Avocado as part of a hypocaloric diet supports weight loss, decreases Body Mass Index, improves body composition, and helps the body burn belly fat. Despite its high calorie content, even eating one and a half avocado a day won’t make you fat. Actually, avocado consumers are 33% less likely to be overweight.
Avocado can make you gain weight due to its high calorie content!
Avocado can make you fat, as it’s pretty high in calories. It has 160 calories per 100g. A California avocado (135 g) has approximately 230 calories. Fuerte and Hass are the most common varieties. A Florida avocado (300g) has 365 calories!
Therefore, you shouldn’t consume too much avocado, if you want to lose weight. We should be in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. However, eating avocado in moderation can actually help us lose weight.
Healthy fats in avocado help us lose weight
We have to consume moderate amounts of healthy fats for good health. Low/moderate-fat diets help us lose weight and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. So, avocado can be a key part of a healthy, well-balanced diet for weight control.
Actually, avocado is pretty high in fat. About 85% of its calories come from fat. But, avocado has the “good type of fat”.
Avocado is mainly monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Avocado contains almost 10g of monounsaturated fat per 100g. On the contrary, avocado has only 2.1 g of the “bad” saturated fat.
The American Health Association suggest replacing foods high in saturated fats with foods containing monounsaturated or polyunsaturate fats. We shouldn’t consume more than 13 g of saturated fat a day. The main source of saturated fat is animals products, such as meat and dairy.
Moreover, monounsaturated fat in avocado is good for weight loss! Actually, it helps the body burn more fat for energy, as it’s involved in energy metabolism. Also, monounsaturated fat in avocado reduces appetite, and increase insulin sensitivity.[4,5]
Hence, it’s probably better to follow moderate-fat diets, containing healthy fats from seeds, nuts, avocado, or olive oil, than restricting the total fat intake.
Last, but not least, a diet rich in monosaturated fat seems to protect against abdominal fat accumulation, due to the regulation of certain fat genes. In other words, eating avocado, which is 85% monosaturated fat, helps us burn belly fat!
Avocado regulates appetite, as it’s rich in fiber!
Additionally, avocado helps us lose weight and improve body composition, as it’s high in fiber. A whole California-type avocado has 9.2 g of fiber, which is 33% of the DV.
Foods rich in fiber are filling. Fiber expands in the stomach and delays digestion, keeping us full for a long time. You can eat many foods rich in fiber for weight loss. Most popular fruits such as apples and bananas are particularly high in fiber.
Moreover, avocado promotes satiety, due to its high water content. Avocado is 73% water.
Also, avocado is rich in chromium. This trace element seems to promote weight loss and reduce cravings for fattening foods!
Scientists tried to evaluate the effect of avocado intake on satiety. They found that just one half of a Hass avocado at a lunch meal can influence satiety for up to 5 hours. Overweight people who ate avocado increased satisfaction by 26% and decreased the desire to eat up to 40%.
Avocados have a pretty low glycemic index
Furthermore, avocado won’t spike blood sugar. The glycemic index of avocado is zero. Avocado consists mainly of healthy fat and protein. Avocado has negligible amounts of sugars. Consuming avocado lowers the total glycemic load of a meal.
Foods with low glycemic index are good for weight control. They tend to be more filling, prevent overeating, and reduce insulin secretion.
Vitamin E in avocado helps you lose weight
Additionally, avocados are an excellent dietary source of vitamin E. It has 2.1 mg of vitamin E per 100g, or 14% of the Daily Value (DV).
Vitamin E is good for weight loss. It decreases insulin resistance, and inhibits inflammation in the fat tissue.
Vitamin K in avocado burns belly fat
Also, avocado is a good source of vitamin K. It contains 21 mcg of vitamin K per 100g, or 17% of the DV.
Adequate amounts of vitamin K significantly affect fat and glucose metabolism. Additionally, it seems to influence body weight and body composition. Above all, vitamin K reduces the dangerous abdominal and visceral fat.
Carotenoids in avocado controls body weight
Carotenoids play a key role in body fat metabolism, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and inflammation. They help us control body weight and may affect body composition.
Avocado is rich in carotenoids. It has 62 mcg beta-carotene, 24 mcg alpha-carotene, 271 mcg lutein and zeaxanthin per 100g! In fact, California Hass avocados have the highest content of lutein among commonly eaten fruits!
The dark green flesh close to peel has the highest carotenoid concentrations. So, it’s vital to peel avocados as thinly and as close to the skin as possible.
Avocado is among the richest common foods in phytosterols!
Phytosterols are plant sterols structurally similar to cholesterol. Above all, they lower cholesterol absorption, causing the reduction of blood LDL-cholesterol levels. Increasing the intake of phytosterols is an easy way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Furthermore, according to a 2018 study, consuming foods rich in phytosterols is beneficial for lower blood pressure, Body Weight Index (BMI), and waist circumference. Phytosterols seem to help the body burn more belly fat, and also decrease the risk of obesity!
Avocado is the richest common fruit in phytosterols! It has about 26 mg of phytosterols per 30g. Practically, one half avocado has approximately 57 mg of phytosterols. Other fruits contain about 3 mg of phytosterols per serving! Hence, avocados contain up to 20 times more phytosterols than other common fruits.
So, are avocados good for weight loss?
It seems that eating avocado in moderation is good for weight loss. Many studies have been conducted about the beneficial effects of avocado for losing weight.
For instance, a study showed that avocado can be part of a weight loss diet plan. Even eating one and a half avocado (200g) a day won’t make you fat. Especially if you substitute avocado for other “less healthy” fats, coming from oils or margarine! In fact, avocado can be a great addition to an energy-restricted diet.
Furthermore, another 2019 study showed that a daily consumption of a whole Hass avocado as part of a hypocaloric diet supports weight loss, decreases Body Mass Index, decreases total body fat percentage, and above all, decreases the dangerous visceral adipose tissue.
Another 2020 study showed that avocado consumers are less likely to be overweight, and also they have a decreased risk of elevated waist circumference! Actually, avocado consumers are 33% less likely to be overweight, and 32% less likely to have an elevated waist circumference compared to people who don’t eat avocados.
Researchers believe that consuming avocado helps people lose weight because it’s a super filling food. Also, people who regularly consume avocado tend to follow healthy, well-balanced diets.
Last, but not least, avocado is a good source of omega-3s.
How much avocado can I eat a day to lose weight?
As a rule of thumb, eat half an avocado, preferably at lunch. Try not to eat more than 200 g of avocado a day. This amount has 320 calories. That’s about one and a half Hass avocado.
When should I eat avocado to lose weight?
The best time to eat avocado for weight loss is at lunch or brunch.
Prefer to add avocado on salads. Avocado can increase the bioavailability of carotenoids multifold! Greens are also excellent sources of carotenoids.
Monounsaturated fat in avocado also enhances the absorption of lutein and alpha-carotene compared to saturated fat!
Furthermore, as avocado is keto-friendly, it’s a key ingredient for many keto smoothies.