Why Eating Avocados May Help You Live Longer

by Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD
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Why Eating Avocados May Help You Live Longer

It’s officially California avocado season. If you haven’t joined in on the smashing, scooping, slicing and avocado rose-making yet, now is a good time to jump in.

Avocados are not Instagram-famous for nothing. This bumpy on the outside, creamy on the inside fruit is chock full of good-for-you nutrients. Avocados provide 11% of the daily value for fiber and boast almost 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium and folate.  

We know this popular fruit is good for us, but a new review of the scientific literature suggests regularly eating avocados may help prevent metabolic syndrome. According to the American Heart Association, as many as 34% of American adults may have metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Some of those factors include having extra fat in the mid-section, low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, higher fasting blood sugar and high blood pressure.


READ MORE > 5 SURPRISING (AND DELICIOUS) WAYS TO USE AVOCADOS


Packed with health-promoting nutrients and phytochemicals, avocados have been shown to reduce many of these risk factors, giving them some serious food fighting powers. This review highlights some of the strongest research . A diet high in avocado and its monounsaturated fat seems to lower total blood cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and may also increase HDL (good) cholesterol. That’s a double win. As if we needed more reasons to scoop, there’s emerging research exploring a potential benefit between avocados and skin, eye and even joint health.

Being an avocado lover obviously has its perks. Data suggests people who eat half an avocado a day, on average, have a better overall diet quality and health status. A recent study revealed frequent avocado eaters had higher intakes of fiber, heart-healthy fats, vitamins E and C and several minerals. At the same time, they tend to eat less total sugar and sodium. It could very well be that people who regularly eat avocados generally follow a healthier diet. And those healthier eating patterns show on the outside, too. Those who eat avocados daily tend to weigh less — about 7 1/2 pounds less. In addition, they experienced lower insulin levels and were 32% less likely to have metabolic syndrome.


READ MORE > HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO


Now that you have plenty ways to justify your avocado addiction, you might be wondering how much to eat. Though it’s common for people to eat half an avocado at once, one serving is actually a third of an avocado.

And there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate avocados into your day. Try avocado smashed on toast, whirled into smoothies for creaminess, dolloped on top of burgers or fish, mixed into salsa, as a substitute for butter or oil in baking, or simply scooped right from the skin shell. If you need more ideas, or want someone else to prepare an avocado for you, pop into the world’s first avocado bar, recently opened in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The list of ways to enjoy this creamy fruit goes on and on. And that’s a good thing. Many of the benefits are associated with eating avocado daily, so get creative and enjoy it.  

Related

  • Felipe Lima

    One avocado a day will keep the Dr. away

  • Heidic

    Great news! I luuuuuvvve avocados

  • MJW

    Sorry, MyFitneasPal, I want to buy a house someday.

    • Scott

      What does that mean?

      • jjtestman2014

        It’s a reference to an article that basically said that Millennials couldn’t afford to buy a house because they were always eating avocado toast, right?

        • Scott

          Ah! Tongue in cheek.

  • Scott

    I have to have my avos daily, Better than butter or mayo.

  • Harry

    Yum!

  • DavidR

    So one third of an avocado is a serving. Is that a small, medium or larger one?

    • Commenter

      a ‘serving’ is an artificial construct. Eat as much as you need for your dish. Don’t be a robot.

      • Xoie

        Thank you!!!!!!

      • robinbishop34

        A ‘serving’ is a unit of measurement.

        • Alberto Liberato

          One person’s serving is another person’s pig-out. A serving is not a unit of measurement. It’s a guess in many things.

          • robinbishop34

            Calorie and macro content found on food labels are listed according to serving size. Serving sizes vary from product to product but it doens’t make any difference… as long as you use it as a unit of measurement to track intake.

  • Susan Bond Gold

    How do you store avocados?

    • robinbishop34

      They will store in the fridge for a while, but its best to buy them when firm, but not hard, and very dark green/almost black. If they are hard and green you can put them in a brown paper bag for a couple days to ripen them.

      If you mash them or make guacamole, its best to add a splash of lemon juice and apply saran wrap to the actual surface of it to keep it air tight (kind of like pudding to prevent skin). It can turn brown rapidly if exposed to air. This doesn’t affect taste so much, but it doesn’t look too appetizing.

  • robinbishop34

    Avacados are a potent superfood that everyone should include in their diet. What many don’t know however, is the pit contains more beneficial nutrients than the flesh. Just clean it off and let it dry for a bit. Then grate it on a cheese grater and store in airtight container. A regular size pit has about 90 calories, so I just weigh the shredded pit in grams –then divide that into 90 to figure cal per gram. I sprinkle it on salads.

    Just google “avacado pit” to read about all the good things inside.

    • Judy Isvan

      The avocado commission does not endorse consumption of pits. It is unnatural and not enough evidence exists to prove safety.

      • Xoie

        Unnatural? How’s that? Avocado pits are about as natural as sticks and stones.

        • Barbara

          So is hemlock. And you don’t eat either sticks OR stones, do you? 😉

          • robinbishop34

            Everyone knows that stones and sticks are proven fat burners. You could eat a whole wedding cake, so long as you follow it with a healthy serving of rocks.

          • Barbara

            Actually I think you’re supposed to eats the rocks first – that way you’ll be too full to eat much cake and Voila! Calorie reduction!

      • robinbishop34

        The Robin Bishop commission disagrees.

        • Alberto Liberato

          Oh, OK. That settles it. lol

  • mums_da_word

    I have a phobia of eating avocados, okra and oatmeal… I just don’t know how to get around it

    • Ralph Luben

      Is there such a thing as “avocadophobia”??

      • mums_da_word

        If not, there should be…lol

    • robinbishop34

      If you want to incorporate it in your diet (and you should), try thin sliced on a sandwich. It will be hidden and not have the consistency of guac that seems to gross you out.

  • Tom Sephton

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4362145d3cfe39d2e9c8195b13aaf766bff6fc33afa54df493168769cc89772.jpg Avocados are great. An extra virgin olive oil on them is great too. Batistini Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  • John Cirincione

    Are avocado good for people dealing with blood clotting?

  • Greg Dahlen

    the healthiest diet i’ve discovered is the one i’ve been following for nine years. i live more than 90% on fluid milk products, cow milk and cow cream. my experience is that the nutrients from milk and cream are gentler, less clogging and irritating to the cells than those from solid food, even healthy solid food. and I think this diet might make it easier to lose weight.

    I do want to caution that this diet hasn’t been approved as healthy or safe for human beings by any medical authority. But it’s worked gangbusters for me, and my body likely functions similarly to a lot of people’s…..

  • Dee

    Random thought… did anyone notice that Haas avocados are now referred to as Hass?? What happened?? I know I’m not crazy, well not when it comes to this subject matter, lol.

  • Stephanie Kruger

    Avocado oil is pretty tasty too (instead of olive oil).

  • Pam Mancuso

    Jennifer Ross

  • FLDeplorable

    Wish they were cheaper in the store. $10 for 6 at Publix and with three people in my house eating one a day, they sure don’t last long.

    • Wendy Rosenthal

      $12 FOR 6 IN CT!

      • FLDeplorable

        Found in Sams Club 6 for $5.

  • Live longer? Sheesh, I must be immortal.

  • Tc Emmet King

    We live in Panama, Central America – unfortunately the Haas Avocados are NOT so common over here, much to our dismay, but the much more common type that is found here are ‘butter’ avocados – not near as flavorful as the Haas, but hopefully just as nutritious! There is a much smaller window of ripeness with this type, and the skins are a much lighter, brighter green than the Haas. Does anyone know very much more about this type?

  • Yvonne

    a good way to try avocados for the first time is to slice thin, drizzle with lemon juice and a little Himalayan
    salt, so, so healthy for you

  • Gail Needham

    I like to sprinkle with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, or slice very thin slices of garlic on top and eat them from their “shell”.

    • Tc Emmet King

      That sounds good, Gail, I’ll have to give that a try! Thank you

  • Tc Emmet King

    Thanks for that info, Caroline!

  • Kelly Gomez

    This is a great article, but the only problem is that none of the information about the “studies” were cited. How do I know if it was all made up? Next time when posting an article like this, please make sure to sit your sources to increase the credibility of your article.