As a holistic nutritionist that focuses on ancestral eating, avocado oil has never been my favorite. Through and through, I’m an olive oil kind of gal. It is backed not just by thousands of years of use, but also by legitimate scientific studies that display its numerous benefits (see studies here).
Avocado oil, on the other hand, is a relatively newer item. The FDA has not yet established standards for it, thus making it harder to identify brands that supply a less than stellar product.
I recently discovered a study out of UC Davis that found that a whopping 82% of avocado oil on the market is either rancid or adulterated. But before we dive into that, let’s talk a bit about avocado oil itself.
Is avocado oil healthy?
Generally speaking, yes. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fat, more specifically is it made up of roughly 70% oelic acid. This monounsaturated fat is particularly beneficial for heart health, brain health, skin health and eye health.
Avocados are high in lutein, a carotenoid that studies have shown benefit eye and cognitive health (source). Overall, due to its stable nature, high monounsaturated content and low polyunsaturated fats, avocado oil is very healthy. It’s anti-inflammatory and has a high smoke point (500 degrees), making it a great cooking oil.
And this is a big however – avocado oil is only healthy if it is pure and stable. If an oil has oxidized, it is rancid and extremely inflammatory. And it the oil is not pure, you can bet your ass it’s adulterated with cheap, toxic oil. And there’s nothing healthy about that.
What did the tests at UC Davis find?
Much to my dismay, the researchers at UC Davis discovered that 82% of avocado oil was either stale before the expiration date (thus making the oil rancid and oxidized) or adulterated with cheaper oils (source).
Researchers Selina Wang and Hilary Green purchased 22 brands of avocado oil – all that they could find in stores and online. They also made their own pure avocado oil in their lab so they’d have something to test the samples against.
Wang and Green found that 15 of the samples were oxidized prior to their expiration dates. When an oil oxidizes, it loses its health benefits and becomes rancid and highly inflammatory.
Additionally, they found that six brands were mixed with cheaper, inflammatory oils including soybean oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Some samples didn’t contain any avocado oil at all.
Were any brands pure?
Yes! But only two. To be honest, I was kind of shocked (and disappointed) that Primal Kitchen Foods and Thrive Market were not among the list of pure and non-oxidized oils.
However, Chosen Foods avocado oil was one of the only samples to be fresh and pure. I’ve used Chosen Foods in the past and really enjoy their products!
The other brand is one I’m not familiar with, Marianne’s Avocado Oil, which I just discovered you can find at Costco!
What about avocado oil mayo?
At this point, I think it’s fair to surmise if that majority of avocado oil on the market is not pure or unadulterated, neither are the popular brands of avocado oil mayonnaise. Of course, do your own research, but be mindful moving forward. Maybe try my recipe for coconut oil mayo!
Should you eat avocado oil mayo moving forward?
When it comes down to it, we have to be careful about the foods we choose to eat, particularly when they’re newer to the market. This is why I prefer foods with an established history of use – like olive oil. If our ancestors ate it, you probably should too!
If you choose to buy avocado oil, please just make sure you’re choosing a legitimate brand, like Chosen Foods or Marianne’s!