Is Avocado Bad for Your Health?

Choosing avocados
A woman picking out avocados in a grocery store. (Image: DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images)

Avocados are often misunderstood. While you might think of them as vegetables, the fact is that an avocado is actually a nutrient-dense fruit. And although they're high in calories and fat that doesn't make them bad for your health. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which promote heart health and basic body functions. When you eat them in moderation, avocados can make a healthy addition to your diet plan.

Significance

Many people, especially those watching their calorie intakes, avoid avocados because of their high calorie and fat content. One cup of cubed avocado contains 240 calories and 22 grams of fat. Compare this to 1 cup of broccoli, which has just 52 calories and .6 grams of fat, or 1 cup of green beans with 44 calories and .3 grams of fat. If you enjoy the sweet, nutty flavor of avocados in your salad but are watching your weight, opt for just a small amount of avocado and load up your salad with plenty of low-calorie veggies and fruits instead.

Fat

Consuming monounsaturated fats, which are found in avocados, in lieu of saturated or trans fats, which are found in animal and dairy products and processed foods, can help lower your cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. Your body needs some fat to help with hormone production, pad your internal organs, keep your hair and skin healthy and absorb certain vitamins. You should aim to consume between 25 and 35 percent of your daily calories from fats, primarily unsaturated varieties. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this is between 55 and 77 grams of fat per day. A serving of avocado fits within these recommendations.

Nutrients

A 1-cup serving of cubed avocado provides a wealth of other nutrients that promote good health. You get 10 grams of fiber, which helps keep digestion running smoothly and may contribute to lower cholesterol, promoting heart health. This size serving of avocado also provides 15 milligrams of vitamin C, 52 micrograms of vitamin K, which is essential to blood clotting, 3 milligrams of vitamin E, 122 micrograms of folate, a B vitamin, which helps with red blood cell production and 728 milligrams of potassium, which is more potassium than a small banana.

Uses

In addition to including avocado in your salads, the creamy texture of avocados works well in green smoothies or dips. Make a classic guacamole with lime juice and garlic and enjoy it with red bell pepper strips and carrot sticks instead of fatty chips. Add sliced avocado to egg white omelets instead of cheese, which contains saturated fat. Use avocado as a substitute for mayonnaise, another source of saturated fat, on sandwiches.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.