Avocados come to mind whenever the words “healthy fats” are spoken. They’re good for your complexion, hair, nails, and digestive system and are basically a ball of creamy deliciousness. What’s not to love? Besides, avocado calories are estimated to be around 80 per 50-gram serving, a relatively low count.
With an average weight of 150 grams, a medium-sized avocado can contain about 240 calories in total. Olive oil contains half that amount in a single tablespoon. That means you get fewer calories from eating a whole avocado than from eating a heavily dressed salad, and the benefits are endless!
[Fun Fact: Four of the Top 5 avocado-producing nations in the world are in Latin America! They include Mexico, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia.]
Are avocados healthy?
Most definitely! Avocados have always been a staple of healthy eating because they’re full of vitamins and minerals, on top of the healthy fats for which they’re known. Because avocados are packed with plenty of nutrients, they are considered a superfood, proven to be quite versatile in the kitchen.
Not a vegetable but a fruit, the avocado is classified as a berry. It can function as either a savory or sweet component depending on how it is utilized in a recipe. Mainly, avocados can elevate any dish in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional benefits.
Nutritional Facts of Avocados
Avocados are essentially the only fruits that provide unsaturated fat. They help our bodies absorb fat-soluble nutrients, like vitamins A, D, K, and E. One serving can contain about 6 grams of “good” unsaturated fat—the kind that prevents bad cholesterol levels from rising.
Other essential nutrients you get from avocados are calcium, iron, potassium, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. Some nutrients found in avocados are known to maintain eye health, such as carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The nutritional value of avocados is sky-high!
With 90% of its caloric energy coming from healthy fats, avocado is an ideal choice to consider as part of any meal. The other 10% comprises good carbs, dietary fiber, and protein. Avocados keep your blood pressure low and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, in part because they contain no sugar and no sodium.
Do avocados make you put on weight?
The short answer is no, but you have to mind your portions. Remember that avocados contain many calories; eat just the right amount and enjoy the benefits without risking weight gain. Also, pay attention to your body. Avocados are very filling and can curb hunger; if you feel full, take a break or move on to another activity.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: All that fat and you’re suggesting I increase my avocado intake? Fear not! As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, it is not fat that makes our bodies heavier (it’s actually muscle tissue), and consuming more of it does not endanger your weight-loss plan.
In fact, swapping the saturated fat in processed foods with the unsaturated fat found in avocados trains your body to convert food into energy instead of storing fat deposits. This can activate healthier patterns in your metabolism. Processed carbohydrates are the real culprit when it comes to gaining weight.
Avocados can help you feel full in less time because each one contains about 9 grams of dietary fiber. On average, avocados have a mere 4 grams of carbs per 50-gram serving. Plus, in contrast to all other fruit, avocados have zero sugar, which keeps blood sugar stable.
However wonderful avocados are, they should not be your only source for healthy fats. Think of them more as a versatile part of a complete whole-foods diet.
Remember, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and if you combine avocados with complex carbs, it could be counterproductive to your weight-loss program. Exercise portion control, and you’ll still be satisfied.
Avocado Calories: Ways to Incorporate Avocados into Your Diet
Avocados are surprisingly easy to incorporate into your diet. Even though you may not be accustomed to consuming avocados regularly, chances are they already play a role in your weekly meals without you even noticing it. It’s entirely possible your go-to place for lunch or takeout includes them in many of their dishes.
We’re used to seeing avocado slices served alongside eggs for breakfast, cubed in salads for lunch, or mashed into guacamole and added to tacos or burritos at dinner. The fact is they are often used in soups, smoothies, and even ice cream!
When prepping any kind of snack that calls for melted cheese, consider swapping it out in favor of mashed avocado instead. When making a salad, instead of mixing in the usual avocado cubes, try mincing and combining them with lime juice to use as a dressing.
Mashed avocado also makes for an excellent spread for toast, sweet potato slices, or sandwiches. It is the star ingredient of guacamole and all its variations. It’s not all tomatoes—get creative with spices and herbs (both fresh and dried) and add to your wraps.
You’ll find that many diets and meal plans feature avocados in many creative and flavorful configurations. We have many articles covering diet styles, meal planning, and meal-prep strategies that you can check out for inspiration. This powerful and delicious fruit can spruce up any dish, making it colorful and nutritious!