The avocado has seen a resurgence in the last few years, and rightfully so. Packed with healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins, this unique, nutrient-rich fruit offers plenty of health benefits.
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One of the most common questions people have about avocados is how many calories they contain. After all, even though they’re packed with nutrients, avocados are still a high-fat food.
How Many Calories in a Whole Avocado
A single medium-sized avocado contains around 320 calories. While that may seem like a lot, it’s important to remember that most of those calories come from healthy fats. Also, the calories in avocado will vary depending on its size. A small avocado could have as few as 240 calories, while a large one could have over 400.
Serving calories is probably a better way to think about it than thinking about how many calories are in an avocado. The serving size could be one-fifth or one-third of a medium avocado, around 64 or 107 calories, respectively. Ultimately, it’s your decision how much fruit you want to include in your diet.
It’s certainly not all about the calories, though. Avocados are considered superfoods because of their impressive nutrient density. So now you know how many calories an avocado has, how about exploring its nutritional benefits in a little more detail?
Avocado Nutrition Facts
Avocados can be a great addition to a healthy daily diet. Avocado nutrition information shows that they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals; avocados are also a good source of fiber and contain monounsaturated fats, considered healthy fats.
Nutritional Information for a medium-sized whole avocado:
- 13g carbohydrate
- 3g protein
- 19g monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat
- 3g saturated fat
- 10g fiber
- 11mg sodium
For years, fat has been demonized as a dietary villain, responsible for everything from weight gain to heart disease. However, the narrative has changed, and research has shown that not all fat is created equal. Some types of fat are actually good for you.
Avocado is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raise HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. This can help to improve your heart health and provide a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic conditions.
Rich in Fiber
Avocados are an excellent source of fiber. Just one medium avocado contains 10 grams of fiber, nearly half of the recommended daily intake for women and a third for men.
This translates as avocado being an excellent food source for your digestive system, promoting gut health and keeping you regular.
Full of Vitamins and Minerals
Avocado is chock-full of vitamins and minerals; these include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- B vitamins, such as B6, niacin, and riboflavin.
In addition, avocados contain carotenoid antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are essential for maintaining healthy eyes.
Avocado Seed Extract
If you’ve tried avocado, don’t like the taste but would still like to benefit from some of its healthy nutrients, you could try its seed extract. This is a more concentrated form of the fruit and is available in capsule or powder form.
Avocado oil is another option that has many culinary and cosmetic uses. It’s rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can help to moisturize and nourish your skin. It’s also great for cooking as it has a high smoke point, meaning it won’t burn easily.
Some Background on the Avocado Tree
The humble avocado has a long and interesting history. It’s thought to have originated in South Central Mexico, where the Aztecs first cultivated it over 5,000 years ago.
From there, the avocado made its way to other parts of Central and South America, quickly becoming a staple food. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the avocado made its way to Europe and was even given the name the ‘alligator pear’ because of its green, scaly skin, though for marketing reasons, this name was dropped!
Nowadays, avocados are grown in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, with California, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil being some of the largest producers. Hass avocados are the most popular variety of Avocados eaten in the USA and are named after Rudolph Hass, who first cultivated and patented them in the 1930s.
If you are one of those rare individuals who have never had the pleasure of eating avocados, they are a green fruit or, to be more precise, a berry that has a smooth, creamy texture if ripe. When it comes to taste, some say it is bland, while others say it has a nutty flavor.
Some Quick and Tasty Avocado Recipes
Aside from its many nutritional benefits, it’s an incredibly versatile fruit. You can eat avocados in various ways, the most popular being the famous Mexican dish guacamole, but not forgetting Avocado toast. It can be added to a tuna salad and served with scrambled eggs; there is no end of healthy options to eat avocado, with plenty of recipes to check out online.
Avocados, when refrigerated, also have a fairly long shelf life.
Here are a couple of fast and easy avocado recipes:
Avocado toast – who needs butter when you have avocado?
1/2 an avocado, one piece of whole wheat bread, one tomato, salt, and pepper
- Start by toasting the bread.
- Remove the pit and skin from the avocado after cutting it in half lengthwise.
- Mash it with a fork or use a blender.
- Spread the mashed avocado on the toast.
- Slice the tomato and add it on top of the toast.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Avocado smoothie – a delicious and healthy smoothie recipe
1/2 an avocado, one banana, 1 cup almond milk, one tablespoon honey, one teaspoon vanilla extract
- Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
The Bottom Line
Amongst all the foods that are classed as superfoods, avocado should undoubtedly be at the top of the list. While it’s not food to gorge on with its high-fat content, it packs a mighty nutritional punch. It is also an amazingly versatile fruit used in sweet or savory dishes.
Are avocados a good option for those trying to lose weight?
Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help promote weight loss by increasing diet quality and reducing hunger. In addition, avocados are a good source of fiber, which can also help to promote weight loss by keeping you feeling full and satisfied after meals.
While avocado consumption is considered healthy, it’s also important to remember that it is relatively high in fat content. As such, be sure to limit your serving size. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of avocados without sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.
Is avocado low-glycemic?
Yes, Avocados are considered a low-glycemic food, which means they are unlikely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of an avocado is around 15, making it an excellent option for those on a low-glycemic diet.
What are the calories for half an avocado?
A medium-sized avocado half contains around 160 calories. This makes it a great option if you’re looking for a snack that will fill you up without providing too many calories.
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