In this brief article, we will answer the question,” Are avocados bad for you?” We will look at the nutritional composition of avocados. We will also discuss the health benefits of eating avocados. We will finally briefly discuss some potential risks of overconsuming avocados.
Are avocados bad for you?
No, avocados are not bad for you if consumed with moderation. Avocados only become bad and harmful to your health if you over consume because they do contain a high amount of calories and fat.
What is the nutritional value of avocado?
Avocados are very nutrient dense and contain nutrients such as dietary fiber, healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), potassium, magnesium, and folate (natural form of vitamin B9).
A 201 grams serving of avocado can typically provide the below nutrients:
- Calories: 322
- Total fat: 30 grams 45% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Polyunsaturated fat 3.6g
- Monounsaturated fat 20g
- Protein: 4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Sodium 14mg 1%
- Potassium 970 mg 28% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Dietary fiber: 14 grams 52% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin C: 22% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin E: 22% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin K: 35% of the RDI
- Riboflavin (B2): 20% of the RDI
- Niacin (B3): 22% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 56% of the RDI
- Pyridoxine (B6): 30% of the RDI
- Folate: 41% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Potassium: 21% of the RDI
- Copper: 42% of the RDI
- Manganese: 12% of the RDI
As you can tell from the above nutrient profile of avocado, it is very nutritious and can help adults in deriving the requisite nutrients required in a day by consuming them.
What are the health benefits from eating avocado?
It is important for digestion and overall gut health
Avocados are a good source of fiber, they are high in insoluble fiber that assists in moving waste through the body. Fiber is additionally important for the digestive system because it supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Fiber has also shown to be effective in preventing constipation.
It can assist in reducing the risk of heart diseases
Regular consumption of avocados and other nutrient dense foods can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The combination of vitamins, essential minerals, healthy fats, and fiber present in avocados go a long way in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
It is a rich source of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds
Chronic inflammation can result in a myriad of diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and diabetes. The Vitamin E in avocados is very instrumental in lowering inflammation in the body.
Avocados also contain bioactives which include phenolic compounds, Vitamins C & E, and carotenoids. These compounds have been shown by multiple studies to have antioxidant, cardioprotective and neuroprotective properties.
They can help protect against oxidative damage and prevent certain types of cancers.
It is good for pregnancy and breastfeeding
When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, her nutrients demands increase and it’s therefore essential that she consumes a diet that can provide her daily requirements. During pregnancy for example:
Potassium needs increase from 2,600 mg to 2,900 mg, folate from 400 μg to 600 μg and Vitamin C from 75 to 85 mg.
It helps in maintenance of good vision
Avocado contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial for good vision. They do this by protecting tissues in the eyes from Ultraviolet damage and also assist in prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts.
What are some potential risks of consuming avocados?
Avocados are generally safe to eat if consumed with moderation. The problem arises if you over consume avocados as with many foods. Some of the potential risks of overconsumption of avocados are:
It can result to weight gain
As a result of the presence of unsaturated fats in avocados, if you over consume them you might gain weight.
It can result in nutritional deficiency
Overconsumption of avocados can additionally result in nutrient deficiency. This stems from the fact that fats are usually slowly digested and have satiety to make you feel fuller for longer compared to other nutrients.
Some people also have oral avocado allergy. This allergy is triggered from consumption of avocado and the immune system responds with some symptoms. Symptoms can be mild or get severe and they include itching on the mouth, lips and the throat, sneezing and stomach discomforts.
You can read more about avocados allergy, how to manage it and alternatives for avocados if you have allergies here.
Other FAQs about Avocado that you may be interested in.
In this brief article, we have answered the question,” Are avocados bad for you?” We have looked at the nutritional composition of avocados. We have also discussed the health benefits of eating avocados. We have also briefly discussed some potential risks of overconsuming avocados.