Is Avocado Bad on a Diet?

close-up of a sliced avocado on a plate
Cut avocado. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The high fat content of avocados might make you think about forgoing them completely on a diet. Compared to most other fruits, it is true that avocado has a higher fat and calorie content, but this doesn't make it a bad choice on your diet.

The Energy Equation

Young woman slicing an avocado with a knife
Use a 1 ounce serving of avocado. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Energy in versus energy out is the most important factor in any diet. If you want to lose weight, you'll need to be burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis. A 1-ounce serving of avocado -- about one-fifth of a medium-sized fruit -- contains 50 calories. To work out how to fit avocado into your diet, you need to work out how many calories you should be consuming. Do this by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 12 to 13, advises nutritionist Ben Greenfield.

Fight the Fat

close-up of a bowl of dip
Smashed avocado. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The 4.5 grams of fat in a serving of avocado could potentially out you off, especially considering most other fruits and vegetables are virtually fat-free. Don't be so hasty, though -- this fat could be helpful in your diet. The fat in avocados is predominantly monounsaturated -- the kind that's good for your heart. Unsaturated fat also contains oleic acid, which makes your brain think you're full, thus quelling those cravings later in the day.

Fabulous Fiber

Close-up of slices of avocado
Slices of avocado. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Along with all the healthy fats, avocados are rich in fiber, with 1 ounce of avocado serving up a respectable 2 grams of fiber. Like fat and oleic acid, fiber increases satiety, according to the University of California, Los Angeles. Fiber really can be every dieter's best friend, and avocados are a good way to get more of it.

Tasty Recipes

close-up of a bowl of nachos with dip
Guacamole. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Avocados can be part of lots of different diet-friendly dishes. Dietitian Maureen Callahan recommends combining avocados with salsa or a salad, as avocado helps with the absorption of antioxidants in vegetables. Alternatively, a homemade guacamole is a good substitute for fattier dips and sauces, while avocado is actually used in desserts in South America. It may sound a little odd, but a pudding made from avocado, cocoa powder, raw honey and almond milk might just take your fancy and is a far better choice when dieting than regular sugar and fat-laden desserts.

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