Introduction of Avocado Oil Calories 1 Tbsp
Avocados have become one of the world’s most popular superfoods, and for good reason. These green fruits are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. While most people enjoy avocados raw, the oil derived from these nutritional powerhouses has recently gained a lot of attention.
Avocado oil, extracted from the pulp of ripe avocados, offers an impressive nutritional profile. It has a mild, pleasant flavor that makes it a versatile cooking oil. But beyond adding flavor to dishes, what are the specific health benefits of avocado oil? Let’s take a deeper look.
Understanding the Calorie Content in Avocado Oil
When cooking with oils, it’s important to understand the calorie content. After all, oils are purely fats, which are highly concentrated sources of calories. So how many calories are there in a tablespoon of avocado oil?
On average, one tablespoon (about 15ml) of avocado oil contains around 120 calories. Compared to other cooking oils:
- Olive oil has about 119 calories per tablespoon
- Coconut oil has about 117 calories per tablespoon
- Vegetable oil has about 120 calories per tablespoon
So the calorie count of avocado oil is on par with other popular cooking oils. As with any oil, it’s best to use it in moderation to keep calories under control. But when used carefully, avocado oil can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
The Nutritional Profile – Why Avocado Oil is Different
Looking beyond just calories, avocado oil stands out for its nutritional profile. Here are some of the key nutrients found in just one tablespoon (15ml) of this superfood oil:
- Monounsaturated Fats – 10g
- Vitamin E – 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K – 20% of the DV
- Lutein – 1% of the DV
Let’s explore why these nutrients matter and what health benefits they offer.
Monounsaturated Fats – The Heart-Healthy Fatty Acids
Unlike saturated fats which can raise cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are heart healthy. They help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
The main MUFA found in avocado oil is oleic acid, which makes up about 70% of the oil. Studies show diets rich in oleic acid are linked to better heart health and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
So using avocado oil instead of oils higher in saturated fat can contribute to a heart-healthy diet. Just remember, all fats still contain calories, so moderation is key.
Vitamin E – The Antioxidant and Skin-Health Booster
Avocado oil contains relatively high levels of vitamin E, an essential antioxidant our bodies require. Vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
It also supports skin health by combating UV damage to cells. The vitamin E in avocado oil may help nourish dry skin when applied topically. It also has antioxidant benefits when consumed, helping maintain healthy cells and tissues throughout the body.
Vitamin K – Essential for Blood and Bone Health
This important vitamin is needed for proper blood clotting as well as building strong bones. Many people don’t get enough vitamin K from their diets. Using avocado oil is an easy way to increase your intake of this vital nutrient.
Just 1 tablespoon boosts your daily vitamin K intake by about 20%. For a diet low in leafy greens, avocado oil can help fill in nutritional gaps. Vitamin K also provides antioxidant protection, reducing inflammation.
Lutein – An Antioxidant for Healthy Vision
Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant that helps protect eye health. It filters out damaging blue light and helps prevent macular degeneration. Avocado oil contains small amounts of lutein, adding to its repertoire of antioxidants.
While not a huge source, the lutein in avocado oil supports vision health along with the other antioxidant vitamins it provides. Adding avocado oil to salads is an easy way to absorb lutein from carotenoid-rich vegetables.
Comparing Avocado Oil to Olive Oil
Olive oil is renowned as one of the healthiest cooking oils. Like avocado oil, it contains mainly monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. But there are a few reasons why avocado oil stands out:
- It has a higher smoke point – avocado oil maintains integrity at higher heat, making it better for cooking methods like sautéing, stir-frying, roasting, etc. Olive oil loses some nutritional value at high heat.
- The antioxidant profile – avocado oil contains carotenoids like lutein not found in olive oil, as well as higher levels of vitamin E and vitamin K.
- The richness – avocado oil has a creamy, luxurious mouthfeel compared to lighter olive oil. The smooth texture enhances flavors beautifully.
- The mild flavor – avocado oil has a subtle, nutty taste without being overpowering. It adds richness without altering the flavors of other ingredients.
So while both are extremely healthy choices, avocado oil offers some additional benefits that make it unique. Using both is a good way to diversify the nutrients in your diet.
The Many Uses of Avocado Oil
Given its stellar nutritional profile and high smoke point, avocado oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with. It can be used in many ways:
- For stir-frying, sautéing veggies, eggs etc. The richness adds flavor without the strong taste of other oils.
- For roasting vegetables, especially at high temperatures. The oil maintains integrity in the oven.
- In homemade salad dressings and marinades. Its luxurious texture pairs perfectly with leafy greens.
- For searing or pan-frying fish, chicken or steak. Achieve that crispy exterior without overpowering flavor.
- In dips and sauces. From guacamole to aioli, it lends creaminess and rich texture.
- For grilling. Use it to brush on skewers of veggies, meat or seafood before grilling.
- In baking. Replace other oils in cakes, muffins, breads, etc. for added moisture.
With its high smoke point and mild flavor, avocado oil can be used in almost any dish. It brings out flavors without overpowering them.
Beyond Cooking – Avocado Oil for Skin and Hair
In addition to cooking, avocado oil has benefits when applied directly to your skin and hair. Here are some of the top uses:
- As a moisturizer – The oleic acid helps nourish and hydrate dry skin. The vitamin E provides antioxidant protection against UV and pollution damage.
- To soothe sunburns – Apply avocado oil after sun exposure to nourish damaged skin and speed healing. The antioxidants fight inflammation.
- For dry hands and cuticles – Avocado oil absorbs well and leaves no greasy residue. Rub into hands to smooth and soften skin.
- As a makeup remover – Gently massage the oil around the eyes and wipe away makeup. It dissolves even waterproof products without irritation.
- For frizzy hair – A few drops of avocado oil help control flyaways and frizz on unruly hair. The vitamins nourish the scalp and promote shine.
- To prevent split ends – Rub a small amount on dry ends after washing to replenish moisture and keep strands strong.
- For dry or damaged hair – Use as a nourishing hair mask. Cover hair and allow it to soak for 15-30 minutes before washing out. Leaves hair silky soft.
- To promote hair growth – The antioxidants in avocado oil help stimulate blood flow to the scalp. Massage oil into the scalp to nourish hair follicles.
With its stellar nutrients and fatty acids, avocado oil brings major benefits for skin and hair health. It’s no wonder this beauty elixir has become popular in hair and skincare products.
How to Select Quality Avocado Oil
Not all avocado oils are created equally. To reap the full benefits, be sure to select a high-quality oil:
- Choose extra virgin – This ensures the oil is unrefined and processed via cold pressing without heat or chemicals.
- Check for purity – It should say 100% avocado oil with no added chemicals or solvents.
- Look for organic – This guarantees the avocados are grown without pesticides for the healthiest oil.
- Check the color – High-quality avocado oil ranges from green to yellow to golden hues. Avoid very dark or brown oils.
- Read the label – Opt for oil packaged in dark glass and grown/produced in California or Mexico for freshness.
- Consider taste – Higher quality oils will have a pleasant, nutty avocado flavor without bitterness.
The right avocado oil will have a luxurious, velvety texture and aroma. Paying attention to these details ensures maximum freshness and nutrition.
Storing Avocado Oil Properly
Once you’ve selected a premium avocado oil, be sure to store it correctly to maintain that fresh-pressed quality. Here are some storage tips:
- Keep in an airtight container – Exposure to air degrades the oil over time.
- Store in a cool, dark place – Heat and light cause avocado oil to oxidize faster.
- Refrigerate after opening – The cold slows the oxidation process to keep oil fresher longer.
- Use within 6 months – For maximum freshness, use opened oil within 6 months. Unopened, it lasts up to a year.
- Watch for cloudiness – If oil turns cloudy or viscous, it has likely gone rancid and should be discarded.
Following these steps helps safeguard your avocado oil, allowing you to unlock its abundant nutrition and flavor with every use.
Harness the Health Benefits of Avocado Oil Calories 1 Tbsp
This creamy superfood oil truly earns its superlative status. With its stellar nutritional profile and versatility in cooking and beauty, avocado oil can benefit your diet, skin and hair in numerous ways. It all comes down to selecting a high-quality oil and using/storing it properly.
So embrace the richness and reap the health rewards. Just a drizzle of avocado oil can add bountiful antioxidants, healthy fatty acids and essential vitamins. Allow its luxurious essence to upgrade your culinary creations, beauty regimen and most importantly, your overall wellness.