Avocado oil vs Olive oil: Which is better & healthier?
- 17 minutes read
A lot has been said about the health benefits of avocado oil and olive oil.
Both oils have many healthy fats in them, and studies have shown that they can protect against heart disease and inflammation (1, 2).
But then, many people wonder the difference between these oils, and which is a healthier alternative.
In this article, we’ll compare both oils, so you can decide which is best for you.
Avocado oil: What is it?
Avocado oil is extracted from the fruit of the avocado tree. The scientific name of this tree is Persea Americana, and it contains roughly 60% oil (3).
Avocado is native to Central America, but it is now being cultivated in many parts of the world, including the United States, New Zealand, and South Africa (3).
Avocado oil is available in two versions – the refined and unrefined versions. The unrefined version has its natural flavor and color and is cold-pressed.
On the other hand, the extraction of refined avocado oil is done with chemical solvents and heat. The refined oil is deodorized and bleached, giving off a product with less flavor.
Avocado is a versatile oil, with skincare and culinary benefits.
Many studies have been carried out on the health benefits of avocado oil, including its ability to reduce the levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (4).
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is produced from pressed olives.
There are many varieties of olive oil available, including virgin, extra virgin, and pure olive oil.
Extraction of extra virgin and virgin olive oil is done through cold pressing. “Pure” olive oil contains both refined oil and cold-pressed oil that has been extracted using heat or chemicals (5).
You can easily incorporate it into your diet, as it is widely used as dipping or cooking oil.
Olive oil, just like avocado oil has been touted for its many health benefits, including a reduced risk of some forms of cancer, and improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels (6, 7).
Comparing the nutritional profile
Both oils have similar nutritional profiles.
We have compared the nutrients contained in a tablespoon (15 ml) of extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil in the table below (8, 9, 10):
|Avocado oil||Extra virgin olive oil|
|Fat||14 grams||14 grams|
|Saturated fat||2 grams||2 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||10 grams||10 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||2 grams||1.5 grams|
|Vitamin E||23% of the Daily Value (DV)||33% of the DV|
From the table above, both oils give a similar number of calories per serving.
Both oils also have a similar fatty acid profile. Avocado and olive oil have similar amounts of saturated fat. There’s more polyunsaturated fat in avocado oil, compared to olive oil.
Avocado oil and olive oil have a solid oleic acid-base. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
According to results from research, foods that contain oleic acid are healthy. They have anti-inflammatory benefits and also help to reduce blood pressure levels (11, 12, 13, 14, 15).
Comparing the benefits
Both avocado and olive oil have many health benefits.
Antioxidants help to minimize oxidative stress. They do this by fighting free radicals in the body.
Olive oil and avocado oil contain a lot of antioxidants, especially vitamin E.
However, the vitamin E content of olive oil is slightly higher than avocado oil. A particular study discovered that one tablespoon of avocado oil provides up to 23 percent of the daily value of vitamin E. on the other hand, a tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil provides 33 percent of the daily value (10).
It is worth noting that there’s also a large amount of lutein in both avocado oil and olive oil. Lutein is an antioxidant that boosts eye health and skin health (16).
Studies have shown that lutein offers protection against the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, and visible light (17, 18).
The health of the skin
Olive and avocado oil bestow great health benefits to your skin. This is due to their large fatty acid profile, lutein, and vitamin E contents.
Avocado oil has a soothing effect on damaged, chapped, or dry skin (19, 20).
Also, it may be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis. A study found that topical application of creams containing avocado oil & vitamin B12 improved psoriasis symptoms (21).
Animal-based studies have shown that avocado oil can facilitate the healing of wounds by boosting the production of collagen, and decreasing inflammation (22).
In the same way, olive oil has been widely used in skincare and cosmetic products.
Many studies have observed the beneficial effects of olive oil on skin health, including healing burns, pressure wounds, cuts, and also preventing infections (23).
This is the temperature at which oil starts to degrade. Toxic free radicals are also released during this time (24).
It is worth noting that the smoke point of avocado oil is higher than that of olive oil. This means that avocado oil doesn’t smoke or burn as quickly as olive oil.
For instance, avocado oil has a smoke point that is above 482°F (250°C). on the other hand, olive oil may smoke at 375°F (191°C) (25, 26).
So, you’re better off using avocado oil for cooking that requires high temperatures, like grilling, sautéing, baking, and searing.
Absorption of nutrients
Olive and avocado oil have high levels of monounsaturated fats. This can facilitate the absorption of nutrients in your body.
This is very true for carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that are found in large quantities in vegetables and colorful fruits. Carotenoids are fat-soluble. This means that the body absorbs them fast when consumed with fatty foods.
A study found that eating a salad laced with avocado oil caused the absorption of large amounts of carotenoids from the vegetables (27).
Also, another study found that adding some olive oil to tomato juice increased the amount of lycopene absorbed (28).
Both oils contain many antioxidants and healthy fats.
Both oils are highly beneficial to heart health because they both contain oleic acid.
Also, they boost skin health and aid the healing of wounds.
Avocado oil, in particular, has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it is best used for high-heat cooking methods.
Regardless of your choice, both olive oil and avocado oil are nutritious.
Tonika Bruce, also known as The Network Nurse, is a multi-talented individual with a career spanning over 20 years. She’s a Registered Nurse, speaker, author, and advocate for change, excelling in business building and team development. Tonika holds two Master’s degrees in Nursing and Business Administration, (MSN & MBA) and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership.
Her expertise extends to various fields such as nursing, entrepreneurship, business, basketball coaching, and executive leadership. She is a published author of “Relentless Pursuit: Proven Tips for Unlocking Your Potentials, Limitless Success and Post COVID Syndrome: A Guide to Repositioning the Nursing Profession for A Post COVID Era”. Currently, Tonika is working on Thrudemic, an anthology examining the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on medical professionals and patients.