Avocados have taken off in the world of healthy eating and it’s no wonder why—they’re delicious to eat, versatile in cooking recipes, vegan-friendly, and they’ve been linked to many different health benefits!

They’re often misconstrued as a high-carb food, but most of these carbs are actually fiber, meaning the net carbs are low and they are perfectly suitable for your keto diet.

While avocados may seem a little bit pricey depending on the season, they’re widely considered to be a super food rich in many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Let’s look at ten reasons why avocado’s a great keto food!

Highly Nutritious

Avocados are incredibly nutrient-dense and contain over twenty different vitamins and minerals.

In terms of your recommended daily allowance, a single 100-gram serving provides 26% of your Vitamin K requirements, 17% of your Vitamin C, 14% of your Vitamin B5, 13% of your Vitamin B6, and 10% of your Vitamin E.

Additionally, they also contain copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

The same 100g serving size also has:

  • 160 calories
  • 2g of protein
  • 15g of healthy fats
  • only 2g of net carbs

While the jury may still be out on the health impact of cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat, avocados don’t contain any of them, so whatever your view is, you can rest easy.

Packed with Healthy Fats

You can enjoy avocados’ high-fat content because they’re mostly monounsaturated fatty chains. With over two-thirds of its fat content being monounsaturated, these fats have even been linked to helping keep your heart healthy.

The same fats consist of Oleic acid, which you can also find in olive oil, and it’s been linked to several health benefits, including reduced inflammation. [1]

Absorb More Nutrients

While it’s crucial you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet, it’s not just what goes in that matters, but how your system absorbs them and spreads their benefits to the rest of your body.

While we can utilize some nutrients easily, others are fat-soluble, which means they have to be combined with fat for our body to make the most of them. Some fat-soluble nutrients include antioxidants like carotenoids, and Vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Studies have shown that adding avocado or avocado oil to dishes can increase absorption [2] by a factor of 15. So not only are avocados great for you on their own, but they can also dramatically boost the health value of other plant-based foods in your diet.

Fiber

The fiber content in avocados is a major reason why they’re amazing on pretty much any diet—with a 200-gram avocado containing 13.5 grams of fiber and only 3.6 grams of net carbs.

Avocados consist of insoluble fiber which is useful when dealing with constipation, and it also contains soluble fiber which is good for diarrhea. Having a healthy balance of the two will promote a much more robust digestive system.

Potassium

Potassium is something we just don’t get enough of, and many people assume that bananas are the go-to source for potassium, however, avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas with a 200-gram avocado holding 975mg of the mineral—that’s 28% of your recommended daily intake.

Putting the rich, green fruit in your next meal can be fantastic for your health, as potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure as it neutralizes the adverse effects of salt. This promotes a much healthier heart, and it’s also beneficial for your kidneys.

Prevent Heart Disease

We all need to pay attention to our cholesterol levels. It’s something that can be hard to keep track of, but managed easily on a keto-diet. Studies have consistently suggested that avocados lower bad cholesterol levels (known as LDL) [3] while increasing your good cholesterol (HDL). [4]

Along with bad cholesterol, high levels of blood triglycerides can also contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and cardiovascular issues. Fortunately, avocados have also been shown to reduce these levels by up to 20%.

Lose Weight Faster

Due to their high fat, water, and fiber content, avocados have been shown to help people feel full for longer [5] with less desire to eat more for a longer period. This naturally contributes to weight loss, as you’re less likely to snack, overeat, go overboard on calories or pick up bad habits that can kick you out of ketosis.

The excellent fiber content combined with the low net carb count can also contribute to healthy long-term weight loss.

Fight Cancer

While more extensive research needs to be conducted on avocados’ cancer-fighting properties, there have been promising studies in recent years. Under laboratory conditions, avocado extract has been shown to inhibit the development of prostate cancer cells [6] as well as having the potential to reduce some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy treatment.

Further exploration of the positive effects is needed, but with all the other amazing benefits of avocado, there’s no reason not to stock up either way.

Healthier Eyes

The abundant antioxidants in avocados include the fat-soluble carotenoids mentioned earlier, more specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both of these play a crucial role in ocular health, and some studies have shown links to a massive reduction in the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts in older people.

Versatility

One of the great things about avocado is that it can be used in numerous dishes, and even in drinks. You can use it to make fresh guacamole, add a new twist to your Eggs Benedict, or make a tasty banana and avocado smoothie.

The possibilities are endless!

It can be easily integrated into a variety of different meals, making it an excellent food for keto, whatever your personal taste.

Summary

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, avocados are pretty awesome and should play a part in every diet, especially keto. Few foods can claim to be as nutritious while boasting numerous health benefits, an excellent keto-friendly fat content and such a low net carb count.

Did we mention they’re delicious?

References:

[1] National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database; CID=445639, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/445639 (accessed Jan. 12, 2019).

[2] Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6.

[3] López Ledesma R, Frati Munari AC, Hernández Domínguez BC, Cervantes Montalvo S, Hernández Luna MH, Juárez C, Morán Lira S. Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Arch Med Res. 1996 Winter;27(4):519-23.

[4] Lerman-Garber I, Ichazo-Cerro S, Zamora-González J, Cardoso-Saldaña G, Posadas-Romero C. Effect of a high-monounsaturated fat diet enriched with avocado in NIDDM patients. Diabetes Care. 1994 Apr;17(4):311-5.

[5] Wien M, Haddad E, Oda K, Sabaté J. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J. 2013 Nov 27;12:155. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-155.

[6] Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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