Avocados may be higher in fat and calories than other fruits, but that doesn't mean you should avoid them when you're trying to lose weight. In fact, they may be able to assist your weight-loss efforts. But like everything you eat, when you're cutting back to lose weight, portions count. Consult your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet.
Avocados and Your Diet
When restricting the calories in your diet, it's important to eat foods rich in nutrients. Not only do avocados act as a source of fat on your weight-loss diet, but they also contain other nutrients you need for good health, including potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and E, folate, a variety of B vitamins and phytonutrients such as phytosterols, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Additionally, a study published in 2005 in Nutrition found that including avocados as part of a reduced-calorie diet in place of other sources of fat did not impede weight loss.
Nutrients for Satiety
Avocados may aid in weight loss by helping control hunger. A review article published in 2013 in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition said that even though avocados have a higher calorie density, their fiber, water and fat content make them a filling and appetite-satisfying food.
A standard serving of an avocado, which is one-fifth of the fruit or 30 grams, contains 2 grams of fiber. People who get more fiber in their diet eat fewer calories without trying, according to a review article published in 2001 in Nutrition Reviews. Adding avocados to your weight-loss diet may help you feel more satisfied while eating less.
Calories Still Count
Although they may assist with weight loss, avocados are still a source of calories. The standard serving of an avocado contains 44 calories. However, according to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, most people tend to eat half of an avocado at a time, which contains 100 calories.
Being mindful of the amount you eat and tracking your intake is important when following any weight-loss plan, especially when including a more calorie-dense food like the avocado.
Tips for Adding Avocados
A good way to control calories when adding avocados to your weight-loss diet is by using them in place of other foods. For example, instead of cheese or mayonnaise on your sandwich, add a couple of slices of avocados for moisture. Or, mash a few slices in a bowl and use it as a spread for your toast or bagel or even a baked potato. You can also add a small amount of avocado to your fruit smoothie to help control hunger.
Avocado extract is a supplement made from the sugar in the fruit. According to RxList, there is preliminary evidence that the extract may help prevent the breakdown of sugar and block the effects of insulin. It is touted as an aid to weight loss, but there is very little evidence to support the claims, according to RxList. Talk to your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your diet.