If you’ve been following a low carb or keto diet then you have probably been eating quite a few avocados but do you know all the amazing health benefits of avocado on keto?
Avocados are considered an essential part of the ketogenic diet due to their healthy high-fat content. Aside from fats, avocados are loaded with fiber and essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, folate, beta carotene, Vitamin B6 and E.
Related reading: Best Fats To Eat On A Low Carb Diet
Because of the health benefits of avocado on keto, it is not surprising to find tons of keto-friendly recipes made with avocados. They are great for adding to smoothies, salads, soups, and for making dips, salsas and sauces.
Nutrition Facts of Avocado
The National Center for Biotechnology Information has provided the following nutrition facts for a 68-gram or one-half avocado:
- Calories – 114
- Dietary fiber – 6 g
- Potassium – 345 mg
- Sodium – 5.5 mg
- Folate – 60 mg
- Magnesium – 19.5 mg
- Pro-Vitamin A – 43 micrograms
- Monounsaturated fatty acids – 6.7 g
- Vitamin B 6 – 0.2 mg
- Vitamin E – 1.3 mg
- Vitamin K – 14 micrograms
- Total sugar – 0.2 g
Given their nutrient profile above, avocados contain quite a lot of fats, potassium, and dietary fiber. In fact, avocado oil is made up of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as the “good fats”.
The fats help to lower LDL, or the “bad cholesterol” and increase the HDL, the “good cholesterol”. These nutrients are responsible for the many health benefits of avocado on keto.
Health Benefits of Avocado on Keto
Avocados are considered a superfood because of their superior nutrition and incredible health benefits. Here are some reasons why you should add avocados to your daily diet, especially if you’re on keto.
1. It Has a Good Amount of Potassium
When you’re just starting on the keto diet, you may find yourself suffering from different side effects. All these symptoms are due to keto flu. One way to beat keto flu is to add sodium and potassium to your diet.
If you refer to the nutrition profile of avocado above, you’ll find that avocados contain a good amount of potassium. Surprisingly perhaps it has more potassium compared to bananas. A serving of avocado (100 grams) contains 14% of the RDA for potassium, while bananas only have 10%.
2. High in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Avocados are high in fats, and it is for this reason why eating avocado on keto is a good idea. Aside from being high in fats and fiber, avocados are low in carbs which makes them the perfect food to eat on a low carb diet like keto.
Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids, the type of fat that is good for your heart. The monounsaturated fatty acids are believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits of avocado. These fats have also been associated with reduced inflammation and shown to have some beneficial effects on genes that are linked to cancer.
3. Contains Lots of Fiber
If you are following a keto diet you will know that you have to limit your consumption of carbs to 20 to 50 grams per day. Since some of the best sources of fiber are carbs, it’s not uncommon for keto dieters to lack fiber.
But fiber is important since it aids in the removal of waste in the colon and helps to maintain healthy digestion.
Fiber is one of those foods that avocados are rich in. A serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, and that is equivalent to 27% of the RDA. 75% of this fiber is insoluble.
Insoluble fiber is not digested but retains water in the colon resulting in a larger, softer stool helping to prevent constipation, which is one of the most common side effects of keto.
So, adding avocados to your diet will help to provide fiber which helps your gastrointestinal tract to function at its best.
It’s also worth noting that the fiber in avocado will make you feel full longer, which obviously is a great help if your aim with the keto diet is to lose weight.
3. Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Several blood markers are associated with an increased risk of heart diseases. These include cholesterol and triglycerides.
Studies show that eating avocados can help to minimize these risk factors. One of the biggest health benefits of avocado is that it helps to lower LDL cholesterol (bad kind) and triglycerides, and increase HDL cholesterol (good kind) which minimizes your risk of getting heart disease.
Related reading: How a Low Carb High Fat Diet Affects your Cholesterol
One of the biggest concerns that people have with the keto diet is that it could potentially increase bad cholesterol levels (LDL), especially if their diet consists of ultra high fat, such as bacon and meat.
Related reading: Doesn’t A High Fat Diet Clog Up Your Arteries?
This is why when following the keto diet, it’s important to be aware of the right foods to eat. Most of your fats should come from organic grass-fed meat and highly nutritious foods such as avocado.
Some studies suggest that avocados can increase the good cholesterol level by up to 11% and lower the bad cholesterol level by up to 22%.
4. Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
People who are following the vegan keto diet can greatly benefit from eating avocados. That’s because this fruit helps your body to absorb some nutrients coming from the plant foods that you eat.
Remember that when it comes to eating healthy, your intake isn’t the only thing that matters. Your body should also be able to extract the nutrients from these foods and distribute them all over your body.
Certain nutrients are considered “fat-soluble” and this means that they must be combined with fats before your body can utilize them. For instance, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble, as well as some antioxidants.
Studies show that eating avocados or avocado oil can help to improve the absorption of antioxidants to your body for up to 15-fold. Aside from being highly nutritious, eating avocado on keto can also increase the nutrient value of the plant foods that you eat on your keto diet.
Whether you are on a keto diet or not, avocados are a great food to eat since they are loaded with nutrients. Most of the nutrients that we can get from avocados are lacking in the modern diet that we are used to.
Hopefully, this list of the health benefits of avocado on keto will convince you to include this very nutritious superfood in your diet. Adding this fruit to your diet is so easy because you can use it in so many different ways. You can make it into salads, smoothies, and even include it in some savory dishes!