Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if avocado oil is refined? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
We are no longer limited to just vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter. Cooking oils are getting healthier and more nutritious, and one more popular cooking oil these days is oil from avocados.
One of the qualities that health-conscious people look for in a good cooking oil is the “unrefined” label. So, is avocado oil refined? The answer is, it depends on what type of oil you buy. You can purchase both refined and unrefined versions of avocado oil since there are both chemically processed and extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what avocado oil is and how it gets processed to create both refined and unrefined cooking oil.
Read on to learn more about the properties of this incredibly healthy oil and the differences in nutrition between refined and unrefined versions.
Table of Contents
What Is Avocado Oil?
In short, avocado oil is an oil derived from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It’s known to be a very healthy type of oil, both when eaten and when used for skin care purposes.
One of the health benefits of avocado oil is that it helps to lower triglyceride levels.
High triglyceride levels often lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Therefore, people believe avocado oil to be a very heart-healthy fat since it lowers these risks.
Avocado oil also has properties that can lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL).
Where Does Avocado Oil Get Produced?
Avocados have origins in Central America, but there are many warm climates around the world where people now grow this special fruit.
A lot of the extra virgin avocado oil (cold-pressed) you see on the market comes from New Zealand.
It gets sent to the rest of the world via export.
Avocado Oil Production
Avocado oil gets produced in a couple of different methods, similar to the way that olive oil has multiple production methods.
The most common and traditional method of avocado oil extraction is in the form of cold-pressing the oil out of the pulp of the fruit.
However, more modern methods have led to extracting the oil with heat and/or chemical solvents.
Unrefined Avocado Oil
The former of the two types of production we previously mentioned leads to what we call “unrefined” avocado oil.
Cold-pressing is generally a much healthier way of deriving the oil from the fruit since it doesn’t involve any added chemical solvents in the process.
Unrefined avocado oil is also referred to as “extra virgin avocado oil” since it maintains its virgin properties, just as extra virgin olive oil would after being cold-pressed.
Since it doesn’t undergo chemical treatment or heat like refined oil, unrefined avocado oil keeps the avocado’s natural flavor and pigment.
Refined Avocado Oil
Refined avocado oil is the latter of the two types of production we mentioned above.
Refined oils aren’t derived from cold-pressing the fruit, but rather, from using heat and chemical treatment, followed by bleaching the color.
When you think of cosmetic avocado oil (used for skin care products), think of refined avocado oil.
This results in a rather bland flavor and lack of color, which is why people see refined avocado oil as subpar to unrefined oil.
Refined avocado oil is also filtered to remove any “impurities”, which is another reason it ends up less flavorful.
Since it gets refined, it also ends up lacking some of the wonderful qualities in avocado that make it so heart-healthy.
Thus, refined oils may be a little less healthy overall, but that doesn’t mean they’re totally bad for you.
You may also find that refined avocado oil is a better choice if you tend to not like the distinct taste of avocado oil but still want the benefits of an oil that is healthier than vegetable oil.
Since it’s refined, it has a weaker smell and taste, making it suitable for a sensitive palette.
Benefits of Using Avocado Oil
Although refined avocado oil may be lower in nutritional value than unrefined avocado oil, both types still harbor healthy properties.
One of the key things that make avocado oil healthy is that it contains monounsaturated fatty acids. In other words, it contains a healthy type of fat.
Further, like olive oil, you’ll find that avocado oil also contains some antioxidants, which have numerous health benefits – most notably the neutralization of harmful free radicals in the body.
Avocado oil also has a mild, slightly earthy flavor, making it a good addition to a plant-based diet.
When it comes to avocado oil for skin care uses, though, you can find benefits in the anti-inflammatory nature of the fruit.
This means that avocado oil products typically help to reduce itching, chapping, and dehydration of the skin.
Mainly, the oil works to moisturize and soothe irritated skin, but it’s not advised for especially oily skin.
Avocado oil is a healthy alternative to heavy cooking oils like vegetable oil or margarine. However, you should be aware of the differences among types of avocado oil.
There are both refined (good for your skin) and unrefined avocado oils that you can use.
The former is chemically treated and less flavorful, whereas the latter comes from cold-pressing the fruit.
Consider the benefits of both refined and unrefined olive oil to determine which type is the most preferable to you.
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