Move over kale – there’s a new superfood in town – avocado!
While avocados have long been a staple in Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, they’ve been experiencing somewhat of a cult-status recently.
A recent search for “avocado toast” on Instagram turned up over 340,000 results, while recipes for chocolate avocado pudding, baked avocado eggs and creamy avocado smoothies abound on Pinterest.
But beyond their creamy texture and delicious taste, avocado’s truly are one of nature’s superfoods. Jam-packed with 20 different vitamins and minerals including vitamin’s C, K, B5 and B6, folate and potassium, there aren’t many foods that pack as big of a nutritional punch as what avocado’s do.
However, some people are concerned about the fact that avocado is also very high in fat, and worry that consuming avocado will contribute to weight gain.
Before you toss your avocados in the trash (and throw away all of those amazing nutritional benefits) you’re going to want to keep reading.
Because while it’s true that avocados contain a high amount of fat (around 30 grams in the average avocado) there’s evidence to suggest that avocado’s can help with maintaining a healthy weight and may even help you lose weight.
Curious to find out how avocados can help with weight maintenance and possible even weight loss? Then read on.
5 Ways Avocado Can Help You Lose Weight
1. Full of healthy fat
It’s important to recognize that not all fats are created equal. And while avocados do, indeed, contain a high amount of fat, the type of fat found in avocados is good fat (the type of fat you want to be eating.)
Avocados contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, both of which are beneficial for health. Monounsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease while the polyunsaturated fats found in avocado’s contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, and may lower your risk of heart disease and Type-2 diabetes.
2. Helps to curb snacking
Believe it or not, there are even more benefits to the high levels of healthy fat found in avocados.
Avocado’s are a good source of fiber (both soluble and insoluble fiber) which aids with digestion and helps keep you full longer.
Because avocado’s are high in both fat and fiber, they have a high satiety level. This can help prevent you from unnecessary snacking, which contributes to weight gain.
In a study published in Nutrition Journal, the healthy, overweight male participants that ate one half of a Hass avocado with their lunch reported increased satisfaction and a decreased desire to eat.
3. Can be used as an alternative ingredient
Because of it’s mild flavor and creamy texture, avocado can be used as an alternative, healthier ingredient in a variety of recipes.
Here are some creative uses for avocados:
- Blended and used as a thickener in soup
- On toast as an alternative to butter or margarine
- Blended smooth and combined with raw cacao powder and maple syrup as a healthy dessert
- Healthy cake frosting (this recipe from Veggie Primer is amazing)
- In your morning smoothie for a creamy texture and an added nutrient boost
- Plain with a little sriracha sauce drizzled on top
4. Can help to build muscle
Wait, avocado’s can help to build muscle? Nuh, uh.
Actually, they kinda sorta can!
Avocado’s are an incredible source of potassium. (So are banana’s, which is why you often see bodybuilders munching on a banana after working out.)
But what’s so important about potassium, and how can it help you build muscle?
Here’s how, in a nutshell.
Potassium is an electrolyte, which basically means that it sends tiny electrical impulses around the body. These electrical impulses play a key role in nerve function and muscular contraction.
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes. These electrolytes must be replaced to ensure optimal muscle contraction and to avoid painful muscle cramps and spasms.
Optimal muscle contraction is important as it allows you to gradually increase the amount of weight you’re able to lift, which helps to build muscle.
Conversely, suffering from muscle cramps and spasms is definitely not going to help you lift more weight and build more muscle.
5. Contains almost no sugar
Despite being commonly confused as a vegetable, avocados are actually a fruit. More specifically, avocado’s are a berry.
But unlike other fruits, avocado’s contain minimal amounts of sugar (around 1.3 grams of sugar in one avocado.)
And while the sugar contained in fruit is a lot healthier than refined white sugar (and infinitely healthier than high fructose corn syrup) it’s still important to watch your overall daily sugar intake.
Including avocado’s in your diet is a great way to ensure you’re meeting your daily fruit and vegetable intake without overdoing it on the sugar.
You can also use avocado oil!
Fresh avocado’s have amazing health benefits, but avocado oil also provides an excellent nutrient boost. Unlike olive oil, it’s suitable for cooking at high heats – it’s also delicious drizzled over salads and great for marinating meats.
This Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil is non-GMO verified and paleo approved.