All About Avocados

‘Tis the season! Avocados are in and fear of “fat content” is out.

Guacamole isn’t just for Mexican menus any more, the green goodness has popped up everywhere from cantinas to cafeterias. Even the biggest burger chains are offering sliced avocados as topping options. But while picking which is the healthier choice between buttery avocados and bacon, is it the healthy-estoption?

Well, results are in and while the fat content of avocados might be on the high side, but muster up some pretty redeeming qualities with their health benefits.

Healthy Fat?!

One serving of avocado contains about 4.5 grams of fat and 50 calories. Not terribly scary except… a serving is only about 2 or three slices of avocado. An entire avocado could run you about 350 calories. However, as long as you’re sticking with a proper portion you’re getting your daily serving of fat from a great source.

Avocados are one of the few fruits that contain “good” fats – fats that offer benefits to your health. Out of the 4.5 grams of fat that avocados contain, only .5 is saturated fat, fat that can lead to elevated cholesterol levels and the heart problems that come along with that. The rest of the fat content is monounsaturated, fat that actually prevents cholesterol levels from climbing and protects against heart disease.

On top of that, fats like this actually lead you to feel fuller faster, so a couple of slices of these bad boys will help lead to a super satisfying meal.

Brought to You By the Vitamins K, E and…

One thing is for sure, avocados are jam packed with vitamins -- like vitamin K which is actually great for promoting bone strength – great if your diet is dairy-free and you’re looking for calcium-like benefits from other sources. Then you’ve got vitamin C which promotes collagen synthesis – sounds super fancy but C is also great for helping your body absorb Vitamin K.

Besides Vitamins, avocados also are also full of folates – and soon-to-be-mommies, this one’s for you. Folate helps promote healthy cell and tissue growth. A fabulous folate level will help prevent against future issues neural tube defects in the fetus. They’re also packed with potassium which helps promote heart health all around.

It’s easy to heart something that hearts you right back!

Power in the Portion

Clearly, avocados are a great addition to any daily diet so getting a handle on serving size is key. A few ways to work them in to your day is to throw a few slices on a salad or fold them in to a 100 calorie wrap with sliced turkey. But a big, green free-for-all is still pretty easy to come by.

Guacamole might seem like the easiest access to the good stuff, but it’s highly doubtful that the portions you’ll encounter are made with anything less than one whole avocado – and that’s even pushing it. However, avocados do turn quickly once you slice and dice them so it might be easier to just mix up a batch rather than slice a few pieces for one salad. In that case, instead of dipping chip after chip, spread your serving on a fiber cracker (a serving size of mashed avocado is about two tablespoons) and you’ve got a portion controlled snack. Or, check out pre-portioned packets likeWholly Guacamolewhich are 100 calories of goodness, plus no chopping, mashing, mixing or wasting.

Now that’s the good stuff.


Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN

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