Updated: Jun 28, 2021
Avocados have become increasingly popular within today's society, whether at the supermarket, in cafes, or incorporated into healthy salads. However, there are many misconceptions about the idea that avocados are primarily 'fats' and are bad for your health. While excess fats such as those found in greasy foods are unhealthy, the fats in avocado include heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
While avocados are composed of 77% fat, this does not mean that they will decrease your health. Instead, the fats found in avocados are oleic acids — a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component of olive oil. This type of fat includes many health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and increased fullness to help with weight loss. As long as avocados are consumed in moderation and not as excess calories, they will help with weight loss.
Avocados are also loaded with plenty of nutrients in a 100g serving, including:
Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
Folate: 20% of the DV
Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
Potassium: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
One of the nutrients, potassium, is often under-consumed in individuals. However, avocados have 14% of the daily recommended content for potassium than bananas, which only contain 10%. A higher potassium intake is linked to several health benefits such as reduced blood pressure, stroke incidence, and kidney failure.
Additionally, avocados are full of fibre, with 7g of fibre per 100g serving, 27% of the daily recommended value. Fibre helps to boost the feeling of fullness and reduce blood sugar spikes. In avocados, 25% of the fibre in avocados is soluble, while 75% is insoluble. Insoluble fibre helps with constipation, and soluble fibre helps to 'feed' the gut healthy microbiome for better digestion.
Eating avocados can also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An elevated level of cholesterol may lead to many health conditions as they are the markers of inflammation. In addition, increased cholesterol may lead to excess fat deposits in the blood vessels and increase heart disease or stroke risk. Thus, avocados may help in this case to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 22%, increase HDL (the good) cholesterol by up to 11%. And reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
Lastly, avocados may improve eyesight. The primary antioxidants found in avocados include carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health. Therefore, eating avocados, in the long run, can contribute towards improving or stable eye health. Studies also indicate that these antioxidants drastically reduced the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, a condition that affects vision, which is more common in older adults.
Avocados are easy and delicious to incorporate into your diet, whether through creating a creamy avocado smoothie bowl, adding it into your salads, sandwiches, or used as a side for Taco Days!