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The health benefits of avocado, according to a dietitian

This source of healthy fat is a versatile source of nutrients.

Photo of Emilia Benton
Avocados are also high in potassium, an electrolyte that most people do not get enough of.

Avocados are also high in potassium, an electrolyte that most people do not get enough of.

Daniel Grizelj/Getty Images

Avocados are one of the most versatile fruits out there, which you can use in everything from traditional chips and guacamole appetizers to a salad or sandwich topping, or even as a healthier stand-in for mayonnaise in sandwiches or salad dressings. But since you’re likely well aware that avocado is also high in calories and fat, you may be questioning if it’s actually healthy for you and if it should be eaten in moderation.

Here, a dietitian breaks it all down.

Health benefits of avocado

According to Cassie Madsen MS, RD, a Wisconsin- and Minnesota-based registered dietitian at Gut Health and Nutrition in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the fruit’s biggest claim to health fame is its abundance of healthy fats.

“The monounsaturated fats in avocados reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and help protect the heart,” she explains. “Avocados are also a great source of fiber, which provides further heart health benefits but can also be a big help for your gut, keeping you regular and potentially decreasing your risk for cancer.”

Avocados are also high in potassium, an electrolyte that most people do not get enough of, Madsen adds. Getting sufficient levels of potassium can be vital in lowering your blood pressure.

Can you eat avocado every day? 

Good news for avocado lovers: You can go ahead and eat it every day without worry, Madsen says. That’s because, once again, it’s a source of healthy fat that’s associated with good heart and cholesterol health, unlike other fats that can have the opposite effect.

How many avocados can you have?

According to Madsen, most people can eat large quantities of avocados without adverse effects. 

“Due to their high-fat content, avocados are also high in calories, so consuming in moderation is usually recommended unless you are trying to gain weight,” she says. 

For some people, too much avocado can cause unpleasant gut symptoms, Madsen adds. This is because avocados contain sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol.

“While sorbitol is not necessarily unhealthy, it can be poorly absorbed which can lead to diarrhea, gas, and bloating in some people,” she explains. “For those reasons, it might be wise to limit avocado to 1/2 an avocado per sitting or 1 whole avocado per day.”

Benefits of avocado oil

Avocado oil is unsurprisingly another heart-healthy oil you can substitute for other less-healthy options when cooking, baking, or making salad dressings. Virgin avocado oil, like olive oil, is a healthy oil that can be used for many purposes and is stable even when cooking at high heat., Madsen says.  

BetterBody Foods

Avocado oil is also high in vitamins A and E, which can help to fight inflammation and promote healthy skin. It’s also a good source of lutein, which is an antioxidant that benefits eye health.

“Like whole avocados, avocado oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats,” Madsen says. “However, you do lose the fiber benefits when consuming just the oil.”

This article has been updated with an amendment regarding cooking with olive oil.