Fork Fed: Avocados

Post by Fork Fed

avocado

If there is just one food item I think you should add to your diet everyday, it’ll definitely be avocados! Creamy, delicious and most importantly super nutritious! There just isn’t one reason I can think of as to why you shouldn’t have this food everyday, except for the fact that if you’re not careful your calories could get out of hand.

When talking about fats to any of my clients I always sense some hesitation in adapting them into their day-to-day eating habits; but not all fats are created equal, after all i’m only pushing for them to have more fruit – but a fatty one this time. Despite being called a fat, some fats can actually make you thinner! Let’s take a look at avocados because I really believe they are one of the supreme fats out there.

Bye-Bye Hunger!
Yes, fats will keep you feeling full for a very long time. Who wouldn’t want to feel full? I certainly do! Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats that keep your heart happy and tummy feeling full. Research has proven that eating just 1/2 an avocado can help keep you feeling full for hours to come; just be sure not to have chips with your avocados and instead aim to have them in a salad to feel fuller for longer.

Hello Waist-Line
We all want to shrink our waist-lines and believe it or not avocados have been proven to help. High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, no wonder this miracle fruit can help us with weight loss. But! It’s not just general weight loss that we’re talking about, research has actually found an association between reduction in belly fat and consumption of avocados. Yes, we can still eat and lose weight. It’s the type of fat in avocados that has been linked to regulating the gene that stores fat in your belly area. It definitely is worth a try, just make sure to swap your avocado for other fats you were eating and not add it to your diet. A swap will help cut down some of the calories.

Nutrient Booster
Not only are they loaded with antioxidants and minerals, but avocados can also help boost the absorption of other vitamins. Adding avocados to other veggies (like your salad) can help you absorb about 3 to 5 times more antioxidants than you would had you chosen to have that salad alone. See some vitamins (A,D,E,K) need fat for better absorption and you can’t go wrong with a fat like an avocado. But, like I said not only does it help you absorb more nutrients but avocados are also loaded with nutrients like vitamins K, C and potassium.

Bad Fat Crusher
Worried about your cholesterol? You shouldn’t be worrying if you’re including healthy fats in your diet like avocados. Avocados are loaded with mono and poly unsaturated fats which boost your heart function by increasing the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the bad kind (LDL). Stronger heart, stronger you!

Control that Sugar Spike!
My favorite benefit of having avocados is the fact that it will limit how much your blood sugar spikes after a meal. There are many times where we have sugary foods and if you don’t pair those sugary treats wisely you could end up with a sugar spike which is always followed by a crash! Ever feel sleepy after indulging in carbs? My solution is to always add a healthy fat to whatever you’re eating, this way you somewhat control your sugar from spiking too high. Avocados on the other hand, are not just healthy fats, they’re loaded with fiber and vitamin K – both have been shown to improve your insulin sensitivity helping control your blood sugar levels.

Before you run and grab your avocados keep in mind that 1/2 an avocado contains 161 kcals, 15g fat, 8.5g carbs (of which 6.7g are fiber) and 2g protein. If you choose to substitute your oils with avocado oil (which I think is a great idea) then 1 tablespoon contains 124 kcals and 14g fat – you do lose the fiber and protein if you choose to have the oil. With this in mind, baby steps are all it takes to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you can do it!

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

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18 comments, add your own...


  1. cajie says:

    Avocados are stupid. I have lost too much money on Avocados.
    There seems to be about 15-minute time frame in their life that they are perfect. If you cut them before these 15 minutes, they are raw. After 15 minutes, they are spoiled.

  2. SV says:

    I buy avocados and sometimes when I cut them open, I find those dark stringy fibre of sorts running through it, which kind of puts me off. Am I cutting them up at when it;s too ripe?

    • Fork Fed says:

      Hello SV,

      Those dark stringy fibers could be an indication that the avocado came from a younger tree or have not been stored properly. I just remove the brown parts from my avocado. If I find that it has too many brown stringy fibers then I usually throw it out. I hope this helps.

  3. Mos says:

    Key component of the Banting diet for reasons mentioned in your post.

  4. Mark says:

    looks like i’m going to be getting some avocado today

  5. Dr. Akram Alhussainy says:

    Dear Readers,

    Avocados Although are great in every either way. It is vital you check with your doctors about its inclusion in your diet. There are cases where we forbid patients from consuming even 1/2 of an avocado, Kindly consult your doctor before following any nutritionist advice blindly!

    People with IBS and gastrointestinal issues following a FODMAP diet – Avoid avocados at all costs, perhaps 1/4 of an avocado is permissible but highly not advisable.

    People living with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) or renal abnormalities – Avoid Avocado at all costs, especially if you suffer from Hyperkalemia (High serum potassium above 5.5), as these are rich in potassium and could create cardiac complications. Avocados are worst than bananas and coconut for these patients.

    However a thank you to Hyatt for her attempt to enlighten us with benefits of nutritional approaches. Good luck all!

    • Mark says:

      Not sure why you’re trying to freak people out. Of course there are cases where patients are forbidden from consuming certain food. Vast majority of the readers won’t have issues consuming avocado, bananas, coconuts or whatever. If they do have allergies or whatever I’m sure they’re aware of it.

      • Dr. Akram Alhussainy says:

        Dear Mark,

        Allergies are not an issue here Mark.

        Many patients in our emergency wards suffering from even a slight stage 2 CKD, or thyroid problems will have serum pottasium monitored extensively.

        A single avocado, is roughly 230 grams, can pack as much as 1300 mg of pottasium.

        Keep in mind, most of gastro IBS, CKD and thyroid (Addisonian crisis) patients are limited to 1500mg DAILY. their bodies cannot clear the pottsium quickly, and we forbid all spinach/banana/cabbage/potatoes from their diets. We encourage most of their potassium intake to be from lean meats instead.

        If they go into hyperkalemia, and their high potassium levels triggers cardiac arrhythmias, and worst case scenario we have cardiac arrests in our ER rooms.

        I advise anyone here suffering from the following:
        1- Thyroid problems (Addisons disease)
        2- CKD (Stages 2-5)
        3- Chronic Hepatitis
        4- Renal impairment (or abnormalities)
        5- Cardiac issues (Arrhythmias/Mobitz 1 & 2 etc..)
        6- Autonomous CNS disorders
        7- IBS and CD (Gastro)

        To abstain from having avocados/coconuts/potatoes/cabbage/eggplants and bananas, to limit daily potassium intake to 1500mg maximum, and to please consult your GP to have your diets adjusted.

        A disclaimer and warning should be placed beneath any of these nutrition advises, so that you won’t be held liable for not informing them.

    • Fork Fed says:

      Dear Dr. Akram,

      Thank you for your valuable information. Firstly, I would like to mention that my posts are aimed for the general public and not for any individual with special conditions. I also would like to share that I am not a nutritionist, but a clinical dietitian – therefore I have had extensive clinical experience in the public and private sectors, and would know better than to address nutritional advise for CKD patients online.

      Thank you for your information once again.

      • Dr. Akram Alhussainy says:

        It’s a great post Mr Fork Fed,

        I am an avid lover of avocados. I buy them young and let them ripe slowly and I even mash them into dipping sauces.

        I was brought here through a patient of mine, a young body builder that have unfortunately succumbed to CKD in its earliest stages, and we noticed that his excessive intake of 2 avocados per day brought him to our ER with heart palpitations that lasted 6 hours.

        He was reading this post to me during my off hours rotation at the ER wards.

        I only ask you to add a disclaimer/warning saying that only persons deemed fit and healthy should follow this advice, and people living with chronic or health issues must consult their GP before following the advise. Thank you for your great work!

  6. Thanks Hyatt and Dr. Akram for the valuable info.

    Avo’s are great and another one of those foods that I feel have recently invaded our shelves despite the long time existence.


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