Is it good to eat avocado every day?

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there is another fruit that can do wonders for your health when included in your daily menu.

Avocado yes, its fruit is best known for its main role in guacamole, but the creamy treat has tons of health benefits. With nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and lots of good fats, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of research linking avocados to heart health, weight management and skin health.

But is it really healthy to eat avocados every day? Learn the benefits of avocados and creative recipes to eat more of them.

Avocado nutrition facts

One serving of avocado (medium or 50 grams) contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber (11% daily value (DV))
  • 250 milligrams potassium (6% DV)
  • 15 grams of magnesium (4% DV)
  • 0.1 mg vitamin B6 (6% DV)
  • 1 mg vitamin E (6% DV)
  • 4 mg vitamin C (4% DV)
  • 11 mcg vitamin K (10% DV)
  • 5 mcg folate (10% DV)

Are avocados a healthy fat?

One serving of an avocado (medium) has 6 grams of unsaturated fat. Fat was once thought to be the enemy, but unsaturated fat has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. It is saturated fat that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health conditions. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat, such as the kind found in avocados.

Avocado may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes

Avocados are good for your heart, according to a recent systematic review of research. Of the studies reviewed, ten substituted avocado for other sources of fat and two added avocado to the participants’ usual diet. The overall results showed that consuming avocados twice a day as part of a low saturated fat and cholesterol diet can help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Another observational study of more than 68,000 women found that higher avocado intake was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Recent research also suggests that including avocado in your diet can have a positive effect on metabolic disorders and Type 2 diabetes. A randomized trial of overweight adults found that eating just half an avocado at lunch increased their satiety without negatively affecting their blood sugar levels, which is a major benefit for people who have diabetes or pre-diabetes. In other words, avocado can make you feel full without causing blood sugar spikes.

Is avocado good for weight loss?

Since avocados are higher in calories than other products, you may worry that eating them regularly may lead to weight gain. The good news is, research actually points to the opposite. A study of more than 55,000 people found that people who ate avocados weighed less than those who did not eat the fruit regularly. After following the participants for 4 to 11 years, researchers concluded that participants who ate at least 2 tablespoons of avocado per day had the lowest likelihood of becoming overweight or obese.

Research also suggests that replacing the carbohydrates in a traditional high-carb meal with avocado helps with feelings of satiety. This is because the fat in avocados is part of what helps you stay full longer and can cause you to eat less overall.

The vitamin E in avocados is good for your skin

More recent research is beginning to explore the potential skin benefits of the vitamin E in avocados. A pilot study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that eating one avocado per day for 8 weeks increased skin elasticity and firmness. So, avocados can be a delicious addition to your skincare routine.

Are there any drawbacks to eating avocados?

While avocados have amazing benefits, it’s important to keep the serving size in mind. Unfortunately, it is possible to eat too much avocado. Sticking to fruit every day, will keep calories in check and ensure that avocados don’t contribute to weight gain.

Avocados can also be an expensive addition to your grocery list, due to various factors such as low supply, seasonal changes, farming issues and inflation. Plus, they only stay ripe for 2-3 days before they start to brown. Since most avocados in the supermarket are unripe, you need to keep a close eye on them to make sure you eat them at the right time.

Interesting facts about avocados

Beyond the health benefits, here are some interesting tidbits to consider on your next visit to the produce aisle.

There are hundreds of varieties of avocados

There are hundreds of varieties of this green fruit, according to California Avocados. But you’re probably most familiar with the Hass variety because they make up 95% of the avocados eaten in the United States. Hass avocados are medium in size and oval in shape, with minty green flesh and dark green skin. They are able to grow year round in places like California, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, The Dominican Republic and Colombia.

You may also find Florida avocados on store shelves. This large variety is grown in sunlight, and they are relatively lower in calories and fat than the Hass variety. But they also taste a bit cheaper because of their low fat content.

They are a great substitute for butter

If you’re trying to reduce saturated fat, use avocado instead of butter in baked goods. Their creamy consistency makes them a great stand-in for butter in recipes, and since they have a neutral flavor, you won’t notice a difference in the overall dish’s flavor. Use a 1:1 ratio to swap butter for avocado in any recipe.

How to grow your own avocados

No matter where you live, you can grow an avocado tree in your own home. You can sprout an avocado pit to grow into a houseplant in your own home by submerging it halfway in a cup of water, says Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist Ginger Hultin, dietitian, with- owner of ChampagneNutrition and author of the e-book Meal Prep for Weight Loss 101.

After eating the avocado, set the pit aside and let it dry. Stick 3-4 toothpicks in the pit and suspend it in a glass of water, so that the bottom half of the pit is submerged. Place the glass of water in the sun and the roots will sprout in 2-6 weeks. A stem will appear and the avocado plant will begin to grow. Plant it in a pot with soil and watch your avocado tree grow!

Healthy avocado recipes

Avocados are incredibly versatile, Hultin says. I recommend my clients include them as a healthy fat source and anti-inflammatory food in a variety of ways. Here are some creative ways to incorporate more avocados into your diet:

Simon and Schuster


Baked Eggs with Avocado

Shutterstock


Avocado Cream Pasta with Arugula and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

TODAY

Chipotle Pulled Chicken by Joy Bauer at Avocado Boats

Joy Bauer


Sesame-Lime Watermelon 'Poke' Bowl

Courtesy of Joy Bauer


Leftover Salmon Avocado Tartines

Courtesy of Jake Cohen

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Joey Skladany

More Nutritional Information on Everyday Foods

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