Just half of a Florida avocado has over 15 grams of fat, so you might think that this fruit should be avoided at all costs when you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, the opposite is true. Avocados may aid weight loss because they can help you feel more satisfied after meals so you’re less prone to snacking. Avocados are still high in calories, however, so eat them in moderation as part of a healthy, reduced-calorie diet.
Avocado Diet Details
A diet that focuses on a single food is usually a bad idea. Grapefruit, potato, banana — these are all healthy foods in moderation, but they should not be the only food you eat in a day. Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium and vitamin E, avocados are also healthy for you — in moderation. They are high in calories, with one-half a Florida avocado providing 182 calories. If you eat too many of them, you may end up gaining, instead of losing, weight. Also, if you eat only avocados for a period of time, you will miss out on other important nutrients such as calcium and vitamins A and D.
Avocados Won’t Cause Weight Gain
Avocados get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss. A study published in “Nutrition” in January 2005 sought to dispel that myth. Researchers divided 61 overweight volunteers into two groups and put them on identical calorie-restricted diets. The only difference was that one group substituted 200 grams of avocado, with 30 grams of fat, for 30 grams of other mixed dietary fats such as oil and margarine. At the end of six weeks, both groups showed significant weight loss, and the group that ate avocado lost just as much weight as the group that didn’t.
Avocados May Aid Weight Loss
Another study published in “Nutrition Journal” in November 2013 found that people who eat avocado regularly may find it easier to manage their weight. Participants were given one-half of a Hass avocado with their lunch meal, either as part of a standard test meal or in addition to it. The control group did not eat avocado. The results showed that people who ate avocado in addition to their meal reported significantly increased satisfaction and a decreased desire to eat compared to the avocado-inclusive and nonavocado groups.
Fitting the Fruit Into a Healthy Weight-Loss Diet
A healthy weight-loss diet includes all the food groups but fewer calories. To lose a pound a week, you need to cut about 500 calories from your diet each day. Focus on eating nonstarchy vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Substitute avocado for less healthy foods in your diet such as snack foods, sweets and sugary beverages. Top a salad with avocado slices, or make an omelet with avocado and spinach for your morning meal. If you’re tempted to reach for fattening snack foods, slice up an avocado instead.
References and ResourcesUSDA National Nutrient Database: Avocados, Raw, Florida
Nutrition: Substitution of High Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Avocado for Mixed Dietary Fats During an Energy-Restricted Diet: Effects on Weight Loss, Serum Lipids, Fibrinogen, and Vascular Function
Nutrition Journal: A Randomized 3X3 Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass Avocado Intake on Post-Ingestive Satiety, Glucose and Insulin Levels, and Subsequent Energy Intake in Overweight Adults