Most health-conscious people consider many factors when using cooking oil. Some of these include the source of the oil (e.g., fruit, seed, or nut), whether it is filtered or refined, and most importantly, the quantity they should use. Olive oil has gained popularity over the years as a healthy cooking oil. Avocado oil has also gained importance in the food industry. Therefore, a comparison of avocado oil vs olive oil for cooking is bound to happen.
Olive oil comes from the olive fruit. Fresh, cold-pressed oil obtained from ripe greenish-yellow fruits is the purest. Avocado oil comes from the fruit itself and not the seeds. Avocados contain 30% fat, and its oil is extracted in the same way as olive oil.
Let’s take a look at avocado oil and olive oil nutrition values.
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil Nutrition Facts
To compare the nutrition of avocado oil vs olive oil, we need to first look at their calorie content. There isn’t much difference between the oils.
A tablespoon (14 grams) of olive oil contains 119 calories. The same serving of avocado oil contains 124 calories. The calories in both oils mainly come from fats. Neither oil has protein or carbs.
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil Fat Content
Both avocado oil and olive oil contain healthy fats like omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. However, avocado oil nutrition content includes more of these fatty acids compared to olive oil, but they are more or less the same.
Both oils have almost the same amount of saturated fats as well. Avocado oil contains a higher content of unsaturated fats. However, olive oil is healthy, too.
Olive oil nutrition content includes a high ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids. Avocado oil also has a similar ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats.
Comparison of Other Nutrients
Since both are fruit-based oils, they contain phytosterols such as ß-sitosterol, which are naturally present in plants. These are structurally similar to cholesterol and are known to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Olive oil has many antioxidants and healthy compounds, as it has a decent amount of vitamin E. Olive oil also contains tyrosol phenolic compounds such as oleuropein and oleocanthal which are very powerful antioxidants.
In terms of stability, palatability, lipid profile, and safety profiles, olive oil is the best edible oil. Extra-virgin is the highest grade of olive oil, which means it is minimally processed and unrefined.
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil for Cooking
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil Taste
The olive oil taste and avocado oil taste are similar. And, both oils have the same texture. However, olive oil tastes fruity, pungent, and little bitter.
Olive oil is made from the uncured olive. The bitterness of the oil varies depending on the ripeness of the fruit. The oil extracted from ripe fruits is less bitter compared to that obtained from greener olives. Like olive oil, avocado oil can be added to salad dressings and many other dishes.
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil Smoke Point
Avocado oil has a very high smoke point, between 480°F and 520°F (270°C). The oil is a good choice for stir-fry recipes and other high-temperature cooking. It is ideal for searing meats and frying in a wok.
Olive oil’s smoke point varies depending on the processing and the grade. Light olive oil has a smoke point of 430°F, making it suitable for medium-heat frying.
Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, around 220°F. It is unsuitable for high-temperature cooking or frying.
You should keep in mind that when you heat oil to its smoking point, it loses its nutrient content and becomes dangerous for consumption. It leads to the formation of toxic compounds and harmful free radicals which are carcinogenic.
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Health Benefits
Benefits of Olive Oil
The monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in olive oil decrease LDL or bad cholesterol, and increase HDL or good cholesterol in the blood. It also protects against cardiovascular diseases. MUFAs have anti-inflammatory properties.
MUFAs may benefit blood sugar control and insulin levels. They are beneficial for people who are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil has large quantities of plant-derived antioxidants and phytosterols. The antioxidants in olive oil together with vitamin E and carotenoids help fight against inflammation, coronary artery disease, cancer, degenerative nerve diseases, and diabetes. The vitamin E in olive oil protects the skin from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
According to the FDA, consuming two servings of 0.4 grams of plant sterols may reduce the risk of heart diseases. Phytosterols prevent cholesterol absorption in the gut and can reduce total cholesterol levels by 10 to 15%.
Related: More on Benefits of Olive Oil, Sesame Oil & Avocado Oil
Avocado Oil Benefits
According to a study published in Journal of Nutrition, avocado oil boosts absorption of carotenoids. Another study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states that avocado oil lowers blood pressure.
Avocado and soybean oil extracts have the ability to stimulate cartilage growth and repair. They also help prevent bone erosion associated with periodontal disease.
According to a study published in Dermatology, avocado oil when used topically with vitamin B12, may be an effective treatment for psoriasis. The study researchers found that psoriasis patients showed improvement when given vitamin B12 and avocado oil cream for 12 weeks.
After our comparison between avocado oil and olive oil, we can conclude that both oils are healthy, but high in calories. So, when using either oil, moderation is key.
Ulmer, G., “Nutrition in Avocado Oil,” Livestrong, April 15, 2011; http://www.livestrong.com/article/421924-nutrition-in-avocado-oil/.
“Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios,” The Baseline of Health Foundation, April 17, 2012; https://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutrition/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points.
Roizman, T., “What Are the Benefits of Avocado Oil?” Livestrong, March 22, 2011; http://www.livestrong.com/article/408594-what-are-the-benefits-of-avocado-oil/