The first recorded use of avocados dates back to 8000 B.C. back when they were first tailored in central and south America where the fruit (In contrary to popular beliefs, the avocado is actually a fruit, and not a vegetable) originates from. In the present times tailoring doesn’t just take place in America, but also in countries like the Dominican republic. The avocado is a popular fruit to use in the mexican kitchen as guacamole, but has many other uses that will surprise you!
In 2009 we globally ate 10 million kilo of avocado, in 2016 the number rose to 36 million kilos(!) This shows how incredibly popular the fruit has become over the last years, with no small thanks due to the influence of recipe books, tv cooking shows and writers.
In this article i’m diving into the details about this famous and versatile fruit, and whether or not it is safe to consume avocado on the keto diet. What are the benefits it can provide me? And how much should i consume to notice the effects on my health?
Will it kick me out of ketosis due to its high carbohydrate content? And how do i implement avocados into my diet are some understandable questions that come to mind. Without further ado, i’m heading straight into the facts!
Avocados and their proven benefits on your overall health
Avocado have an impressive nutrient profile, they contain more protein than other fruits and are rich in healthy fats, minerals, fiber and some important vitamins for your overall health like vitamin C, B5 and B6. Essential to prevent and cure illness.
- Avocado’s have the ability to lower bad LDL cholesterol. In a recent study patients with a high cholestorol were fed a moderate quantity of avocado daily. After 7 days their LDL was measured again and dropped by a whopping 21%. Their healthy HDL cholestorol had increased by 12% as a result. This is all caused bij the plantsterol called bèta-sitosterol
- The antioxidants will fight inflammtion within your body causing less muscle ache as result from your workouts and will allow you to burn more fat.
Protection against cancer cells
- Folic acid is a vitamin that fights cancer cells and is found in large quantities in avocados. You may know folic acid as vitamin B11, the common term. One avocado contains around 25% of your daily intake of folic acid. Other healthy sources (that are by the way also keto approved are seeds, nuts, spinach and other leafy vegetables.
- The powerful antioxidants that are present in avocados can fight and prevent inflammation in your body. This will reduce your chances of contracting prostate, mouth and skin cancer.
- The fytonutrients in avocados can stop cancerous cells from growing and that will cause them to die as a result.
- Another important benefit the consumption of avocados provide is the stabilization of your blood sugar levels. This is especially important if you are following the keto diet, as a bloodsugar spike will cause you to be kicked out of ketosis.
- Not only do they prevent a spike in your blood sugar, avocados also actively lower the bloodsugar levels because of the high amount of healthy fatty acids.
Reduces the symptoms of joint ache(Artritis)
- Because of the anti inflammatory compounds that are present in avocados they can reduce the symptoms of artritis, which will lead to less pain in your joints.
It eliminates depression & anxiety
- Because of the presence of vitamin B6(pyridoxine) it also acts as an anti agent against depression and anxiety, as well as your nervous system.
Protein & Fiber to keep you satiated
- With 5 grams of protein per avocado it is the most protein rich fruit you can eat. This is also very beneficial to meet your protein needs if you are on a vegan diet! The high fiber content that comes with it will help to keep you full for a long time. especially combined with the high amount of protein, as protein in the most satiating macronutrient.
More potassium than bananas
- Potassium is required for the contractions of your muscles, and the correct functioning of your brain and nerves. It also helps to lower your blood pressure. On average a 150 gram avocado contains around 750 milligrams of potassium, making up around 1/4th of your daily needs of the essential mineral. In comparison, a banana ‘only’ contains about half the amount of potassium with 365 milligrams.
Compatibilty with the keto diet – Will it kick me out of ketosis?
One of the biggest worries people are having when combining avocados on the keto diet is whether it will keep them in the fat burning state of ketosis. If we look at the carbohydrate content of an avocado, it is averagely listed at about 9 grams per 100 gram of avocado. The weight of an average avocado is around 150 grams, upping the carb content to about 15 grams.
As you may know, the recommended maximum amount of carbohydrates to consume on the ketogenic diet without being kicked out of ketosis is give or take 30 grams. Here comes the big but: Only net carbs count when counting carbs on the keto diet.
Net carbs is the amount of carbohydrates minus the amount of fiber. For instance, a 150 gram avocado containing 15 grams of carbs has 11 grams of fiber which you shouldn’t count towards your daily intake of carbohydrates. Leading to only 4 net grams of carbs & making it safe to consume on the keto diet. It will(when moderately consumed of course) not kick you out of ketosis!
The bottom line is that avocado is an amazing addition to your basket of fruit on the keto diet.
How to make avocados tasty!
I personally don’t really like the flavor of avocados, so if you are like me you may be tempted to skip on this fruit. Don’t get me wrong, while i’m not particularly fond of its flavor it does add a certain creaminess when added to other flavors since it isn’t really sweet, salty or bitter which makes it an excellent addition to both sweet(read: (keto)desserts) or savory food!
How I implement the avocado into my diet!
I’m a sucker for cottage cheese, i love combining these 2 into a bowl. By mixing around 250 grams of full fatt cottage cheese combined with a full(blended) avocado along with some melted low carb chocolate and a touch of cinnamon you create a very satiating and fat burning meal that is compatible with the keto ratios. Yes, it does contain some net carbs(non-fiber) but not nearly enough to kick you out of ketosis.
Another great way to implement the avocado is in sweet bakings. A favorite of mine that has stood the test of time are the lovely keto avocado brownies that i have, in my opinion, upgraded with a secret ingredient to make them even better!
What way do you like to implement the avocado on the keto diet into your dishes? What are your experiences with this creamy South-American fruit?
I would love to read about it in the comments below!