While at first avocado may have been made popular by its soft, smooth, rich-tasting creamy pulp with mellow green flavors, now it’s the health benefits that keep it on our plates almost every day. There are those of us who can’t go a day without eating at least half an avocado and those who eat several avocados a week, although not quite every day. In any case, consumption of the fruit is high among the health-conscious modern person and studies show it’s actually that good for you. But how much is too much? And at what intake do side effects occur and outweigh the benefits? This is an important question to ask because no food is universally healthy and without adverse reactions, avocado included.
Avocado nutritional value and composition is the source of both wonderful health benefits and several side effects. And both of them are often determined by intake (only rarely by instances of sensitivity, intolerance or allergy). This is why when you ask yourself if avocado is good or bad for you, you also end up wondering how many times a week you should eat avocado to prevent the possible side effects and enjoy only the benefits.
And in order to determine whether it’s good for you or not to eat it every day or less often than that, you need to know the nutritional profile of avocado. This way you can decide how much of which nutrients you would get from a certain intake without others negatively impacting your health of existing medical conditions. To determine your ideal intake a day or a week, you should first know how is avocado good and bad for you. And this is something you can tell by the following nutrition facts:
1) Avocado: how much fat?
How many grams of fat are there actually in avocado? On average 15 g of fat/100 g of avocado pulp. The recommended daily intake of the fruit is 30 g which means you should get a little less than 5 g of fat if you eat that much. This isn’t much considering the new RDI of fat for an average adult on a 2000 kcal diet in 78 g. Even with 5-6 g of fat from one whole cooked egg it still isn’t too much fat for one meal. But very few people actually eat as little as 30 g of avocado. Most of us typically eat half an avocado at once and, depending on the cultivar which determines size of fruit, that could mean an intake of 7-15 g of fat from avocado alone.
Depending on what we may eat the rest of the day, half an avocado could be just right or too much in terms of fat intake. And not just when it comes to not exceeding the recommended daily intake of the macronutrient. Some people suffer from gallbladder and liver problems that make it hard for them to properly digest fat so they often need to keep intake low to avoid side effects such as nausea, vomiting sensation, stomach ache, especially pain in the upper right quadrant. Eating too much avocado, whatever this may mean for you individually, may also upset the stomach due to the fat content and cause heartburn, upset stomach and simply make you feel sick. Sometimes, eating the fruit on an empty stomach or without something absorbent like toast or crackers, produces the most stomach upset.
2) Avocado: how many calories?
On average, 100 g of avocado has 120-167 kcal. Considering nobody actually weighs their avocado to eat just 30 g which is the recommended daily intake and most people usually eat somewhere between half an avocado and a whole one, calorie intake from a real serving of the fruit can easily range from:
– 113.5 kcal for half a California avocado (1 fruit typically weighs 136 g, without skin or seed).
– 182.5 kcal for half a Florida avocado (1 fruit typically weight 304 g, without skin or seeds).
– 161 kcal for half an avocado in general (all varieties considered, 1 fruit estimated at 201 g and 322 kcal without skin or seed).
If you eat avocado every day, the calories can really add up and encourage weight gain if you don’t balance the rest of your diet. Even more when your serving is a whole avocado in one sitting. Considering the real serving size and the moderately high calorie content of avocado in general, this could be a problem for anyone struggling to maintain a steady weight or lose weight or anyone with diabetes and other conditions impacted by weight gain.
3) Avocado: how much protein?
On average, 100 g of avocado, all varieties estimate, has 2 g of protein, according to USDA gov, the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the new Daily Reference Values, an average adult on a 2000 kcal diet needs 50 g of protein a day. Protein is important because it builds muscle, helps synthesize neurotransmitters for the brain and regulate mood, appetite and sleep, satiates and contributes to the immune system.
Protein coming from a vegetal source like avocado is even better seen because it has the benefit of coming together with fiber, lots of potassium, vitamins C, E and B vitamins. The generous nutritional profile of avocado is really something that recommends it for consumption. And if it weren’t for the fat and calories, there wouldn’t really be any side effects to the fruit, considering you need generous amounts of vitamins and minerals.
4) Avocado: how many carbs and how much sugar?
100 g of avocado has 8.53 g of carbohydrates and 0.66 g of sugar. Most varieties have around 8 g of carbohydrates and under 3 g of sugar. By eating half an avocado, you can get as little as 5.8 g of carbohydrates and 0.2 g of sugar for smaller varieties (136 g a fruit) or as much as 11.89 g of carbohydrates and 3.68 g of sugars for larger varieties (304 g a fruit). Considering you need 275 g of carbohydrates a day, it’s safe to eat even half an avocado. But what you eat for the rest of the day can make a big difference and quickly add up to the relatively good carbohydrate content of the fruit.
5) Avocado: how much fiber?
On average, 100 g of avocado, all varieties estimate, has 6.7 g of dietary fiber. Believe it or not, fiber content of food is quite an important aspect to consider when it comes to determining whether a food is good or bad for you. An average person on a 2000 kcal diet needs about 28 g of fiber a day, but individual requirements may differ from person to person. For example, if you have gastritis, assuming the fat content in avocado doesn’t upset your stomach, the fiber might. Half a fruit can provide anywhere from 4.6 to 8.5 g of fiber and this may prove too much for you if you have gastritis. Anyone with loose stools and IBS may find the fruit just as upsetting, especially if they eat more than the recommended 30 g serving. Overall, this is also an important aspect to consider when deciding how much avocado you should eat.
So how many times a week should you eat avocado?
Experts agree 30 g of avocado a day is enough to get good nutrition and experience no side effects, unless you are allergic to the fruit, in which case you should avoid it completely. In reality, a lot of people who consume the fruit on a regular basis can and actually eat around half an avocado every day or one whole small or medium-sized avocado a day without experiencing any digestive or other issues. This would make their estimated intake anywhere from 3.5 to 7 avocados a week.
People who experience stomach upset or gallbladder problems report they can safely eat a quarter of an avocado either every day or every other day, or slightly more, but no more than maybe 2-3 avocados a week. The general consensus is that, as long as the amount you are currently eating does not cause any side effects or adverse reactions, then you can keep eating that much.
At the same time, it’s not ideal to eat the exact same thing every day because, in the long run, you might actually be depriving yourself of some important nutrients from other foods. If you eat avocado for breakfast, you may have it either plain with toast or with one or two eggs tops. That’s the reality for most of us since, well, we’re on the run in the morning. But if you were to alternate between avocado toast and eggs and whole grain cereals with milk and nuts or dried fruits for breakfast, you would actually be eating better nutrition overall. Because really good nutrition comes from greater variety in your diet.
If you experience stomach issues, headaches or migraines, rashes, tongue swelling, throat swelling and closing up, breathing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or low blood pressure from eating avocado, it is possible you are allergic to it and should avoid it altogether, in any amount or type of preparation. Get your nutrition from other sources in this case. Read more about the the possible adverse reactions of the fruit in the article 8 Side Effects and Contraindications of Avocado.
Is it okay to eat an avocado a day every day of the week? You can eat a quarter or half an avocado or even a whole fruit every day and it can be good for you. You can eat 5-6 avocados a week or only one and it can be the right amount for you. You can enjoy the fruit infrequently, in an occasional guacamole dip or avocado chocolate pudding and it would still be alright. As long as you don’t experience side effects or adverse reactions. The moment you feel the amount of avocado you are currently eating is making you feel sick to your stomach or in general, it’s recommended to reduce intake or, if the situation calls for it, discontinue consumption altogether. Because how many avocados you can eat a day or per week is something only you can tell, based on your individual reaction to the fruit and the nutrition it provides.
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