Whether spread across whole-grain toast, tossed into a salad, or mashed into guacamole, avocados boost the healthy fat content of any dish. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, these fats include heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados only contain 1 gram of saturated fat, along with plenty of potassium and little sodium, if any. They're also a rich source of fiber, with just half of an avocado providing up to 20% of your daily recommended intake. However, it's important to note that where there are fats, there are calories. Fats are the most energy-dense macronutrient, containing nine calories per gram, compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. So, how many calories exactly are in an avocado?
We consulted Gianna Masi, CPT, RDN, a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian with Barbend to find out. "Avocados are a healthy fat and definitely have a place in everyone's diet if they enjoy them and have access to them," Masi explains. "If someone's goal is weight management or improving body composition, then being mindful of their daily caloric value is helpful to have the right energy balance they desire. Energy balance will have us in a state of weight loss, maintenance, and gain depending on specific individual factors and overall calorie intake."
Read on to uncover how many calories are in an avocado, how they can aid in your weight loss journey, and helpful tips for including them in a healthy diet. Then, be sure to check out these 10 Secrets to Help Speed Up Your Metabolism.
How many calories are in an avocado?
While the calorie content of any fruit or vegetable varies based on size, a typical medium-sized avocado (150 grams) contains around 240 calories. However, don't let avocado's caloric density deter you. These calories come packed with nutritional benefits, including healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that keep you satiated and boost overall health. (One avocado contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber and three grams of protein!)
Are avocados beneficial for weight loss?
Contrary to the misconception that all fats are bad for weight loss, avocados can help you shed those unwanted pounds. A 2019 study in Nutrients found that the monounsaturated fats and fiber in avocados contribute to increased feelings of fullness, helping control appetite and curb unhealthy snacking. Additionally, their nutrient-rich profile supports overall health, promoting a holistic approach to weight management.
"Someone who wants to lose weight can absolutely eat avocados. They just need to think about their day as a whole and decide what fat sources they would prefer to eat the most," says Masi.
Healthy ways to enjoy avocados for weight loss:
Now that we've established avocados are a heart-healthy option, here are four ways to include them as part of your weight loss diet, according to Masi.
1. Spread avocado on whole-grain toast.
Combining avocado's buttery texture and whole-grain bread's nutty flavor creates a delicious and satisfying treat. This simple yet flavorful option balances healthy fats and carbs, making it a smart choice for weight-conscious individuals.
"Use half an avocado for avocado toast. Add eggs or smoked salmon to the top for added protein and a complete meal of carbs, fats, and protein," says Masi.
2. Make guacamole, and use it as a topping.
Whether it's grilled chicken, fish tacos, or even a simple bowl of rice, guacamole adds a burst of freshness and richness. Incorporating avocados into this classic dip will enhance the taste of your meals while supporting your weight loss efforts.
"Add half a cup of guacamole as a topping to tacos for a healthy boost of fats," recommends Masi.
3. Include avocados in salads.
The creamy texture of avocados complements a variety of salad ingredients. Packed with healthy fats and fiber, avocados contribute to the feeling of fullness, making salads a weight-loss-friendly option for those looking to maintain a balanced and delicious diet.
Masi says, "Add half of a cut-up avocado to any salad for a nutrient-dense addition to your salad."
4. Create a delicious green smoothie concoction.
Blend avocado with leafy greens, fruits, and a liquid of your choice for a refreshing and nutrient-dense beverage. Adding avocados enhances the smoothie's creaminess and provides a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats, promoting a sense of satiety that can contribute to weight loss goals.
"Add one-quarter of an avocado to your green smoothie or protein shake to make it extra green and provide you with filling fiber and fat," says Masi.
- Source: Avocados can support a heart-healthy diet
- Source: Avocado Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in US Adults
- Source: Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)
- Source: Avocado, raw
- Source: Using the Avocado to Test the Satiety Effects of a Fat-Fiber Combination in Place of Carbohydrate Energy in a Breakfast Meal in Overweight and Obese Men and Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial