Move aside coconut oil; avocado oil is taking center stage! According to Pinterest, avocado oil is projected to be their top food trend for 2016. You can expect this oil to not only pop up in your Pinterest feed, but also at farmers markets and specialty grocery stores.
Avocado oil is derived by running the avocado fruit through a press. The pulp of the fruit is mashed, then spun in a drum at high speeds to separate the pulp from the oil.
More is known about the health benefits of whole avocados than about avocado oil. Diets rich in avocados may lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol. The magnesium in whole avocados possesses blood pressure-lowering properties. Whole avocados also contain potassium, which lessens the effect of sodium on the body. It is unclear whether or not these same health benefits are transferrable to avocado oil.
Remember that your body needs some fat, but fat is high in calories. The fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “healthy” fat; however, it is possible to get too much, even of the “good” kinds of fat. Adults should aim for 20–35 percent of their calories from fat, with more coming from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat than saturated and trans fat.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point (meaning the oil doesn’t start to break down and burn until a high temperature is reached), making it ideal for searing and browning, as well as on salads. Avocado oil can be more expensive than other oils on the shelf. If using avocado oil, stretch it by using equal parts avocado oil and canola oil in recipes.
Consuming whole avocados allows you to obtain all the nutritional benefits that you would receive from avocado oil. If you are uncertain about purchasing avocado oil, try topping your sandwich or salad with avocado slices.