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Avocados may be fatty, but that doesn't mean that they are bad for your health.
In fact, this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse providing numerous potential health benefits.
Its creamy texture and rich taste make it a common ingredient in many dishes. It is probably most well known for being a key ingredient in the Mexican dip "guacamole".
Because of its high fat content, avocado is also used as a meat substitute in sandwiches and salads.
But what makes this fruit so good for you?
This Medical News Today information article provides a nutritional breakdown of avocados, details on some of the potential health benefits associated with its consumption, as well as any risks or precautions that you should be aware of.
Healthy fats - fats account for around three quarters of the calorie count of an avocado. Most of it is monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a "good fat" which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease.12
Protein - an average avocado contains around 4 grams of protein, which is much more than most other fruits.
Sugar - avocado's sugar content is low compared to other fruits. Half an avocado contains approximately 0.2 g of sugar.
Vitamins and minerals - avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E.2
Dietary fiber - a medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.3
Apart from being an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, research suggests that there may be a number of other benefits associated with the fruit, including: lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, promoting lower body weight, and preventing cancer.
Avocados may help lower cholesterol
Research suggests that eating avocados could help lower levels of bad cholesterol. A study published in the Archives of Medical Research found that an "avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia (combined hyperlipidemia) is present."4
After a week of following the avocado enriched diet the patients experienced a 22% decrease in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an 11% increase in good cholesterol.
Avocados may reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease
Metabolic syndrome is name for a group of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease. One study, published in the Nutrition Journal assessed the link between avocado consumption and metabolic syndrome.5
The scientists concluded that "avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome."
Avocados may promote a healthy body weight and BMI
The same study (as the one referenced above), titled "Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults", also found that people who ate avocados were more likely to have a lower body weight, BMI (body mass index), and waist circumference.5
Avocados may help prevent cancer
Avocados are rich in phytochemicals, which have been reported to help prevent the development of certain cancers. A team of scientists who examined the the chemopreventive characteristics of avocados concluded that "individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention."6
Despite being very rare, avocado allergies do exist. According to a case report published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, avocado allergies are associated with "coughing, wheezing, nasal stuffiness, generalized urticaria and periorbital edema."7
It is important to consult your doctor if you begin to experience any unpleasant side effects after eating avocado.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
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Nordqvist, Joseph. "What are the health benefits of avocados?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 21 Dec. 2013. Web.
8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406>
Nordqvist, J. (2013, December 21). "What are the health benefits of avocados?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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