A study by the University Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo in Morelia, Mexico found that avocado oil could be the new olive oil when it comes to health benefits. In Mediterranean countries, olive oil consumption has long been associated with extremely low levels of chronic disease.

“In some Mediterranean countries, low or almost no appearance of these kinds of diseases has been associated with the high olive oil consumption,” lead researcher Christopher Cortes-Rojo said.

“Olive oil has a fat composition similar to that found in avocado oil. Therefore, avocado oil could eventually be referred to as the olive oil of the Americas.”

Cortes-Rojo and his team presented their findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in San Diego, California. They conducted their research in Mexico, the world’s largest avocado producer, using yeast cells to test the exotic fruit’s properties.

Their experiments demonstrated that avocado oil can combat destructive “free radicals” in the body which destroy cell membranes, proteins and DNA, speeding up ageing and triggering disease.

“Our results are promising because they indicate that avocado consumption could improve the health status of diabetic and other patients,” Cortes-Rojo said.