Ever since people started figuring out that food is made of three important macronutrients, fat has been considered the enemy of a healthy diet. Every time someone picks up a products labeled fat-free or low-fat, they tend to feel a sense of pride for making a healthy choice. In fact, most people believe that anything that does not contain fat is automatically healthy. However, recent research shows that this is nothing but a misconception.
According to recent studies, not only is fat not the enemy, but it is actually an important component of a healthy diet. However, the issue is that not all fats are created equally. So, while some types of fats can promote your health and well-being, others can be harmful and lead to high cholesterol and heart disease among other issues. This is why it is important to be mindful about the fat you are consuming.
Avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils you can consume. Extracted from the pulp of an avocado, avocado oil can easily be incorporated into your diet as it can be substituted for oil, butter, margarine, and lard.
Avocado oil contains a healthy dose of chlorophyll, which helps detox the body. Chlorophyll is a natural source of magnesium, which removes heavy metals like mercury and lead from the brain, kidneys, and other organs naturally. In addition to that, avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. This makes it ideal for people who have high cholesterol or heart disease.
Following are some major reasons you should add avocado oil to your diet.
1. Improves Heart Health
Taking care of your heart health is extremely important, and not just when you start getting older. In fact, making healthier choices for your heart during your youth can lead to a reduce risk of heart disease as you get older. And one of the most important choices you can make for your heart health is to choose the right kind of fats. But why?
You see, one of the major sins of bad fat is that they increase low density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease and is also linked to strokes and artery disease. As discussed before, avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.
Adding it to your diet can help lower the LDL cholesterol. Additionally, avocado oil and olive oil are two of the most effective oils that help increase the high density lipoprotein (HDL) “good” cholesterol. This also makes it a great dietary choice for people who have diabetes.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Improving your cholesterol levels isn’t the only way avocado oil helps improve your heart health. Regular usage of this oil has also shown to have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Avocado oil contains a high amount of oleic acid, which has shown to lower blood pressure. In addition to that, avocado oil is high in potassium and vitamin E, which eradicate free radicals and keeps the blood vessels healthy.
The levels of essential fatty acids in the kidneys are also altered by diets containing avocado oil. This affects how they respond to the hormones that regulate your blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E can help protect the arterial walls from damage, reducing the risk of heart disease that is caused by a build-up of plaque. It is easier for the body to absorb vitamin E from natural foods sources more effectively as compared to taking supplements. Therefore, adding avocado oil to your diet is a very healthy choice.
3. Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals are a waste products of metabolism, which cause cellular damage in the body. High levels of antioxidants can lead to oxidative stress, which can further contribute to diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals by giving them electrons, which prevents them from causing harm.
There are many types of free radicals, but the one that is most concerning is the oxygen-derived radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). One study with diabetic rats showed that avocado oil can be effective in protecting against the harmful effects of free radicals by entering the mitochondria. Once it enters this cell, it is able to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging this important cell organ.
4. It Is Extremely Versatile
Avocado is one of the only cold pressed oils that has a high smoke point. This means that it can be eaten raw as well as cooked at high heat. With most other oils, you need to make sure that you use it for the right purpose.
Walnut oil Is great for salad and dips, but starts oxidizing the moment it comes in contact with heat. Canola oil is one of the healthiest choices for frying but isn’t safe for raw consumption. However, that isn’t the case with avocado oil.
You need an oil to quickly drizzle over a cold pasta? Go for avocado oil. Need to quickly stir fry some vegetables? Avocado oil does wonders. From salad dressing to deep frying chicken legs, you can do literally anything with avocado oil.
In fact, it is arguably the best oil to use while deep-drying. It is recommended to generally limit your intake of deep fried food, but when you do consume it, avocado oil is the best option.
5. May Promote Weight Loss
Just like the fruit the oil that is extracted from, avocado oil can be the super food you need in your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. If used correctly, this oil can help you stay satiated and ward off hunger. It also contains a significant amount of potassium that can help reduce bloating.
Consuming an adequate amount of fat can also make you feel full for longer, reducing your risk of untimely snacking – which is arguably the biggest enemy of weight loss. So, instead of cutting out fat from your diet to lose weight, add some avocado oil to your food to see more effective and long lasting results.
6. Promotes Absorption of Important Nutrients
Some nutrients require fat to be absorbed by the body. Carotenoid antioxidants, pigments found in many plant-based foods, are among these nutrients. The issue is that most fruits and vegetables that are high in carotenoids are low in fat. Therefore, you may be consuming a large amount of carotenoids through salads and other vegetables-based dishes, but they may be going to waste since you aren’t consuming enough fat to encourage their absorption.
Adding some avocado oil to salad dressing or drizzling them over vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and romaine lettuce can increase the absorption of caretenoids as much as 4.3 to 17.4-fold as compared to consuming fruits and vegetables without fat.
How to Use Avocado Oil?
As discussed above, avocado oil is one of the most versatile oils you can store in your pantry. This means there are really no limits to how you can use avocado oil. However, if you’re still looking for ideas on how to introduce this oil to your diet, following are some things you can consider.
- Use it as the base fat for your salad dressing. Not only is it extremely healthy, but also adds a unique flavor to the salad.
- Use it as the main fat in marinades for grilling, roasting, or barbequing meat, chicken, fish, tofu, etc. In fact, it can be used in any sort of marinade.
- Avocado oil can be used as an healthier alternative to butter or margarine in baked goods. However, keep in mind that avocado oil has a more liquid consistency than butter and other solid fats. So reduce the amount by ¼ to get the right consistency of the baked goods.
- Drizzle it over vegetables, chicken, salmon, or anything else before roasting or baking them.
- Adding a tablespoon of avocado oil to your smoothie is a great way to boost its health benefits while increasing your intake of healthy fat.
- Use it while sautéing or stir frying vegetables, meat, or pasta.
- While it is recommended to keep fried food at a minimum, when you are craving the occasional fried chicken, it is a good idea to fry the drumsticks in avocado oil to add some nutrition to it.
- Replace olive oil in hummus with avocado oil.
- A drizzle of avocado oil can boost the taste of cold soups, such as gazpacho.
As stated before, avocado oil can be used in literally anything. So no matter what you’re thinking of making with an oil or healthy fat, you can use avocado oil for it.
Risks of Avocado Oil
When adding something to your diet, it is always a good idea to check if it has any risks or side effects. Avocado oil is mostly considered safe for consumptions. And if you’re a healthy adult, you may not find any issues adding it to your diet.
However, whenever making any dietary changes, consult your doctor beforehand. A few others things that you need to keep in mind include:
- Avocados are extracted directly from avocados and don’t go any chemical process. Therefore, if you’re allergic to avocados, you will 100% be allergic to avocado oil as well. People who are allergic to latex or birch pollen are also more likely to be allergic to avocados. So, consult a doctor before adding avocado oil to your diet is you have any of those allergies.
- Despite being one of the healthiest sources of fat, avocado oil is high in calories – just like any other fat. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your consumption. Consuming too much avocado oil may not be unhealthy, but it can lead to quick weight gain. So make sure to stay under you daily fat requirement while taking avocado oil.
- It has been observed that avocados decrease the effectiveness of Wafarin (Coumadin). So if you’re taking this anticoagulant for any reason, you’ll have to keep the oil out of your diet.
Arguably, the only major downside of avocado oil is that it can be on the expensive side of the cooking oil aisle and tends to be difficult to come by. However, if you’re willing to go a little out of your way to find a good bottle of avocado oil and spend a little extra on it, there are immense benefits of consuming this oil.
Whenever you buy avocado oil, male sure you opt for the cold-pressed version. As any other version may not have as many health benefits as the cold-pressed one.