The simplistic belief that one gets fat just by eating fat has been long disproven, yet continues to persist. Fats are considered to be the bad guys for those trying to maintain or lose weight, and people tend to steer clear from them. One such food is the avocado. While it is true that avocados are reasonably high in calories, there are quite a few reasons why they may not necessarily make you put on weight, instead, can be highly effective in helping you shed your extra flab.
The Facts About Fats
The belief that eating fat directly makes you fat is a dietary myth. In fact, food groups like refined carbohydrates and processed foods that are so prevalent in the modern diet are far worse offenders than healthy fats.
There are numerous types of fat. A certain kind of fat is produced by your own body from the excess calories that you consume. Dietary fats are those found in foods from animals and plants.
No one can dispute the fact that fat is still high in calories. The more calories you eat, the more weight you will gain. This, however, happens if you’re eating the harmful type of dietary fat – which are mainly saturated and trans fats that are found in junk and processed foods. The healthier type of fats is the unsaturated kind, namely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega 3 fatty acids.
These unsaturated fats are important enough to be part of your diet because:
- They form an essential macronutrient since they are a major source of energy for your body.
- They support a number of functions performed by your body. For example, certain vitamins need fat so they can be dissolved and put to use by your body.
- They can help promote better brain function and can also help improve your mood.
- Fats raise your “good cholesterol” levels and prevent risks of heart disease.
- They lead to stronger bone and muscle development.
- They keep you full for longer, therefore help curb the temptation to overeat. This way they can help you lose weight.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
Avocados are rich in several minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and fiber. Every 100 grams (that makes about half an avocado), contains up to 160 calories. This serving also comes with:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily recommended intake.
- Folate: 20% of the daily recommended intake.
- Vitamin C: 17% of the daily recommended intake.
- Potassium: 14% of the daily recommended intake.
- Vitamin E: 10% of the daily recommended intake.
Avocados also contain a high amount of antioxidants, niacin, riboflavin, copper, manganese, and magnesium. In addition to this, they are low in carbs and a great source of dietary fiber.
What makes avocados unique from other fruits, is their high-fat content – which is about 15% by weight.
Avocados Are A Rich Source Of Heart-Healthy Fats
77% of the calories you get by consuming avocados comes from the fat content of this fruit.
Avocados contain mostly monounsaturated fat, along with a tiny amount of polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat. Most of the monounsaturated fat is oleic acid, the same which is found in olive oil and olives. This is considered to be very healthy for your body, for a number of reasons.
- It helps to bring down your “bad cholesterol” levels.
- It lowers your risk of heart disease.1
- Helps reduce inflammation.
- It helps aid in better blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Improves blood lipid levels.2
- They contain fat-soluble phytosterols that can have a positive impact on heart health.3
Avocado Can Help You Lose Weight Faster
Apart from being rich in essential nutrients, there are more reasons for weight-watchers to count on this fruit.
Avocados, Hunger, And Weight Loss
Avocados help aid in effective nutrient absorption in a meal and this makes a significant contribution to reducing unnecessary hunger pangs that make you eat more calories than you need.
Being hungry is very rarely associated with a real need for food by our bodies. Most of the times, people find it difficult to lose weight because of a number of reasons like:
- Not drinking enough water, which means our bodies are always dehydrated. This results in us mistaking hunger for thirst.
- Emotional stress makes us tend to eat our feelings. Most of the times, we turn to foods loaded with refined carbs and added sugar which are empty calories.
- If you’ve had a meal that’s poor in nutrition, you will feel hungry very soon because that’s your tummy’s way of asking for the nutrients it didn’t receive from your last meal.
- If you’ve skipped a healthy breakfast, you’re more likely to reach out for quick-fixes like donuts and cream puffs, which will satisfy your stomach only for a short while as they get broken down so quickly by your system.
By eating more of wholesome foods like avocados, you are much less likely to feel those annoying hunger pangs so soon, which in turn helps you lose weight naturally. With their high content of monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, you have a food that helps alleviate your hunger and will leave you full and satisfied for a long time.
Because avocado has such a great ability to make nutrient absorption from meals more effective, people actually end up eating far less when they add this fruit to their diet.
Avocados, Weight Loss, And Insulin
Insulin is a powerful hormone that gets rid of excess glucose from your bloodstream. Initially, it starts storing this excess glucose, in small amounts in your muscles and liver, but once those are saturated, it turns to the adipose fat cells around your waistline to deposit this extra fat.
Eating a diet that’s rich in refined carbohydrates leads to a vicious cycle that is very bad for your health and your weight. Carbohydrates are the fastest to process and release a high amount of sugar after they are broken down. This is also stored as fat with the help of insulin. If this storing of fat from carbohydrates continues over a long period of time, you will eventually end up with low blood pressure which will stimulate more hunger pangs. This, in turn, will tempt you to eat more carbs and everything is a downward spiral then onwards.
By loading up on foods like avocado that are high in fiber and healthy fat content but low in carbs, you can be sure of being able to lose weight in a steady, healthy, effective way. You don’t have to keep counting calories as long as you eat healthy, wholesome meals without starving yourself.
But What About Avocados Being High In Calories?
There is no denying that avocados are high in calories since they are so high in fat content. It is true that while many different things can affect your weight loss or weight gain curve, the biggest factor is your daily calorie-intake.
Avocados are relatively high in calorie content and the fact that they’re so delicious can make it quite easy to overdose on them without realizing it. Therefore, if you’re trying to lose weight, the only thing you need to be sure of is sticking to healthy, reasonable portions. One healthy serving of avocado is usually considered to be a quarter, not the entire fruit.
The Bottom Line
Whatever food you include in your diet, be sure you understand it first. This includes doing prior research about the nutrition facts, daily recommended servings, and even consulting with a doctor or a dietitian if need be.
In the case of avocados, you have to remember that these fruits, though rich in nutrients and healthy fats, are high in calories. Therefore, work out the portion size that would work for your body the best before including this fruit in your diet.
Last, but not the least, every food is best when it’s taken in as part of a well-balanced diet. Starving and working out endlessly at the gym will eventually lead to massive health complications in the long run. However, if you stick to eating wholesome meals on time, and work out in a steady, disciplined manner, you will be successful in losing your weight without damaging your body or your mood in any way.
Avocado is not a fruit that will cause fattening. On the contrary, they come packed with a number of health benefits that will make it easier for you to maintain or lose your weight. As long as you eat the right servings and pair it with the right foods, avocado is actually one of the best things you can eat to stay fit and feel great about your health!
|↑1||Schwab, Ursula, Lotte Lauritzen, Tine Tholstrup, Thorhallur I. Haldorsson, Ulf Riserus, Matti Uusitupa, and Wulf Becker. “Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on cardiometabolic risk factors and risk of developing type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: a systematic review.” Food & nutrition research 58 (2014).|
|↑2||Wang, Li, Peter L. Bordi, Jennifer A. Fleming, Alison M. Hill, and Penny M. Kris‐Etherton. “Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial.” Journal of the American Heart Association 4, no. 1 (2015): e001355.|
|↑3||Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53, no. 7 (2013): 738-750.|