Avocado Nutrition Facts

Calories in Avocados and Their Health Benefits

avocado calories
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Some nutrition experts call the avocado a super food. This flavorful fruit provides health benefits when you add it to your favorite dishes. But when you look at avocado nutrition, you might be surprised. The calories in avocados and the fat content is high.

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Avocado Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 avocado (201 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 322 
Calories from Fat261
Total Fat 29g44%
Saturated Fat 4.3g21%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.7g 
Monounsaturated Fat 20g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 14mg0%
Potassium 975mg27%
Carbohydrates 17g5%
Dietary Fiber 13g52%
Sugars 1.3g 
Protein 4g 
Vitamin A 5% · Vitamin C 33%
Calcium 2% · Iron 6%
Vitamin D 0% · Vitamin B-6 25%
Vitamin B-12 0% · Magnesium 14%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

The number of calories in an avocado will depend on its size. The avocado nutrition facts listed on the label are for 1 cup of sliced avocado, but many avocados are larger.

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, there are 322 calories in a slightly larger (201 gram) avocado. The bigger fruit provides about 30 grams of fat, 4.2 grams of saturated fat, almost 20 grams of monounsaturated fat, 3.6 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 13.5 grams of fiber.

But you probably wouldn’t eat an entire avocado in a single sitting. So it's more helpful to look at avocado calories per tablespoon to see how your avocado calories add up.

Avocado Calories per Tablespoon

If you spread a thin layer of avocado on your diet-friendly sandwich or add a small amount to your healthy taco as guacamole, you are probably consuming roughly 30 grams or 2 tablespoons of fruit. There are 25 calories per tablespoon of guacamole, so you'd be adding roughly 50 calories to your meal.

That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's not, as long as that's all the guacamole you add. The problem is that most of us add more. Plus, some brands of guacamole may contain other ingredients, like a dash of sugar.

Generally speaking, a single serving of two tablespoons of guacamole contains 50 calories, 4.5 grams of fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 240 mg of sodium, and 3 grams of carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.

As long as you're mindful of portion size, it can be a heart-healthy addition to your meal.

Adding your avocado calories per tablespoon can get tricky, because how often do you use a tablespoon to measure the fruit? Most of us just slice a wedge or divide the avocado into quarters to get the portion we want. If you eat one-fifth of an avocado—that's a little less than a quarter of the fruit—you'll be consuming roughly 2 tablespoons of avocado or 50 calories.

Health Benefits of Avocados

Even if you eat more avocado than you should, you are still providing your body with health benefits. Avocados are high in fat, but they are not high in saturated fat. Instead, they provide a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat, considered a "good" fat. Monounsaturated fat or MUFAs come from plant sources and may be helpful in lowering your LDL or "bad" cholesterol. For this reason, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you choose foods with monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fat.

Avocados also provide fiber. Eating foods with fiber can help you to feel fuller and more satisfied. Weight loss experts generally recommend that dieters consume foods with fiber to help them eat less and create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

 Avocados are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.

Low Glycemic Index Avocados and Diabetes Diet Plans

Although avocados have carbohydrates, they are very low on the glycemic index, rating less than 15, and won't spike your blood sugar. The glycemic index has a scale from 1 to 100, with high numbers indicating foods that raise your blood sugar faster. Avocados are a good choice when you have diabetes, especially if replacing higher-glycemic foods. They can add variety to your diabetes meal plan, or make a quick snack as a dip for celery, carrots, or other vegetables.

The American Diabetes Association recommends replacing dairy with avocado for morning smoothies, using it on whole grain toast as a cholesterol-free spread, in salads, and to create sauces for dinner entrees.

Avocados and Weight Loss 

Since avocados are high in calories should you ditch them from your diet? If you love them, then don't. You can keep this creamy food in your diet, but you need to be careful about how much you eat.

You can use avocados instead of other spreads or toppings that provide less healthy fats, like butter or margarine that may contain saturated fats or trans fat. As long as you keep your avocado calories in control and eat just a tablespoon of avocado (or even slightly more), you'll be doing your diet a favor.

Picking and Storing Avocados

The Hass Avocado Board recommends that you use both color and feel to find the best fruit. First, choose an avocado with a dark but consistent color. Take it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it. If it yields slightly, it is ripe and ready to use.

You can store ripe, uncut avocados in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To ripen an avocado quickly place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for 2-3 days.

If you eat your avocado just a tablespoon at a time and you hate to waste food, use smart storage tips to keep your avocados fresh. Many cooks add lime or lemon juice to their fruit so that they can eat just a small amount and save the rest for later. You can also freeze an avocado, but many cooks say that it changes the texture of the fruit.

How to Cut and Peel an Avocado

  • Start at the top of the avocado and slice it lengthwise from the top to the bottom. Then twist it to pull the two halves apart.
  • To remove the pit, stick the knife into it and twist it out, then discard it. This should result in two halves with the meat of the avocado unmangled.
  • Score the avocado in rows, up and down and then side to side to make a grid. Now you can scoop out these cubes with a spoon and discard the peel.
  • Your avocado cubes are now ready to use.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Avocados and Avocado Recipes

Sliced avocado is a great addition to a healthy sandwich or wrap. It provides a creamy texture and allows you to eliminate the butter or mayo. Many people also add avocado to an omelet or on the side of scrambled eggs. Try these avocado recipes to include the fruit in more of your meals.

A Word From Verywell

Avocados can be part of a healthy diet. While they have fat and calories, they are a good substitute for spreads and dips that use mayonnaise or other ingredients that have a less healthy fat profile. Watch your portion sizes and enjoy avocado when appropriate.

Sources:

Avocados: delicious and nutritious. American Diabetes Association. Web. 2016.

Choose healthyfats. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Web. 2016.

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