Much like kale, avocados are the posterchildren of superfoods. Avocados are so synonymous with superfoods, you may never have asked yourself why. There’s a reason why they haven’t faded away into a passing fad. No, there’s real science behind this tasty and adaptable fruit. This science points to something that packs a nutritional punch that’s tough to match.
All the Healthy Fat You Could Want
Previously, we’ve looked at the age-old assumption that fat is bad for you. We now know that fat can actually be healthy. What does this have to do with avocados? Well, avocados are an incredible source of healthy fats. In fact, one avocado has roughly 22 grams of fat. Of this fat, about 79 percent is healthy fats. The most prevalent healthy fat in avocados, 67 percent, is monounsaturated fatty acid, specifically, oleic acid. Commonly found in olive oil, oleic acid can reduce inflammation and is believed to lower your risk of certain cancers.
We now know that fat can actually be healthy, and avocados are an incredible source of healthy fats.
Avocados are also rich in polyunsaturated fat, accounting for the other 12 percent of healthy fat in avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, while lowering your chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Filling and Help You Lose Weight
Avocados, sometimes called alligator pears, are also helpful for losing weight. For one, avocados are nearly sugar-free, with less than 1 gram of sugar per serving (roughly 1/5 of an avocado). This makes them great for people with diabetes or people looking to lose weight. At the same time, a single serving of avocado is only around 50 calories. When you account for the sheer amount of vitamins and other nutrients that avocados are high in, like protein and fiber, the benefits of eating avocado are clear.
When you account for the sheer amount of nutrients the benefits of eating avocado are clear.
But the healthiness of the food you eat is only fraction of what helps you lose weight and be healthier. Portion size is also a critical factor. Luckily, avocados can help you with this, too. Due to the high fat and fiber content, avocados are effective at making you feel fuller. Fat takes longer to digest than other foods, which makes you feel full for a longer time after eating. The same is true with fiber. This gives avocados a one-two punch of satiety. In one study, people ate avocados with a meal felt 23 percent fuller with a 28 percent lower desire to eat within the next five hours than those who didn’t.
Extremely Healthy for the Heart
Among the other benefits of eating avocados is how healthy they are for your heart. The avocado was even named in CNN’s 10 best foods for your heart due to several factors. Chief among these is the monounsaturated fats that avocados are so packed with. Monounsaturated fats lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, which in turn lowers your chances of heart disease.
The avocado was even named in CNN’s 10 best foods for your heart due to several factors.
Avocados’ abundance of fiber is also healthy for your heart, lowering cholesterol and your blood pressure. Potassium, a mineral that avocados are surprisingly rich in, is another nutrient that is great for heart health. Potassium-rich foods are key the DASH diet, which helps people with high blood pressure. Consider that avocados are also loaded with antioxidants and a variety of heart-healthy vitamins.
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One thing to note before you start eating an avocado a day. Some people who are allergic to latex may have a reaction to avocados as well. This is due to a cross-reactivity between the two, as well as bananas, kiwis, chestnuts, and papayas. If you have an allergy to latex, check with your doctor before eating avocados.
For most people, however, avocados are a near wonder-fruit that fit into a ton of different recipes. With the number of benefits they give you, there’s no wonder avocados are one of the best-known superfoods.