Avocados are applauded for their power-packed nutrition because they offer an abundance of vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy fats. However, some people stray away from this superfood because of its high fat content and its surplus of calories compared to other fruits.
Are avocados useful for managing your weight, or should they be tossed to the restricted foods list? Lets take a closer look at the pros and cons of this beloved superfood.
The Anatomy of an Avocado
What’s inside an avocado? This powerful pitted fruit is loaded with a variety of nutrients that aid with weight management in their respective ways. Avocados:
- Ward-off hunger by promoting satiety
- Improve digestion with 6-7 grams of fiber in half a fruit
- Promote a healthy heart with lots of monounsaturated fats
- Contain about 4% more potassium than bananas
- Are low in carbs and natural sugars compared to most fruits
- Are high in folate which boosts mental health function
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
The main arguments against avocados are their high fat and calorie contents. Half an avocado contains approximately 160 calories, and more than 3/4 of those calories come from fat. However, most fats found in avocados are monounsaturated fats which are considered very healthy. Fats like oleic acid, for example, can decrease inflammation and lower your risk for heart disease.
Moderation and Creativity: Healthy Tips for Adding Avocados to Your Diet
Definitely don’t steer clear of avocados if you’re looking to diversify your plate and boost the nutritional content of the foods you eat. Since avocados are a high-calorie fruit, eat them in moderation but don’t be afraid to add them in. Instead of pairing them with other high-calorie foods like tacos, burritos and chips, try a few of these creative ideas:
- Serve fresh guacamole with raw veggies instead of creamy dips
- Add sliced avocado to salads and soups instead of cheese
- Add sliced avocado and tomato to scrambled eggs
- Blend avocado vs yogurt into your smoothie for a creamy texture
- Use avocados vs mayonnaise in chicken or egg salads, or sandwiches
- Spread avocado on your toast instead of butter
- Season avocados and eat them by themselves
- Stuff avocado halves with herbs and baked eggs
For additional information on avocados, including ways to store them so they don’t turn brown quickly and how to make creative recipes that support your weight management goals, check out the original article from the Obesity Action Coalition’s Weight Matters Magazine.