What’s the deal with all of the avocado oil these days? It’s popular in Paleo and Keto diets and you’ll find it turning up in a lot more processed foods like commercial salad dressings, mayonnaise, all kinds of chips, popcorn, crackers, seaweed snacks, butter substitutes and more, but if you think avocado oil is the key to good health, well … think again!
Like a wide variety of fresh fruits, avocados are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but unlike most fruits which are high in natural sugars, avocados are high in fat, about 70% monounsaturated, and while it’s no secret that monounsaturated fats are beneficial, too much avocado oil isn’t.
Here’s what we mean: When it comes to heating and cooking, saturated and monounsaturated fats are by far the most stable, and while we agree that monounsaturated fats including avocado, almond and olive oils are beneficial, avocado oil is roughly 14% polyunsaturated. Taking a closer look, it consists of about 13% omega-6 and just 1% omega-3. Simply put, this is NOT a favorable ratio! Consuming too much omega-6 in relation to omega-3 can promote inflammation and imbalance, creating a need for larger quantities of omega-3s. When omega-3s are increased, inflammation decreases.
According to the National Institutes of Health, humans evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-3 to omega 6 of approximately 1:1, yet the modern American diet contains excessive amounts of omega-6s while being deficient in omega-3s. This imbalance is linked to several health problems including heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
Because the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in avocado oil is too high (it’s about 13:1), if used solely, too often, or in large quantity, it can contribute to a fatty-acid imbalance and an inflammatory response in your body. High intake of avocado oil without the necessary balance of other healthy fats only feeds the fire! That’s why it’s so important to keep it in check and make sure you’re also getting plenty of healthy fats and oils like those you get from wild fish, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, virgin coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, pastured butter, macadamia nut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
Another critically important thing to consider is the rancidity factor: According to the food science experts at UC Davis, the vast majority of avocado oil sold in the US is of poor quality, mislabeled or adulterated with other oils. In fact, the scientists found that 82% of the avocado oil they sampled was either flat-out rancid before the expiration date, or mixed with other, cheap oils like soybean. Word of caution: Always know and fully trust your source!