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Olive Oil vs Avocado Oil: What’s the Difference?


Olive oil and avocado oils are both heart-healthy alternatives to oils with higher levels of saturated fats. Both avocado and olive oils have different compounds and potential benefits. Let’s dive in.

Olive Oil Market

The global oil market is estimated to progress at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 5.2% from 2023 to 2033. The market stands at a valuation of US 12 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US 20 billion by 2033-end. Demand for virgin olive is projected to rise rapidly over the coming years due to its effectiveness in preventing cardiovascular illnesses. (R)

What does extra virgin olive oil do?

In addition to a pleasurable taste, extra virgin olive oil has potential health benefits including reduced risk of coronary heart disease, reduced risk of breast and colorectal cancers, and improved blood sugar control. Some of these benefits are associated with high amounts of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oils, as well as high concentrations of oleic acid.

olive oil

How much olive oil should I take?

Health benefits with extra virgin olive oil have been associated with intakes of about 2 to 4 tablespoons per day — particularly when this replaces saturated fats (see What It Does).

Which are the best and worst extra virgin olive oils?

Although all ten of the popular extra virgin olive oils selected for review by ConsumerLab.com passed chemical testing, analysis of flavor and aroma by an expert olive oil taster raised questions about the quality of seven products — grading them as not extra virgin, and some even as “lampante,” meaning unfit for human consumption What CL Found.

Among those considered “extra virgin,” CL selected two as its Top Picks — one that is mild and one that is moderate in robustness. Both have excellent flavor and aroma, correct chemistry, a high concentration of polyphenols and oleic acid, and are moderate in cost. Use the Results table to compare the test results (including ,polyphenol levels, which ranged from 149 mg/kg to 436 mg/kg — a 193% difference!), taste descriptions, prices, and other features of products.

How to buy, use, and store olive oil?

Buy olive oil in a dark-colored glass bottle to protect it from light (and/or store it in a dark cabinet), and don’t worry about the color of the oil — it’s not a reliable indicator of quality or flavor. If cooking with olive oil, limit use to later stages of cooking, keeping heating time to a minimum (see ConsumerTips).

Safety and side effects of olive oil

Olive oil is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it may interact with certain medications (see Concerns and Cautions).

What is avocado oil? How is it different from olive oil?

Avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of avocados. If removed mechanically without chemicals at temperatures below 122°F (which is considered cold pressed), it may be considered extra virgin or virgin and will be green and somewhat cloudy. If processed further, it is considered refined (sometimes referred to as “pure”) and will be yellowish and, typically, clear.

Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point than olive oil, so it may be preferred for cooking at very high temperatures and it does not have the bitterness of olive oil due to a much lower concentration of polyphenols.

Does avocado oil have health benefits?

Although not proven, avocado oil is likely to be heart-healthy if replacing saturated fats, like butter, due to its high percentage of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is also a good source of vitamin E, provides enough beta-sitosterol to potentially improve symptoms of benign prostate enlargement, and contributes modestly to lutein intake, which may reduce the risk of macular degeneration (see What It Does).


Which are the best and worst avocado oils?

ConsumerLab tested eight extra virgin, refined, or ungraded avocado oils. Based on chemical analysis, one product appeared to include oil other than avocado oil and was, therefore, Not Approved. On taste-testing, another product tasted of rotten avocados, so we don’t recommend it (see What CL Found). Among the Approved products, we selected a Top Pick for its pleasant, medium flavor and mild, buttery, and herbaceous aroma. It was more expensive than most of the products although not the most expensive. Use the Results table to compare the test results and price per tablespoon, which ranged from 21 cents to $1.13.

It’s worth noting that good avocado oil is expensive, costing several times the amount of best extra virgin olive oils that we have tested (which cost about 25 to 35 cents per tablespoon).


How to store avocado oil?

Avocado oil should be stored at room temperature and away from light, preferably in a dark-glass bottle or stainless-steel container. Avocado oil that is unopened should remain stable for at least two years if properly stored. It is not necessary to refrigerate avocado oil, even after it is opened (see ConsumerTips).


Safety and side effects of avocado oil

Avocado oil is generally safe and well-tolerated, although some people may have an allergic reaction, and consumption of large amounts could potentially interact with the drug warfarin (see Concerns and Cautions).

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