Are Avocados Fattening?

By | November 16, 2014

As avocados are high in fat, many people perceive them to be fattening fruit that should be avoided. However, the fats in avocados are predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), ie. the “good” fats.

are avocados fattening

Benefits of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)

The consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles, improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood glucose levels.

As a result, MUFA may protect against:
1. coronary heart disease, and
2. metabolic syndrome.

Are Avocados Fattening?

A study was conducted to dispel the myth that avocados are fattening by Potchefstroom Institute of Nutrition at Potchefstroom University in South Africa. 61 free-living, overweight and obese volunteers were paired and randomly assigned to one of two groups. The experimental group consumed 200 g/d of avocado (30.6 g of fat), which substituted for 30 g of other mixed dietary fats such as margarine or oil, and the control group excluded avocado from their energy-restricted diet for 6 weeks.

Both groups lost similar (and significant) body weight, body mass index (BMI) and % of body fat. This study concluded that the consumption of 200 g/d of avocado within an energy-restricted diet does not compromise weight loss when substituted for 30 g of mixed dietary fats.

Therefore, avocados are not more fattening than other dietary fat sources and can even support weight control. In another study, the addition of one half of a Hass avocado at lunch meal increased post ingestive satiety and reduced the desire to eat over a subsequent 3-hour and 5-hour period in an overweight and moderately obese adult population. Several studies also showed that a MUFA-rich diet can prevent abdominal fat accumulation.

Spread & Dip Comparison

Avocados have a rich and creamy texture, making them a great substitute for regular spreads and dips. They are lower in calories and high in nutrients. In fact, the fat content of avocados is lower than that of dietary fat sources such as butter, margarine, sour cream and mayonnaise.

If you are on a reduced calorie diet, use avocados as a healthy spread, dip and salad dressing, and in lieu of other fats (such as butter or margarine) in baking at a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s a comparison of fresh avocado with some popular spreads and dips:

Portion size = 1 ounce (30 g or 2 tablespoons)

Fresh avocado = 50 calories, total fat 4.5 g, saturated fat 1 g
Butter = 200 calories, total fat 24 g, saturated fat 14 g
Sour cream = 120 calories, total fat 12 g, saturated fat 7 g
Margarine = 200 calories, total fat 22 g, saturated fat 5 g
Mayonnaise = 100 calories, total fat 11 g, saturated fat 2 g

Did you know that avocado is good to have as a late night snack? Check out this post  for some healthy avocado snack ideas.

***What’s your favourite way to enjoy avocado? Pls share your recipes, tips and ideas in the comment box below.***

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