Why You May Want To Reconsider Using Avocado Oil For Frying

Chicken, zucchini, pickles, Oreos, plantains, ice cream, onions, and falafel — if you can name it, you can probably fry it. Although they're not exactly healthy foods, Americans' love for fried food won't die. In fact, The Wall Street Journal found that our collective love has increased restaurants' deep fryer repairs, causing them to double in the year between 2021 and 2022. It's clear that through uncertain times, fried foods are a form of comfort, reminding us that no matter what's happening in the world, a handful of hot french fries will always taste the same.

But too much of a good thing can have its drawbacks. In this case, those would include an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, according to a 2015 study published in the National Library of Medicine. For that reason, many people have sought out healthier alternatives. These typically entail different frying methods, such as air frying or oven frying, along with the use of healthier oils (via Healthline). Along with olive oil and coconut oil, avocado oil has been touted as a healthy alternative for frying. However, it might not have as beneficial as you think.

Frying with avocado oil

At room temperature, avocado oil is great. As fruits, avocados are a well-known source of heart-healthy fats — so it's only natural to assume that, as oil, that'd remain the same. According to Healthline, avocado oil contains both unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, along with carotenoids and other powerful antioxidants that make it beneficial for the health of your heart, skin, and eyes. To make it even better, MasterClass claims that avocado oil has a higher smoke point than many other refined oils. At 480 degrees Fahrenheit, it's great for high-heat cooking, but not for too long.

Whether you're using avocado oil to sauté, roast, sear, or shallow fry your food, if it's exposed to high heat for a prolonged amount of time, it will start to lose those signature avocado flavors. That herby aroma and rich nutty flavor will be no more, but that's not all — you'll also lose all the benefits of its vitamin E, a nutrient that's key for the health of your blood, brain, skin, eyes, and reproductive system (via Mayo Clinic). So, if your goal is to reap all the benefits that avocado oil has to offer, save the frying for something less expensive. Instead, use it in no-heat applications such as a salad dressing or a vinaigrette.