Almond oil—or sweet almond oil as it is often called—is the oil pressed from the fruit or drupe of the deciduous almond tree (Prunus dulcis). While almonds are commonly consumed by healthy eaters, almond oil is less popular. You can use sweet almond oil for skin and for hair health. There are also nutritional benefits that you’ll gain if you consume almond oil.
|Almond Oil Nutrition Facts|
|Serving Size 1 tablespoon|
|Per Serving||% Daily Value*|
|Calories from Fat 120|
|Total Fat 14g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 1.1g||0.5%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 9.5g|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%|
|Calcium 0% · Iron 0%|
|*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet|
Fats in Almond Oil
There are three different types of fat in almond oil.
There is a small amount of saturated fat in this oil. Saturated fats are considered to be less healthy fats as they may contribute to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends choosing oils with less than four grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Almond oil provides about one gram of saturated fat per tablespoon.
You’ll also benefit from just over two grams of polyunsaturated fat when you consume a tablespoon of almond oil.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, so they are considered to be healthy fats. Both almonds and almond oil help boost your PUFA intake.
Most of the fat in almond oil is monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats come primarily from plant sources.
These fats, also called MUFAs, are believed to increase your HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol. Health experts recommend that you replace less healthy fats (such as saturated fats and trans fats) with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that 15 to 20 percent of your caloric intake come from monounsaturated fatty acids.
Carbs in Almond Oil
There are no carbohydrates in almond oil. The estimated glycemic load of almond oil is zero.
Protein in Almond Oil
Even though almonds provide protein, there is no protein in almond oil.
Micronutrients in Almond Oil
Almond oil contributes vitamin E to your diet. You’ll get 5.3 milligrams of the vitamin or 26 percent of your recommended daily intake when you consume one tablespoon of almond oil.
Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, plays an important role in cell metabolism and is believed to have anti-aging benefits. This important vitamin may also help to protect against certain diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and diabetes.
You will also get a small amount (just one microgram) of vitamin K in a tablespoon of almond oil. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting functions.
Because almond oil is high in oleic acid (monounsaturated fat), you gain heart-healthy benefits when you consume it. Oleic acid is believed to lower LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol) to help decrease your risk for heart disease.
It is important to note that many of the health benefits of eating almonds are not gained when you consume almond oil. For example, almonds provide a quick boost of protein and fiber. Both protein and fiber help to keep you feel full longer. So if you are trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight, almonds are often considered a healthy snack.
But you won’t get protein or fiber when you consume almond oil.
What is almond oil good for?
Besides cooking, there are other popular uses for sweet almond oil:
- Sweet almond oil for skin. Almond oil had been used medicinally in ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco-Persian communities to treat dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Sweet almond oil is also used by people to reduce scarring after surgery and to smooth the skin. It is considered safe and non-irritating so it is safe to use by people who have sensitive skin.
- Almond oil for hair. Some people use almond oil for hair loss. There is no scientific evidence however to support this use. However, you may be able to use a small amount of sweet almond on hair to calm frizz and to create a shinier smoother appearance.
What is the best way to store almond oil?
Most oils, especially those high in oleic acid, should be stored in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight.
Cooking and Preparation Tips
Most people use almond oil for skin, hair, and beauty treatments, but the oil can be used in the kitchen.
Almond oil has a flash point that is similar to that of olive oil. The flash point, or smoking point, is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke fumes. The smoking point of almond oil is about 420°F. You can use almond oil to heat foods but it is not the best oil to use for high-temperature cooking
Almond oil can be used in salad dressing, marinades, and sauces. You can use almond oil in any recipe where you would use olive oil. However, almond oil does not impart the same flavor as olive oil so you may get a more bland taste when you use it.
Allergies and Interactions
If you have a nut allergy or specifically an almond allergy, you may want to avoid almond oil. Almond allergens can be contained in almond oil.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), tree nut oils may pose a threat depending on the method of manufacture and processing. This includes topical use of the oil as they may cause a reaction when applied to the skin.
However, the experts at AAAAI note that cases of almond oil reactions are very rare (none were cited on the organization’s website). But they still advise caution, stating “the fact that almond oil can contain almond allergens, and finally the fact that we know cutaneous sensitization can occur, I would think that the most prudent thing to do is avoid almond oil completely if a patient has demonstrated allergy to almond oil.”