They call avocados “the magical fruit” (it’s technically a berry!) and who am I to disagree — the avocado, whether sliced, diced or in guacamole form, is freaking delicious. Hell, you can even use them to make really, really good chocolate pudding.
But are they healthy?
Why, yes, yes they are, but of course you knew that already. “The avocado is often referred to as a ‘superfood,’ due to its abundant amounts of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins,” says David Friedman, a clinical nutritionist and author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction. “It’s also one of the best sources of potassium, an essential mineral that helps regulate muscle contractions, maintains healthy nerve function and regulates fluid balance — a mineral that approximately 98 percent of Americans don’t consume enough of.”
There’s something else, though, that avocados have a lot of that we’ve all been afraid of for years, and that’s fat. In a single, medium-sized avocado there might be close to 25 grams of fat, and 250 calories. For comparison’s sake, there’s only 11 grams of fat in a donut — less than half!
But as you might’ve guessed, that’s only part of the story. That’s because the kind of fat in avocados, monounsaturated fat, is considered “healthy,” in that it’s believed to help lower cholesterol, increase weight loss and reduce triglycerides — unlike, of course, the saturated and trans fats in the donut, which do pretty much the opposite.
So given the fact that avocados are high in healthy fat, and generally very good for you, how much avocado can you eat?
“In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee, an independent group of scientists tasked with reviewing existing scientific and medical research on nutrition, recommended there should be no restriction of total fat consumption of healthy fats like avocados, nuts and fish,” says Friedman. “Avocados are chock-full of vital vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fat, which helps benefit the heart, brain, muscles and bones! Make some tasty guacamole, or add an avocado slice to your morning omelet; the options are endless.”
Avocados truly are a magical fruit!