Monday, January 19, 2015

Are Chips With Avocado Oil Better?

Hi, Thanks for taking my question! 
I bought some potato chips that were 'cooked in 100% Avocado oil' which I had never seen before. I know that kind of oil is considered better for you than other saturated fats, so are these chips any less harmful? Thanks, Larry M.

Hi Larry, 
Well, that's an interesting question. 
The "bad" part about chips isn't just the oil they are fried in (and usually it's corn, a polyunsaturated oil). It's the amount of "empty calories" they contribute to the diet. Because an ounce of chips usually provides about 150 calories and not a whole lot of nutrients (a small amount of vitamin C is usually about it), it's not usually a healthy addition to your diet.

Chips fried in avocado oil will still have the same calorie and fat content as chips fried in any other oil. It's true, we know mono-unsaturated oils--avocado, olive, peanut, canola-- are slightly better than polyunsaturates because polyunsaturated fats have somewhat of a lowering effect on HDL's, also known as the "good" cholesterol in the body. People are encouraged to include sources of mono-unsaturated oil in the diet, so changing your chips to this brand that uses avocado oil is a smart move.

But overall, if this is the only change made in your diet it's not going to have any major effects. And if you consume large amounts (especially if you are overweight or need to be limiting your sodium intake) that will cancel out any of the "good" effects of using the mono-unsaturated oil.

One thing you are doing that is great for your health is reading food labels and asking questions. Paying attention to what you eat is a great way to improve your diet!


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