Can I eat avocado on keto?
In this article, we are going to answer the query “Can I eat avocado on keto?” Moreover, the article will explore the benefits of avocado, nutritional value, and some tips on how to incorporate avocado in your keto diet.
Can I eat avocado on keto?
Yes, you can eat avocado on keto. Avocado is a keto-friendly food that can be included in your daily food plan because it has very low carbohydrates and high content of healthy fats. Plus, avocados have become a trend nowadays due to their health benefits (you will discover them in this article) (1).
What are the principles of the keto diet?
Before exploring why avocado is a keto-friendly food, it is important that you understand the keto diet. The keto diet is a nutritional approach in which the body is forced to use its fat tissue as an energy source; this will result in weight and body fat-mass reduction (2,3,4).
The mechanism of keto diet is by reducing your carbohydrate intake lower than 50 g a day. Generally, your body uses carbohydrates as primary energy source, and it is stored as glycogen (a molecule made of carbs) (2,3,4).
When you cut carbs from your diet, the glycogen will be depleted gradually, and after a few days, it will be completely depleted. When your body reaches this stage, you will enter ketosis; this is a metabolic state where your body starts using fat as an energy source instead of carbs (2,3,4).
However, to achieve a significant weight and body fat-mass reduction you must stick with the keto diet for a few weeks or months. Unfortunately, cheat-meals are not allowed in the keto diet because you will interrupt ketosis and refuel your glycogen stores (2,3,4).
Therefore, a keto diet prioritizes the intake of fats and proteins, and drastically reduces all carbs. It is noteworthy that you must eat proteins and do exercise to avoid muscle mass loss (2,3,4).
Why is avocado a Keto-friendly food?
Now you have completely understood what a keto diet is, we can move forward to explain why avocado is a keto-friendly food. Avocado has a low content of carbohydrates, besides it contains a lot of healthy fats and compounds which can prevent a lot of diseases (1,5).
Moreover, avocado is very versatile, you can use it in a lot of recipes, from salads, sauces, you can use its oil as a salad dressing (if you want more information, click here!), and even desserts!
Keep reading for learning more about the nutritional value, the health benefits, and some avocado recipes.
What is the nutritional value of avocado?
Avocados are packed with healthy fats, as well as many vitamins that are essential for our health. The following table summarizes the nutritional composition of 100 g of avocado (1,5-7).
|100 g avocado|
|Monounsaturated fats||9.79 g|
|Polyunsaturated fats||1.81 g|
|Saturated fats||2.12 g|
|Vitamin C||10 mg|
|Vitamin E||2.07 mg|
|Vitamin K||21 micrograms|
|Riboflavin (B2 vitamin)||0.13 mg|
|Niacin (B3 vitamin)||1.73 mg|
|Carotenoids (Lutein + zeaxanthin)||271 micrograms|
Adapted from USDA FoodData Central (1)
In addition to the vitamins contained in avocado, it also has valuable components like carotenoids which can provide many health benefits (6,7).
What are the health benefits of avocado?
According to evidence, the nutritional components of avocados can provide health benefits in different systems in your body (7).
In the following subheadings, we will explore the effect of avocado in weight management, as well as in your gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and metabolic health.
What is the relation between Avocado and weight loss?
The high fiber and fat combination in avocado promotes satiety and, therefore, a lower food and calorie intake. The combination between low calorie intake and ketosis, will promote the reduction of body fat-mass (5).
There is the belief that some types of food and/or exercise will promote the fat-mass reduction in localized zones, such as abdominal fat; however, there is no evidence to support that any food or exercise can do this, instead, fat-mass is reduced in different sites of your body (8).
Remember the key is to limit carbohydrates in your diet and stick to the routine and be patient to notice the results.
What are the health benefits of Avocado in the gastrointestinal system?
Avocados promote the growth of probiotics in your intestine. Probiotics are living bacteria that ferment the fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids (5,9).
Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are protective against gut-related health outcomes like colorectal cancer, inflammatory, and infectious diseases (9).
Moreover, the fiber contained in Avocados can prevent constipation and diverticulosis, because fiber promotes intestinal motility (10).
What are the health benefits of Avocado in the cardiovascular system?
Avocados’ monounsaturated fatty acids have a positive impact on the lipid profile; for example, they increase the “good” cholesterol (HDL), and reduce the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) (6,7).
The reduction of LDL cholesterol, which is responsible for the build-up of plaque along the walls of the arteries, results in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke (6,7).
Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent hypertension (6,7).
What are the health benefits of Avocado in Cancer?
Avocados can be helpful to prevent certain types of cancer thanks to the presence of carotenoids, polyphenols, and vitamins like C and E (6,7).
Cancers are linked to genetic changes in the cells. Antioxidants, like carotenoids, polyphenols, and vitamins like C and E can prevent cell damage (6,7).
Polyphenols and vitamin C are known for their antioxidant properties and for strengthening the immune system; these molecules also can prevent the mutation of your DNA by reducing the oxidative stress in your cells (6,7).
In the case of vitamin E and carotenoids, they also could act as photo protectors and prevent the damage to your DNA material caused by the solar radiation (6,7).
How can I Incorporate avocado in some recipes?
Avocados can be used in many food recipes.it can be added to salads, smoothies, soups, omelets, and desserts (7). You can check some recipes here.
Simple tips to add more avocado to your diet:
- Use veggie sticks and dip them in guacamole
- Use avocado oil for cooking
- Make smoothies with avocado to thicken it
- Add avocadoes to salads to make them richer in taste
In this article, we answered “Can I eat avocado on keto?” Moreover, the article explored the benefits of avocado, its nutritional value, and some tips on how to incorporate avocado in your keto diet.
- FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 22 June 2023]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102652/nutrients
- Dowis K, Banga S. The potential health benefits of the ketogenic diet: A narrative review. Nutrients, 2021;13(5):1654.
- Oliveira NC de, Sousa GK de, Ribas Filho D. Therapeutic Indications of the Ketogenic Diet: A Integrative Review. MedNEXT, 2021 15;2(3):63–68.
- Basolo A, Magno S, Santini F, Ceccarini G. Ketogenic diet and weight loss: Is there an effect on energy expenditure? Nutrients, 2022;14(9):1814.
- Sun L, Goh HJ, Govindharajulu P, Leow MK-S, Henry CJ. Differential effects of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats on satiety and gut hormone responses in healthy subjects. Foods, 2019;8(12):634.
- Bhuyan DJ, Alsherbiny MA, Perera S, Low M, Basu A, Devi OA, et al. The odyssey of bioactive compounds in avocado (Persea americana) and their health benefits. Antioxidants, 2019;8(10):426.
- Ford NA, Liu AG. The forgotten fruit: A case for consuming avocado within the traditional Mediterranean diet. Front Nutr, 2020;7:78.
- Ramirez-Campillo R, Andrade D, Clemente F, Afonso J, Pérez-Castilla A, Gentil P. A proposed model to test the hypothesis of exerciseinduced localized fat reduction (spot reduction), including a systematic review with meta-analysis. Hum Mov, 2022;23(3):1–14.
- Henning SM, Yang J, Woo SL, Lee R-P, Huang J, Rasmusen A, et al. Hass avocado inclusion in a weight-loss diet supported weight loss and altered gut Microbiota: A 12-week randomized, parallel-controlled trial. Curr Dev Nutr, 2019 ;3(8):nzz068.
- Snauwaert E, Paglialonga F, Vande Walle J, Wan M, Desloovere A, Polderman N, et al. The benefits of dietary fiber: the gastrointestinal tract and beyond. Pediatr Nephrol, 2022.