How Avocados Can Help and Hurt Your Diet
You are trying to lose weight and stick to a healthy diet, but are confused as to what really is good for you and what you need to really cut back on. This is because research regarding weight loss is all over the place and there are so many different types of diet plans, that in the end, no one really knows what works. You have probably heard that too many carbs make you fat, and of course too much fat in the diet also makes you fat. Protein is good for you but you have to be careful where it comes from and what you combine it with. You also have to be cautious about what time of the day you are eating certain foods. There are too many rules to stick to, but so much controversy at the same time. It makes a dieter just want to give up.
There is no question that the list of superfoods includes foods that are actually very good for you. Even knowing how healthy these foods are, many dieters avoid eating them because they are either high in sugar and carbs or high in fat. One food that gets both good and bad reviews is the avocado. It has been thought to be a vegetable, but since it contains a seed, it is considered a fruit. Most people fear including avocados in their diets due to their high-fat content. It is always important to understand what kinds of fats are in foods before choosing to eat or avoid them. Some fats are actually extremely healthy! Fortunately, avocados are one of the foods that contain these good-for-you fats, as well as many other healthy components.
Even though they are in the fruit family, they are technically considered a source of fat. The high-fat content comprises over 75% of its calories, but these fats are mostly monounsaturated fats. A very small amount also comes from polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat. These monounsaturated fats are comprised of the same fat found in olive oil, called oleic acid. These healthy fats help fight inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation is linked to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of arteries from plaque build-up. This condition can lead to heart attacks and stroke. One of the first steps to taking care of atherosclerosis is improving your diet. Studies have shown that not only cutting back on saturated fats but also including more good fats in the diet helps lower your risk of these diseases and keeps your heart healthy.
Avocados include several vitamins and minerals in a single serving. One serving is considered half of one avocado, which has about 160 calories. These nutrients include vitamin E, C, and K, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and many other antioxidants. One serving also includes about 7 grams of fiber, so you can count on this to help with satiety at meals.
Weight Loss Aid
The good thing about fat is that it keeps you full for a longer period of time, so when you find a food that contains healthy fats, you know it is a good option for your weight loss diet. On top of the fat, the high fiber in avocados also helps with feeling full. Both of these nutrients slow down the emptying of the foods we eat with them into the stomach. This may be the key losing weight as it means you will have an easier time cutting the calories in each meal and create the calorie-deficit needed to drop pounds. The monounsaturated fats are burned at a faster rate than other fats, especially saturated fats, and assist with increasing metabolism overall.
Serving Size is Important
As mentioned, a serving size is half of an avocado. One full avocado contains about 320 calories, therefore can rack up a high-calorie count when combined with a meal. You can have an entire avocado at one time without gaining weight, but only if you are careful to cut back fats in other meals the same day and either eat it alone or combine it with another lower calorie snack such as berries or a piece of toast. This is more of a concern for those who eat too much of anything they are told is good for them. All foods have their specific serving size suggestions based on a regular diet, so those seeking to lose weight should keep this in mind. This is why many dieters have success when they continue to eat all of their favorite foods. They just eat much less of them.
If you are an avocado lover, then you are in luck after reading how healthy they are for you and how truly diet-friendly they can be. You can include it as a side dish at any meal, smash on some toast, or just cut it open and stuff with a healthy tuna salad. It is a versatile fruit that provides the body with a load of healthy nutrients. Maybe the new saying should be “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away”!