4 Healthy Reasons to Eat Avocados
Avocados are not only delicious, they're super satisfying and help keep your body healthy too. You might be wondering about if avocados are healthy, especially if you've heard they are high in fat. And while they are, it's the good kind of fat, plus the nutrition facts of an avocado are pretty impressive all-around.
But avocados' nutrition benefits go beyond their calories. Just in case you need even more encouragement to eat your avocados (c'mon, guacamole isn't reason enough?), here are four healthy reasons avocados are so good for you.
Pictured recipe: Almost Chipotle's Guacamole
Avocado Nutrition Facts
One avocado delivers just over 200 calories and 9 grams of fiber. Chances are, though, you're not eating the whole avocado in one sitting. Here is the nutrition for 1/3 of an avocado (which is technically the serving size):
- 73 calories
- 7 g fat
- 4 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fiber
- 1 g protein
- 220 mg potassium
Help with Weight Loss
Despite the fact that they're higher in calories than most produce, avocados can actually help when it comes to a trimmer waistline. A 2019 study published in Nutrients found that people with normal BMI who had high avocado consumption (more than 1/4 cup of avocado per day) over an 11-year period gained significantly less weight than those who ate less avocado.
People who regularly eat avocado (about a half an avocado daily) are more likely to have smaller waists and weigh less, say researchers who analyzed over 17,000 American diets.
Another study found that eating half an avocado for lunch helped people feel full for up to 5 hours after the meal.
Pictured Recipe: Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp
Keep Your Heart Healthy
If you want to keep your heart healthy, it may be a good idea to regularly work avocados into your diet. A 2015 review paper found that the creamy green food can reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol, two big predictors of heart disease. These heart-healthy benefits are especially effective if avocados are substituted for foods high in saturated fats, like red meat and dairy.
Avocados also do a great job at cleaning out bad cholesterol (LDL) while boosting the good cholesterol (HDL) your body needs, per a 2019 study in the Journal of Nutrition.
The next time you're hankering for a burger, you may want to try topping it with avocado. Researchers found that people who ate half an avocado with their hamburger had less inflammation in their blood vessels compared to people who just ate the burger. Avocados also naturally contain cholesterol blockers that help prevent (bad) LDL cholesterol from being absorbed in your gut.
Related: Foods for Beautiful Skin
Protect Your Skin & Eyes
Avocados are rich in two carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin—which help block the sun's harmful UV rays, protecting your eyes and skin. Just one more reason to eat up.
Boost Nutrient Absorption
Unsaturated fats help unlock powerful nutrients in leafy green salads. In an Ohio State University study, people who ate a salad with avocado greatly increased their carotenoid absorption compared to one without avocado. Similar benefits apply to salsa paired with avocado (ahem: guacamole!). So grab some chips and get dipping!
Avocados are popular because they taste good, but they're also really good for you. From keeping your heart healthy to helping you lose weight, they boast a variety of potential health benefits. For more inspiration, try one of our Healthy Avocado Recipes today.