Avocados are known as being high in fats but does that mean they are fattening to eat? In fact, 77% of the total calories of an avo comes from fats!
It can be confusing to know if these delicious products are going to help your weight loss journey or hinder it.
Should you include them in a weight loss eating plan or leave them until you have reached your goal weight?
The Health Benefits of Avocados
Before we go any further, avocados are so full of goodness and that has to be taken into any consideration.
An avocado contains these essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients:
Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A.
As well as:
2 grams of Protein
15 grams of Fats
9 grams of Carbohydrates, 7 grams of which is Fiber
Depending on the size of it (and what you add to it!) an avo will usually come in somewhere around 300 calories. Two pieces of chocolate can be around 300 calories too but it is obvious which has the most vitamins, minerals and nutrients. (If you work in kilo joules and not calories, just multiply by 4 to get an approximate kilo joule count.)
High Fat Content
Yes, avos are high in fat but they are the good fats that our bodies need for essential health. To put it into perspective, bad fats are the kind you get from fast foods and fried foods. The fats that occur in nature are always going to be good fats. Nature doesn’t get that wrong. Nature provides for us on our health or weight loss journey. The bad fats can quickly lead to health issues such as the risk of cardiovacular disease, high blood pressure, skin breakouts or even heart attacks.
So what do good fats actually do in our bodies? First up, they provide energy. The 300 or so calories provided by an avocado can give you the energy for exercise or just going about your day – even doing nothing actually uses energy! They also help you to absorb the other nutrients in avos such as the A and K vitamins. Most essentially, good fats are needed to give your cells structure and to keep cells healthy. Without healthy cells, you can’t build a healthy body.
How to Eat Avocados for Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, eating avos as well as all other fruits and vegetables as close to their original form as possible is important. For example, an avo simply eaten with a splash of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and salt and pepper, will still look like an avocado and still be close to around 300 calories.
However, if you start adding mayonnaise, shrimps or putting it onto buttered toast, well then it is no longer 300 calories and may not even look like avo anymore. This is where avocados might go onto the list of foods that hinder weight loss when they could be on the list of foods that help your health and help you lose weight.
Another healthy and better weight loss option if you prefer not to eat avocados on their own is to dice or slice them into a salad with other fresh salad vegetables.
I am really not much of a cook (though I LOVE to eat!) but I came across this avocado salad that is delicious and so easy to make.
- 3 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1 cup corn, or kernels cut from 2 ears
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Tamari soy sauce
- 4 large leaves of Bibb lettuce
Cook the brown rice according to directions. Mash the sliced avocado into the rice. Add corn, onion, and almonds. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, and Tamari soy sauce and pour over the salad. Toss and refrigerate. Serve chilled over lettuce. Serves 4.
Calories: 349; Fat: 13 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 72 mg; Potassium: 495 mg; Carbs: 54 g; Fiber: 8.3 g; Protein: 8.2 g.
What’s the Verdict?
Avocados are high in (good) fats and are higher than many other fruits and vegetables in calories. Per 100 grams, this is how they stack up against a few other every day produce:
Bananas – 89
Tomato – 18
Potato – 77
Avocado – 160
At a quick glance, it may seem that avocados could be dangerous for anyone who wants to lose weight. But, taken into an overall healthy diet, they contribute essential nutrients and are a much better choice than many other products. Let’s have a quick look at 100 grams of common foods that are not fruit or veg:
Slice of bread – 265
An egg – 155
Cheese – 402
Slice of chocolate cake – 371
When you look at it that way, eating an avocado stacks up well against having a slice of bread or worse, a piece of cheese. Whilst I definitely do not advocate calorie counting as a strategy for weight loss, the use of calories in this post is purely for illustration and comparison. To put things into perspective.
And if you are counting calories, please also count nutrition because all calories are NOT equal!
So Are Avocados Fattening?
I am an avocado lover and always have been. I also love produce that comes from Nature over man-made products. It is not the avo itself that is or isn’t fattening, it is how it is eaten and more accurately, what else it is eaten with. The weight loss journey should really never be just about what is fattening or not, but more about what is healthy or not. When food is high in calories but has essential nutrients for good health, I can’t say that it is fattening. I say enjoy it in a simple way, guilt free and as part of a diet filled with other wonderful produce from Nature. That is the fastest way to achieving weight loss AND good health.
For more help on your health or weight loss journey, Contact Me any time. I love to help people achieve a high energy life through good nutrition.