Technically a single-seeded berry, according to the University of California, avocados vary significantly from other fruits in their nutrient content, with the majority of calories coming from fat. Today, 95 percent of avocados consumed in the US are Hass avocados, which originated in California but are mostly grown in Mexico, according to Avocados from Mexico. In fact, the largest Hass producer, located in Mexico, shipped more than 1.7 billion pounds of the fruit to the US in 2017. The California Avocado Commission lists a serving size as 50 grams or one-third of a medium sized avocado.
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According to the California Avocado Commission, a serving of avocado contains 80 calories. If you eat a larger portion, adjust the calorie content accordingly; for example, half of an avocado would have around 120 calories.
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There are about 8 grams of fat in a 50-gram serving of avocado. The fat content is primarily heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, at 5 grams. There is 1 gram each of polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Half an avocado would contain approximately 10 grams total fat, including 7.0 grams monounsaturated and 1.0 grams each polyunsaturated and saturated fat. Avocados are free of trans fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends choosing monounsaturated fats in place of saturated fats as part of a heart-healthy diet. For example, use avocado slices or 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich.
A serving of avocado contains 4 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams of which are fiber, a complex carbohydrate or about 11 percent of your daily recommended intake. Half an avocado provides 6 grams of carbohydrates and 5g fiber. Fiber has many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels, maintaining blood sugar control and promoting digestive health. Avocados contain no sugar.
There is 1 gram protein in a serving of avocado, while half an avocado provides 1.5 grams of protein. Protein is important in the body for building and repairing tissue.
Avocados contain several vitamins. A serving provides up to 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin K, according to the National Institutes of Health, which helps your blood clot, stopping bleeding. It also provides 10 percent of the daily value for folate. Folate helps to produce and maintain new cells, make DNA and RNA, make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia, according to the NIH's Office of Dietary Supplements. It is especially important during pregnancy and infancy. A 50-gram serving of avocado also provides 4 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and 6 percent of your daily vitamin B6. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and plays roles in immune function. The B-complex vitamins play roles in energy metabolism, along with other functions.
A 50-gram serving of avocado provides 4 percent of the daily value for magnesium, a mineral that helps maintain normal heart rhythm and muscle function, according to the Mayo Clinic. Avocados are sodium-free.
Learn more about the latest avocado nutrition research, free resources for health professionals, and recipes at LoveOneToday.com.