash them, de-skin and de-pit them, press the remaining pulp, and then separate the pulp from the oil.
How to Choose Quality Avocado Oil
High-quality avocado oil should only have “avocado oil” in the ingredient list, and should always be organic.
When researching the company that produces the oil, make sure their processing procedure is also explained in detail. Cold-pressed avocado oil is the best quality, though it will be a little more expensive.
Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
So what makes avocados – and avocado oil – so healthy?
That’s a good question. The answer contains a little bit of science, and a little bit of debunking. For decades, we have been led to believe that all fat is bad, and a low fat diet is the best way to go if one wants to stay healthy for decades.
As the scientific evidence continues to mount, we see that this is largely untrue. Fat doesn’t make you fat, after all.
The key point is that the type of fat in avocados is what really matters – and avocados (and avocado oil) are loaded with one of the best types of fat.
In fact, studies show that it helps to lower cholesterol, not raise it. (7) So much for that “low-fat is best” hypothesis. Other studies show that monounsaturated fat can even help those suffering from diabetes. (8) And we haven’t even gotten to the guacamole yet.
Ways to Use Avocado Oil
On top of the health benefits of consuming avocado oil, there are thousands of DIY home beauty solutions that also use it. From face masks to shampoo, avocado oil can be used for nearly anything.
Interestingly, avocado oil also has an unusually high smoke point, at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very important for your health, because beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals are destroyed when an oil is overheated (i.e. when you start to see smoke). Overheating also helps to create harmful free radicals.
On top of that, avocado oil is loaded with vitamin E, and can help to carry other flavors.
Like other fat-based oils, avocado oil will also help you absorb nutrients from your foods, such as carotenoids. If you’re looking to use avocado oil on your face or body, you will find many advantages, such as its rapid absorption and ability to easily penetrate your skin. This helps greatly in some applications, like if you’re using avocado oil to help with sunburned skin.
On top of this, avocado oil also contains sterolins (natural steroids). These may be effective in boosting collagen production, and may also help with age spots. (9)
Cooking with Avocado Oil
Although we in the Paleo community know that grass-fed butter is great for our health, you can swap out the butter for avocado oil in baked treat recipes — all while preserving the texture and taste of your treat. Some people even prefer the taste of avocado oil in baked goods.
My own favorite use for avocado oil is to drizzle it over salads, which helps you absorb even more nutrients from your favorite green veggies. Be careful, though — avocado oil is still fairly high in calories, so you don’t want to drown your greens completely.
And remember, avocado oil has a high smoke point. This means you can cook with it and impart a delicious flavor onto your favorite foods. If there is a recipe that requires very high cooking temperatures, make sure you use avocado oil — it is one of the only oils that can withstand the heat. If you need to sear your meats, or do some frying in a wok, reach for the avocado oil.
Avocado Oil Recipes
Avocado oil works with a variety of foods and recipes, which is part of what makes it so great. If you need help getting started with ideas, check out these 28 avocado recipes.
If you’ve never marinated before, simply put some of your favorite meat in a Ziploc bag, and add some avocado oil, along with your favorite spices. Leave this mixture in your refrigerator for a few hours, and then cook, discarding the leftover oil.
You can also try avocado oil in your stir-fry! While most chain restaurants use poor-quality oils, you now know better. You can use avocado oil to make any number of healthy stir-fry dishes. I like to use chicken as my main meat, and then add the most nutrient-dense veggies I can find.
If you’re looking to keep things ultra-simple, go with pan searing, as it’s much harder to mess that process up.
For something on the sweeter side, drizzle avocado oil over a fruit salad. Trust us, it tastes fantastic, and works with a wide variety of fruits.
Avocado Oil Hair and Skin Care
If you have serious issues with a dry scalp, you can even modify our previous tip, and put avocado oil in your hair while still in the shower. This should help combat even the worst dry scalp issues. If the problem still persists after this, it is best to see a doctor.
While those uses are for your hair, avocado oil also works wonders on your skin. You can dab on a small amount as a moisturizer. An added benefit of this method is that you will avoid all the harsh chemicals that are typically found in most skin care products.
You can also dab some on a cotton ball next time you need to remove your makeup — it should slide right off.
Like bone broth, avocado oil may also help with collagen formation, allowing your skin to heal faster and better — and maybe even help you to look younger in the process.
One of the best uses for avocado oil, in my opinion, is treating skin inflammation. Whether it’s your child’s diaper rash, a scrape, or rug burn, avocado oil feels great on your skin.
The Bottom Line
Avocado oil is no longer an overlooked treasure. Try this healthy oil in the most imaginative way you can, and be sure to let us know how you use avocado oil! Is it in your hair, on your face, for cooking, baking, or something else entirely? We want to know, so share your tips in the comments below!
(Read This Next: The Complete Guide to Cooking Oils)