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Is Avocado Good for Weight Loss? According to a Dietitian

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Last updated: October 5, 2022

Part of my job as a fitness trainer is designing diet plans for my clients, and the ones I come across online are usually rich in fruits and veg, but the single fruit that always occurs, no matter weight gain or weight loss diet, is the avocado.

I know their nutritional value is pretty high, but I wanted to figure out why they’re included in almost every weight-loss diet and what the science says about their fat-burning possibilities.

So I studied the subject thoroughly with the help of our dietitian to find the answer.

Quick Summary

  • Avocado consumption may lead to lower calorie intake and support abdominal fat reduction.
  • Avocados are labeled as superfoods since they are nutrition-packed fruits with vitamins, minerals, fibers, and mostly monounsaturated fat.
  • Avocado eaters have better metabolism and lower chances of developing heart issues.

How Could Avocado Help in Fat Loss?

Two women pinching their belly fats

Avocado could help in fat loss since it's the fruit packed with satiating high-calorie content and good amounts of essential and healthy substances.

Hunger and Weight Management

With high-fat composition and thus high-calorie count, fortified with dietary fiber, avocado can help you feel full longer and lessen calorie intake during the day [1].

Participants who ate half a fresh avocado in one study recorded a 40% decreased desire to eat for hours afterward [2].

Fiber is associated with weight loss and reduced blood sugar spikes, plus we know from studies on ketogenic diets that this combination of high-fat and high-fiber is powerfully satiating, which not only makes you less likely to overeat later in the day but also turns on your ability to burn your body's own fat for fuel."

- Jessica Marcus, MS, RD, Health Coach at Parsley Health

A survey from 2008 also showed that avocado consumption is associated with a better diet and nutrient intake, which lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition where your energy metabolism doesn’t function properly, leading to many metabolic diseases like diabetes [3].

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Fat-Burning Effects

Avocado close up image

The main reason avocado oil can aid in fat loss may be their high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats that are burned at a higher rate than other fat types and could trigger the body to burn more calories after eating [4].

One spoon of avocado oil contains about 10 grams of monounsaturated fats, making it almost identical to extra virgin olive oil.

Avocados are very high in monounsaturated oleic fatty acid, which is also associated with an abdominal fat reduction [5].

A Penn State study from 2013 showed that people who consumed about three tablespoons of high-oleic acid daily lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent compared to those that used a flax/safflower oil blend high in polyunsaturated fat [6].

Another nutrition examination survey from 2021 showed that female participants who ate avocado daily for 12 weeks reduced visceral fat, indicating a change in fat distribution [7].

Nutrition Facts

Avocados are one of the trendy 'superfoods' that most fitness gurus these days recommend as an unavoidable part of the healthy diet. They gained the 'superfood' label for a good reason.

This fruit is an impressive source of nutrients (macros and micros). Half an avocado (100 grams) contains about 160 calories packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Most calories come from fats (14.7 on the mentioned portion), primarily monounsaturated fat - a healthy and desirable type.

The carbohydrates, on the contrary, are present in low amounts, with 100 grams of avocado providing approximately 8.5 grams of carbs, most of which come from fiber (6.7 grams) [8].

However, avocados contain only 2 grams of proteins, so this fruit isn't considered a high-protein food.

This serving contains a good amount of vitamin K, B3, B9, C, and E and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and copper.

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What Other Benefits Does It Bring?

A person flexing her body

Weight loss is just one of many benefits avocado brings, as eating avocado lowers the risk of bad cholesterol development, glucose intolerance, heart disease, and blood pressure issues.

A diet high in oleic acid (monounsaturated fat) causes significantly higher physical activity and post-meal metabolism than a diet rich in saturated fat [9].

Avocado's mentioned monounsaturated fats content may also play an essential role in lowering elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as the 'bad' cholesterol [10].

Some studies suggest that this fatty acid can also decrease inflammation and the risk of heart disease [4].

The health benefits of consuming avocados don't end up there as avocados are high in fat-soluble phytosterols (plant compounds structurally related to cholesterol) and have 20 times more of them than other fruits.

It's believed these compounds have beneficial effects on heart health [11].

FAQs

How Many Avocados a Day Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

You should eat approximately one-half to one whole avocado a day to lose weight, assuming your intake of other healthy fat sources is appropriate.

To lose body fat, you should combine your daily intake of avocado fats with olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Can I Eat an Avocado on a Low-Fat Diet?

Yes, you can eat avocado on a low-fat diet since it contains low levels of saturated fat. Avocado is rich in healthy fats; therefore, it doesn't conflict with basic low-fat diet principles - avoiding unhealthy fat and cholesterol.

What Is The Best Time to Eat Avocado for Weight Loss?

The best time to eat avocado is breakfast since research showed that overweight adults who consumed this fruit for breakfast improved blood flow, after-meal blood sugar, and blood-fat levels.

However, taking it for dinner also has its benefits, considering it contains minerals helpful for relaxation like magnesium and high doses of potassium.

Do Avocados Help You Lose Belly Fat?

Yes, avocados can help you lose belly fat. They are packed full of healthy fats that can make you feel full for longer to avoid snacking. And they also have a direct effect on boosting the fat-burning effect of your metabolism.

Is an Avocado Effective Enough for Weight Loss?

Avocado may be the fruit worth the hype since it may cause belly fat loss on a few different levels.

Eating avocados contributes to fewer calorie intake, and oleic fatty acid may assist belly fat loss, including both visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

However, if you are sensitive to salicylates avocados contain or if you just want to fast-track your fat loss without sacrificing your health, I advise you to consider adding the next high-quality fat burners to your fitness regimen.

These are not magic pills, but they can get you closer to your goals significantly faster.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567160/
  2. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-12-155
  3. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-12-1
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140086/
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21584
  6. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130329125110.htm
  7. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/151/9/2513/6311819
  8. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
  9. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/2/320/4862942
  10. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.114.001355
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638933/
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