Can Avocados Help You Lose Weight? Here’s Why Eating Fat Doesn’t Always Make You Fat
With the inevitable comeback of the keto diet, more people are embracing the power of fat as part of weight loss. But fat hasn’t always had a good reputation. Not too long ago, low-fat diets were the norm. Fat was bad. Period.
Now, experts are starting to wonder if added sugars and other highly processed ingredients are to blame for widespread weight gain. Today, we understand fat at a much deeper level than we used to. There isn’t just one type of fat. And just because a food contains fat doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong in your diet.
Not all fatty foods cause weight gain — if you eat them in acceptable amounts, that is. Here’s why scientists were so wrong about fat for so many years, and how you can use your favorite fruit as a possible weight loss advantage.
Does eating fat make you fat? It depends
For a long time, health experts were certain fat was to blame for conditions such as obesity and heart disease. It turns out certain sugars are much more harmful than most fats — and that choosing your fats wisely could actually turn out in your favor.
Research has shown that low-fat diets don’t work — probably because most people replace high-fat foods with refined grains, which aren’t very nutritious. One of the healthiest diets you can follow, the Mediterranean diet, actually encourages the consumption of “healthy” fats. And there’s a good reason why.
Foods that contain these fats — such as fish, nuts, and avocados — are also high in nutrients such as protein and fiber, respectively.
Therefore, just because a food is considered “high-fat” doesn’t mean it can’t be good for you. In fact, eating more of these foods might even help you lose weight.
Avocado benefits for weight loss
Weight loss is too complicated and dependent on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances to say something is definitely going to help the masses shed pounds. But the components of an avocado support the claim that, as long as it’s used as one part of an overall healthy diet, the fruit can promote weight loss in some people.
One-third of an avocado (one serving — not the whole avocado! — contains about 7 grams of fiber. On average, most people need about 25 grams a day, but don’t get nearly that much. A portion of a whole avocado isn’t that much, and it’s packed with one of the best nutrients for weight loss.
Additionally, as long as you’re eating an avocado in place of something high in sugar or saturated fat — and not just adding on to it — you’re almost cutting back on your intake of potentially harmful ingredients without even trying. Because it’s so creamy, many people barely even notice it’s a fruit.
You still have to be cautious, though. There’s no such thing as an “avocado-only” diet guaranteed to boost weight loss quickly. The term “superfood” really doesn’t mean anything. Sorry to disappoint you.
Can you eat an avocado every day?
Avocados are good for you — especially compared to alternative condiments and spreads such as mayonnaise, jelly, and cream cheese. But there’s really no reason to eat more of something simply because it has health benefits.
This is the same false belief that drives people to over-use coconut oil in cooking and baking. A small amount of something good is great. Doubling your consumption of something good could eventually turn it into something bad. More is not always better.
A whole medium-sized avocado contains over 300 calories. While you could technically spend those calories on a daily avocado split into different meals or snacks, those calories can add up — especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
You can also weigh the cost of purchasing an average of seven avocados per week, both financially and in terms of time. As you likely already know, avocados don’t stay ripe for long. Once they’re ready, it’s almost already too late. If you think it’s worth returning to the store multiple times a week for fresh fruit, go for it.
Eating an avocado a day won’t necessarily benefit your health in any special way. But “spending” a few hundred calories on an avocado is a lot better than wasting them on empty calories that don’t benefit you at all.