How Many Calories Are in an Avocado?
Technically classified as a fruit, avocados are really more of a plant-based fat. There are 225 calories in one medium, whole avocado – but that’s only the beginning when it comes to this nutritional powerhouse. While they’re not exactly low-cal, rest assured, avocado lovers; these creamy little indulgences are considered a nutrient-dense superfood, packing in plenty of vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fats.
What are the health benefits of avocados?
Avocados are a healthy addition to your diet, as they offer many health benefits.
- Avocados contain an impressive amount of potassium. Half an avocado has nearly 500 milligrams of potassium, more than you’ll get in a medium banana.
- They’re loaded with fiber, which is good for heart and gut health. Half an avocado has 7 grams of fiber – about 25% of your daily recommended intake – and just 8.5 grams of carbs, with nearly all of those carbs being fiber rich.
- Avocados are rich in heart-smart fats. Oleic acid – the same type of monounsaturated fat in olive oil – is the main source of fat; it has been shown to help improve inflammation. Consumption of these “good fats” are also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and less belly fat. It also helps keep you satisfied and satiated between meals.
- They promote eye health. Avocados are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce one’s risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Avocados contain bone-building vitamin K as well as folate. Folate is especially important if you’re expecting or want to be pregnant soon.
- They’re also naturally sugar-, cholesterol- and sodium-free. Bonus!
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How can I get more avocado in my diet?
Looking to enjoy avocados outside your avocado toast and guacamole? You can eat them all sorts of fun ways – while sticking to a reasonable portion size, of course. (The recommended serving size is one-third of the fruit, according to the California Avocado Commission and the FDA.) Here are some creative ways to enjoy avocados.
- Chocolate avocado pudding
- Avocado mocktails. (This Cilantro-Avocado Mockgarita may provide inspiration.)
- Jazz up salads, sandwiches and wraps
- As a topping on soups and omelets
- Salsa. We love it in a salsa of mango, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt.
- Smoothies. Our favorite: avocado, banana, greens, protein powder and plant-based milk.
- On its own. Try it with a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.
Avocado also makes a great ingredient swap for spreads and sandwich add-ons. Typical spreads like mayonnaise, cream and butter contain about twice as many calories per serving than avocados; mayonnaise has 100 calories (one tablespoon), butter has 100 calories (1 tablespoon) and cheddar cheese has 110 calories (one slice), to name a few. Furthermore, butter and cream have zero fiber.
For rich creamy sauces with a fraction of the calories, use avocado in place of butter or cream for just half calories, with the added bonus of two grams of fiber in every ounce.
In baked goods such as bread and muffins, use mashed avocado in place of half the amount of butter. If a recipe calls for one cup of butter, for example, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of mashed avocado. The savings: 625 calories and 48 grams of saturated fat per half-cup of butter traded out.