(healthline) – Avocado oil and olive oil are promoted for their health benefits.
Both contain heart-healthy fats and have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).
Yet, you may wonder how these oils differ and whether one is a healthier choice.
This article compares avocado and olive oil, so you can decide which one to use.
What is avocado oil?
Avocado oil is pressed from the fruit of the avocado tree (Persea americana), which contains approximately 60% oil (3Trusted Source).
Although native to Central America, avocado is now produced in many places around the world, including New Zealand, the United States, and South Africa (3Trusted Source).
You can purchase either refined or unrefined avocado oil. The unrefined version is cold-pressed, preserving its natural color and flavor.
On the contrary, refined avocado oil is extracted using heat and sometimes chemical solvents. Typically, the refined oil is bleached and deodorized, resulting in a less flavorful product.
Avocado oil is versatile and has both culinary and skin care uses.
Countless studies have linked avocado oil to powerful health benefits, including reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels (4Trusted Source).
Avocado oil is oil that has been extracted from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It’s available refined or unrefined and has been associated with numerous health benefits.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is made from pressed olives.
Many varieties are available, including pure, extra virgin, or virgin olive oil.
Virgin and extra virgin olive oil are extracted through cold-pressing. Olive oil labeled “olive oil” or “pure” contains a mixture of cold-pressed oil and refined oil that has been extracted via chemicals or heat (5Trusted Source).
It’s easy to incorporate olive oil into your diet, as it’s often used as a cooking and dipping oil.
Like avocado oil, olive oil has long been touted for its potential health benefits, including a lowered risk of certain types of cancer and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Olive oil is extracted from pressed olives and available in several varieties. It has been associated with numerous health benefits.
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The nutritional profiles of avocado oil and olive oil are similar.
The table below compares the nutrients in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of avocado and extra virgin olive oil (8, 9, 10Trusted Source):
|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|
As you can see, avocado oil and olive oil provide the same number of calories per serving.
Their fatty acid profiles are likewise similar. Avocado oil and olive oil contain equal amounts of saturated fat, and while avocado oil is slightly higher in polyunsaturated fat, the difference is insignificant.
Both avocado oil and olive oil are primarily made up of oleic acid, a beneficial monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
Studies have shown that foods rich in oleic acid may benefit your health. Particularly, they may help reduce inflammation and blood pressure levels (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
The nutritional profiles of avocado and olive oil are similar. In particular, they’re both rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats.
Both olive oil and avocado oil offer numerous health benefits.
Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidative stress by combating free radicals in your body.
Both avocado oil and olive oil contain these powerful compounds, particularly vitamin E.
That said, olive oil may contain slightly more vitamin E than avocado oil, as one study showed that 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of avocado oil contains about 23% of the DV of vitamin E, while olive oil provides 33% of the DV (10Trusted Source).
Additionally, avocado oil and olive oil are particularly rich in lutein, an antioxidant that especially benefits skin and eye health (16Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that the high concentration of this antioxidant in avocado and olive oil may help protect your skin from harmful UV rays and visible light (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Avocado oil and olive oil benefit your skin, largely due to their fatty acid profile and vitamin E and lutein contents.
Studies have shown that applying avocado oil can help soothe dry, chapped, or damaged skin (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Additionally, it may aid the treatment of psoriasis. One small study found that applying a topical cream containing avocado oil and vitamin B12 improved symptoms of psoriasis (21Trusted Source).
Animal studies have also observed that avocado oil can aid wound healing by increasing collagen production and decreasing inflammation (22Trusted Source).
Similarly, olive oil has long been used in cosmetic and skin care products.
Numerous studies have noted olive oil’s beneficial effects on skin health, including preventing infections and helping heal burns, cuts, and pressure wounds (23Trusted Source).
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it starts to degrade and release harmful free radicals (24Trusted Source).
Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, meaning that it doesn’t burn and smoke as quickly.
For example, the smoke point of avocado oil is higher than 482°F (250°C), while olive oil can smoke and burn at 375°F (191°C) (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).
Therefore, it may be better to use avocado oil for cooking techniques that require high temperatures, such as sautéing, grilling, searing, and baking.
The high levels of monounsaturated fats in both avocado and olive oil may help your body absorb important nutrients.
This especially holds true for carotenoids, a type of antioxidant found in many colorful fruits and vegetables. They are fat-soluble, meaning your body best absorbs them when consumed along with high fat foods.
Interestingly, one study found that eating a salad dressed with avocado oil significantly increased the absorption of carotenoids from the veggies (27Trusted Source).
Similarly, a study found that adding olive oil to a glass of tomato juice increased the absorption of the carotenoid lycopene (28Trusted Source).
Both avocado oil and olive oil are rich in antioxidants, promote skin health, and boost the absorption of nutrients. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil and may be better suited for high-heat cooking.
The bottom line
Overall, avocado oil and olive oil are nutritious sources of healthy fats and antioxidants.
Both oils benefit heart health due to their similar content of oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
Additionally, both promote skin health and aid wound healing.
Avocado oil has a particularly high smoke point compared with olive oil, so it may be better suited for high-heat cooking methods.
Regardless of which one you choose, avocado oil and olive oil can serve as healthy additions to your diet.