Are avocados high in fat?
I love avocados, but a friend recently told me they are high in fat. Should I stop eating them?
BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:
Avocados are unusual among fruits because they are high in fat. This means they contain a higher amount of energy (calories) than other fruits and vegetables. At around 150kcal per half an avocado, compared with around 20kcal for a similar amount of broccoli or a small orange, their energy contribution must be taken into consideration if you are trying to reduce your weight.
This doesn’t mean you should give them up, but if you want to eat avocado regularly, you will have to think about the rest of your diet a bit more carefully. Compared with other high-fat foods, avocados are a healthy option.
Compared with other high-fat foods, avocados are a healthy option
An 80g portion counts towards your 5-a-day and contains vitamins, minerals and fibre. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.
The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, but they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad, sandwich or toast, like cheese, butter or fatty meats. Mashed avocado works well on toast (you might like to try it with some sliced tomato and a few fresh basil leaves, black pepper or a pinch of chilli powder).
If you’re feeling adventurous, it can even be used instead of cream in puddings like chocolate mousse.
Meet the expert
Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with more than ten years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. At the BHF she advises on diet and nutrition.