The myth that dietary fat is actually evil has finally been debunked, and that means healthy fats like avocados have gone decidedly mainstream. In fact, the green fruit is an essential part of whole-foods-based diets, including the Mediterranean diet and keto diet, in part because healthy fats help keep you fuller longer. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing and actually sabotage your weight-loss goals with this otherwise healthy food?
"Make no mistake about it, avocados are one of the most complete foods you can eat," Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Informational Council Foundation, told POPSUGAR. "But, even though avocados are packed with nutrients, they do have more calories than most other fruits and vegetables." By the numbers, one serving is equal to about a third of an avocado and contains around 76 calories. If you consume half an avocado, you're looking at about 114 calories, and if you go for a full avocado, roughly 227 calories.
Even though avocados are more calorie-dense than other fresh produce, and being mindful about avocado portions is important, "eating more calories than your body needs is what causes weight gain, regardless of the foods those calories come from," Kris said.
Keeping your avocado habit in check is as easy as finding healthy ways to incorporate them into your diet, while making sure the portion sizes fit into your overall dietary goals. This is true for other sources of unsaturated fat as well, including seafood, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola and soybean oils, Kris explained. "The type of fat you eat matters more than the amount."
So, "use avocados in omelets for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch, mash them into guac for a healthy snack, or pair them with seafood (they're especially good with crab cakes and tuna) for dinner," Kris suggested. At the end of the day, as long as you're mindful of your portions, eating avocados will probably help you shed a few pounds rather than gain them.