Are avocados good or bad for you?

Healthy source of vitamins or packed with fat? How many avocados should you eat for maximum nutritional benefits? We answer a reader’s questions.

Q I’ve been reading online about the dangers of eating too much avocado. I’m confused – I thought this was healthy! How much should I have? Claire, 49

The health benefits of avocados

There’s no doubt that this humble green fruit has risen in popularity in recent years – it’s hard to go on social media without spotting someone brunching on avo on toast! But it’s not just trendy – avocados are actually little powerhouses of nutritional goodness. They can help lower inflammation, lower your insulin rise after meals and help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Which vitamins are in an avocado?

Avocados are rich in vitamins E and B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and vitamins B5 and B6, as well as lutein, a phytochemical which helps to keep your eyes healthy.

Did you know they actually contain more potassium than bananas? (Although bananas have plenty of health benefits too!)

Avocados are good for your gut

Avocados are also good for your gut health, being high in fibre (around 7g per fruit) which is great at helping to feel fuller for longer, avoid constipation and helps to maintain a healthy weight.

How much fat is in an avocado?

Avocados are high in fat, although it is mostly the healthy, unsaturated variety, which is good for the heart. The problem is that all types of fat are high in calories. One small avocado (125g) contains around 250 calories and 25g fat.

Avocados: a healthy heart food

Because of their healthy fat content, avos are great for keeping your heart healthy. They help to lower levels of bad cholesterol LDL (which stands for low density lipoproteins) and raise HDL good cholesterol.

How many avocados can I eat per day?

While having the odd extra avo won’t do you much harm, you should ideally be looking at half an avocado per day, as they are high in calories and fat.

Will I put on weight if I eat avocados?

A fifth of an avocado is roughly one serving of fat, and the average woman needs around six servings of fat per day, so it partly depends on what other types of fat you’re consuming.

The bottom line is that while they are quite healthy, you should be mindful of the fact they are high in calories and something that you shouldn’t eat too frequently, particularly if you are watching your weight.

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