Avocados are the gift that keeps on giving. Smooth, spreadable and subtly flavored, the fruit tastes great and looks stunning, forming the backbone of Instagram accounts across the world. With this in mind, it is little surprise that the last few years have seen an explosion in avocado related experimentation. People have been putting them in smoothies, baking them in brownies and even holding conventions dedicated to their green glory. We are truly living in the age of the avo.
One of the main causes of our current avocado obsession is their supposed health benefits. Bloggers, nutritionists and clean living advocates from all corners of the globe have hammered home the positives of an avocado-based diet. Given that avocados are fruit, are green and grow on trees, it certainly makes sense that they would be good for us.
However, it turns out that the reality is a little more complicated than that. Though avocados are indeed nutrient-rich, they are also high in both fat and calories. Despite being packed with fiber, Vitamin E and potassium, they are also a rich source of monosaturated fat. Though this is technically the “good” kind of fat – clinically proven to help lower cholesterol – it’s still not great for us in high doses. Unfortunately, all this means that we can’t dine off our favourite green treats indefinitely.
The average avocado weighs in with about 25o calories and approximately 21 grams of fat. According to Julie Upton R.D, co-founder of the nutrition website “Appetite for Health”, if you’re following a 2,000 calorie per day diet, you should have no more than 30 grams of any kind of fat in one 24-hour period. Unfortunately for avo-lovers, this means that a single fruit will use up almost all of your fat allocation in a single sitting.
There’s even worse news from Sonya Angelone, registered dietician and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. According to Angelone, avocado servings should be limited to half a fruit a day. This is to ensure that you get a healthy balance of nutrients from a wide variety of ingredients, rather than focusing solely on the avocado.
Though this news is no doubt distressing for the global avocado fan club, this advice is certainly not suggesting that we throw away all our fruit just yet. They may be fatty, but avocados can also play a crucial role in our diets. Angelone says that not only does “the fats in avocados help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins” into the body, but “they can also lower inflammation, lower the insulin rise after meals, and help you feel more satisfied and more likely to eat less at the next meal.”
As with many things, the key to enjoying avocados to their full potential is balance. Too much of a good thing will always end badly. However, as long as you can control yourself around this, most delicious of fruits, you won’t run any risk of adverse effects. Just try to keep yourself to one a day.