October 12, 2021

Oil; Avocado vs. Olive: What You Need to Know

Oil is in almost everything that we eat. Fat-free diets are no longer the norm. It is easy to tell the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Adding fat to your diet can have a wealth of nutritional benefits. There are many factors that affect the health of various oils, including their chemical composition.

Avocado and olive are two of the most healthiest oils available. Both these oils are whole-food-derived and cold-pressed. Which one is better? We asked nutrition experts for their opinions. We break down the differences in avocado and olive so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.


  • Caroll Lee, a certified health counselor, is the founder and CEO at Provenance Meals. This organic meal delivery service uses organic prepared meals.
  • Serena Poon, CN CHC, CHN is a celebrity chef and nutritionist. She also founded Just Add Water and Culinary Alchemy.

All About Oils

Vegetable oils are some of the most harmful oils. Lee cites “harmful industrial vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, canola and corn” as a prime example. Processed snacks and salad dressing also utilize these oils.

Healthy oils, on the other hand are extremely beneficial. Lee says that fats and oils made from whole foods and other high quality sources can help to stabilize our metabolism, maintain hormone levels, nourish our skin and hair, and keep our bodies functioning well. Refined ones (marketing lingo means processed) can alter an oil’s composition, and add unhealthy by-products into your food.

All fats and oils are not equal, according to Lee.

“Hyper-transfoils and trans fats that have been hydrogenated and are found in packaged food can cause inflammation and oxidative stress to the body.”

Poon emphasizes the importance to use high-quality, unrefined oils. She says and I quote, “You should look for brands that grow their plants with integrity and cold-press their oils to make an unrefined product.” Avoid refined olive and avocado oils as they are often processed with high heat and chemicals.

Lee points out that the best oils can improve the body’s ability to absorb the healing properties and nutrients of food. She says that healthy fats such as avocado and olive oils help to absorb essential fat-soluble nutrients.

What Is Avocado Oil?

After being separated from the rest of the products as Poon explains that avocados are first harvested and then de-pitted, de-skinned and then mashed together, after which it is bottled to be sent to the market.

According to Lee, avocado is rich in antioxidants and oleic acids. Avocado oil is great for your brain and skin, as well as being anti-inflammatory.

Poon points out that, although less research is available on avocado oil’s health benefits, its composition of phytochemicals and oleic acids suggests that vocado oil may be able to support cardiovascular health. According to Poon, a new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), avocado oils may prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer in mice.

Poon recommends to use green colored olive instead of the yellow one as, yellow is the sign of refined.

According to Poon avocado oil has a smoke temperature of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it’s a great choice for high heat cooking. Avocado is next to rice bran and safflower oils in terms of smoke point.

What Is Olive Oil?

The oil is extracted from extra-virgin olive oil, which is then cold-processed to extract the oil. Olive oil is most likely already in your kitchen.

Extra-virgin oil is separated from this oil first, and then subsequently processed using the cold-process method. Olive oil is most likely already in your kitchen.

What makes it so special? Oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat is found in olive oil which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Poon says; “Olive oil also has plant compounds called polyphenols which have been proven to have anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties.” Supporting the immune system, heart health, brain and slowing down the growth of cancer are the health benefits of olive oil.

Lee agrees, stating that extra-virgin olive oil should be a staple of every household’s kitchen. It is a great option because it contains healthy monounsaturated fats and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also lower bad cholesterol.

Lee points out that some olive oils are better for your health than others. Therefore, paying more for extra-virgin olive oils is worth it if you want to reap the many benefits of incorporating it into your diet.

Non-refined one is also known as extra-virgin oil, which is also considered to be the finest. She says that this olive oil is the best.

According to Poon, olive oil has a smoke temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lee states that it is suitable for sautéing, roasting, and baking at a moderate temperature. You can eat it uncooked as well..

Key Differences

The flavor profile is a key difference between avocado and olive oil. This makes their use subjective and largely dependent on individual preference.

Another important difference is the smoke level. A smoke point is a characteristic of all cooking oils, and fats. A smoke point is the temperature at which oil begins to smoke in a pan. Overcookig the fat causes the release of radicals into the food. Poon explains that smoke point is the idea that oils degrade when heated and can cause dangerous by-products. Smoke points that are lower can cause oils to begin to degrade faster. This can lead to food losing their integrity and taste. When cooking at high temperatures, it is best to use an oil with a higher smoke points.

Poon points out a 2018 Australian study which suggests that smoke point is not the only factor in oil degradation. Prediction of oil breakdown is done through the its stability, according to a recent study. According to 5 Poon, olive oil was somewhat more stable when heated than avocado oil.

These results suggest that there may be no difference in smoke points between olive and avocado oil.

When to Use Which

Both olive and avocado oils are excellent sources of healthy fats. You can’t go wrong with either. There are key differences in when and how to use each oil for maximum health benefits. Poon explains that which of it you use will depend on your preference in flavor and cooking method. “I prefer avocado oil for cooking, and extra-virgin oil for cold applications such as salad dressings and toppings.”

The Final Takeaway

Poon says that the bottom line is: “Deciding whether to use olive or avocado oil is a matter of personal preference.” Both oils have distinct taste profiles and may be preferred for different cooking methods. Avocado oil is my preferred choice for high-heat cooking.

Poon has another piece of advice: Even when you are consuming healthy fats, Poon advises that oils be used with moderation due to their fat content. You can also overdo it with healthy fats.