It’s time to decide once and for all, are avocados good for weight loss? They have certainly become one of the most popular foods in recent years, however there have been many debates on whether they help you with weight loss or cause you to gain weight.
Among many health-conscious individuals, they are referred to as a superfood or the ‘green miracle’, for their super healthy qualities. Once you’ve read this article, you won’t be surprised to hear why!
|Half an avocado (100g)||Calories||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Carbohydrates||Protein||Sodium|
|Source: USDA, FoodData Central, 2019||160g||6.7g||0.7g||15.7g||8.5g||2g||7mg|
Are avocados good for you?
Avocado benefits are many and varied. They are a very unique and delicious fruit, rich in nutrients.
Yes, you heard right, they are technically a fruit, but one of the fattiest ones in existence.
One medium avocado contains approximately 21 grams of fat.
With such high fat content, are avocados healthy? Well, it may sound like a lot to you, but most of the fat comes from monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy kind of fat!
Health benefits of avocados
Studies show that the high-fat content of avocado is effective in preventing obesity, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, hair and skin problems, and many other ailments.
They are also high in fiber and very low in carbohydrates. One whole avocado provides 9 grams of fiber and 2 grams of net carbohydrates.
The high fiber content helps reduce appetite, decrease the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and lower cholesterol levels.
But are avocados good for weight loss?
Some people believe that avocados help them with weight loss, and some fear that the fat in avocados causes them to gain weight. So, are avocados good for weight loss or not?
Don’t worry; the high-fat content doesn’t necessarily mean you will gain weight. Rather, it means that the food will release slowly from your stomach, keeping you full for longer and stopping you from eating more or binging unconsciously during the day.
Studies found that people who consumed avocados regularly gained less weight than those who did not, so they had a lower BMI and lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Those people also tended to follow an overall healthier diet with more fruits, vegetables, fibrous foods, and less added sugar than people who did not eat avocados.
Another study showed that adding an avocado to a meal keeps people satisfied and full six hours afterward. Compared with a control meal, those who had avocado with their meal had higher levels of appetite-suppressing hormones.
This is thanks to those high fat and fiber quantities we’ve been talking about!
Looking at these findings, we can say that there can be a connection between avocados and weight loss, in as much as they are a valuable plant food for appetite control and weight loss.
In the long term, including them in your diet may help you stick to healthy eating habits and prevent you from snacking on empty calories in between meals.
Weight loss friendly avocado recipes
There are many ways to include avocado in your diet. But looking at the benefits mentioned above, the best time to eat avocado is for breakfast or lunch. Here are some delicious and healthy ideas:
Avocado for breakfast:
- Make an avocado toast: mash an avocado in a bowl, combine with your favorite chopped greens like cilantro, parsley, or dill, add a splash of lime or lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on nicely toasted whole-grain bread. You can sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or flaxseeds for an additional vegan protein or top with poached, scrambled, or boiled egg if desired. For more avocado toast ideas, check our favourites.
- Crack an egg into an avocado half with its skin on, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and other desired spices, bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes until the egg whites cook.
- If you don’t have time to cook breakfast, blend a quick and healthy green smoothie like our Avocado Spinach Fitness Smoothie.
Avocado for lunch:
- Add diced avocado to your salads. You can try our Supercharging Avocado Chickpea Salad or Refreshing Avocado Tomato Salad.
- Mash it up with some lime or lemon juice and spices to use as a dip with sliced vegetables like carrots, celery sticks, red bell peppers, or oven-roasted zucchini and eggplant.
How to pick avocados
It’s helpful to know how to pick avocados at the market, so that you can make sure you get the ripest, creamiest ones.
First, check the colour of the avocado’s skin. It should be dark green, almost black, with no brown patches. When you hold it and squeeze gently, it should give a little, but not feel mushy. Feel around the fruit to make sure it doesn’t have any bruises.
Bright green avocados are not ripe yet, but you can still buy them and leave them out at room temperature for four-five days to ripen.
If you want to speed up the ripening process, store your avocados in a sealed bag with a banana or an apple. The ethylene gas released by the other fruit will be trapped in the bag, helping the avocado to ripen quicker!
How to cut an avocado
The next thing to know is how to cut an avocado. The best way to go about it is to slice the fruit in half from top to bottom, twist the two halves around the pit to separate them, then scoop the pit out with a spoon.
How to store avocado
You’re also going to need to know how to store avocados! As mentioned above, unripe avocados need to be stored at room temperature, however ripe avocados should be kept in the fridge.
If you have only eaten half an avocado, sprinkle the other half with lemon juice, wrap it in cling film and pop it back in the fridge. This prevents it from going brown and means that you can enjoy it later.
It is probably best to eat it within the next 24 hours though!
When enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, avocados can add nutritional value to your weight loss journey. They can also help prevent other weight-related health problems in the long run.
But, as with any food, balance and moderation are key, and avocados are best enjoyed as part of a balanced meal plan.