Why Avocados Are Good for Both Weight Loss and Weight Gain

On top of being absolutely delicious, avocados are a good source of nutrients, providing heart healthy fats, fiber, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid and copper. Because of this, you can eat them in moderation as part of a weight-loss diet or add them to your regular diet as a concentrated source of calories to help you gain or even maintain your weight.

Whether you're looking to lose or gain weight, avocado can help you get there. Credit: nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images

Read More: Health Benefits of Avocado Seed

Avocado Nutrition Facts

A serving of avocado is one-third of a medium fruit. That delivers about 80 calories, 1 gram of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat. The majority of an avocado's carbohydrates are fiber — 3 grams or 11 percent of the daily recommended value in one serving — and only 1 gram of a serving's fat consists of saturated fat. That means most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, a.k.a one of the healthy fats you hear so much about.

Read More: Avocado vs. Salmon for Omega-3 Levels

Eating Avocados for Weight Gain

If you're looking to gain weight in a healthy way, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends selecting foods rich in nutrients. The American Academy of Family Physicians defines nutrient-rich foods as those that contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals and are low in sugar, sodium and starch — like fruits and vegetables. In other words, you might think it's all about food quantity when it comes to gaining weight, but really you should be focusing on food quality. So don't just wolf down every high-calorie food you can find: Skip the candy and chips and opt for nutrient-rich foods like avocados instead.

Avocados and Weight Loss

An April 2017 review of studies published in Phytotherapy Research found that avocados have "antidiabetic, anti‐obesity" effects that may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that are linked to obesity and can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Currently, 40 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have metabolic syndrome, one of the most dangerous consequences of expanding waistlines across the nation.

The fiber in avocados also offers weight-loss benefits because eating more fiber helps you feel fuller longer, making you less likely to overeat. A small 2019 study published in Nutrients assessed the satiating effects of avocado in comparison to carbohydrates. The researchers assigned subjects to one of three groups. On three separate occasions, the first (a control group) ate a low-fat, high-carb meal. The other two consumed higher-fat meals: One replaced some of those carbs with a whole avocado, while the other consumed half an avocado. The group that consumed the whole avocado had higher satiety and less desire to consume more food over the next six hours.

Other Considerations

If you want to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn through your daily activity. This means replacing less healthy foods with avocado rather than simply adding it to your regular diet and hoping for the best. To gain weight, you need to do the opposite, adding avocado and other nutrient-rich, high-calorie foods to your meals to increase the total calories you are eating.

Learn more about the latest avocado nutrition research, free resources for health professionals, and recipes at LoveOneToday.com.

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