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How much protein is in one avocado?

They have even been touted as a 'superfood' — but are these health claims accurate?

How Much Protein Is in One Avocado? | Juniper

Whether you're a fan or not, there's no denying avocados have become one of the most popular foods on the market in recent years — and for good reason!

They're a staple in many people's kitchens, and you'll rarely find a cafe menu that doesn't contain some kind of avocado toast.

But are they actually good for you, and can you still enjoy avocados if you are on a weight loss journey?

Here's everything you need to know about the health benefits of avocados, how much protein they contain, what is a healthy level of avocado consumption, and how an avocado-rich diet could help support your health goals.

What is an avocado?

In case you've been living under a rock, we'll start with the basics. Avocados are typically about the size of a fist and have a green, creamy texture covered in dark bumpy skin, with one large pit in the middle.

Unripe avocados can be quite hard and bright green, while ripe avocados have darker skin and are softer to the touch.

They are not sweet, but they are classified as a fruit of the avocado tree. They are believed to have originated in Mexico or Central America and typically grow best in tropical climates [1].

Their mild, nutty flavour makes them a popular and versatile ingredient, particularly for those on a vegetarian diet or trying to eat more plant foods.

They have even been touted as a 'superfood' — but are these health claims accurate?

Are avocados a good source of protein?

The good news is that there are numerous health benefits associated with avocado consumption, and eating avocados can very much be part of a balanced diet.

If you're conscious of your health or are embarking on a weight loss journey, you are probably aware of the importance of getting your protein in.

Protein is an essential nutrient in the human body and keeps us functioning every day [2].

It helps the cells in your body grow and repair, contains enzymes to help your digestion and metabolism, helps transmit signals throughout the body, and provides structure and support for cells like muscles.

Like most plants, avocadoes do contain protein.

It is not a particularly high amount though, with a medium-sized avocado containing about 3 grams per fruit in hass avocados and 1 gram per fruit in shepherd avocados [3][4].

What other nutrients do avocados contain?

In addition to protein, avocados contain many other healthy macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals [1].

These include monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol in your blood and minimise your risk of heart disease and stroke [5].

Avocados also contain dietary fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium.

The monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, and potassium in avocados have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases [1].

Unlike many other fruits, avocados are relatively low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats (unsaturated fats are considered healthy, while saturated fats are considered unhealthy) [6].

They contain very little sugar, making them a low glycemic food, which is great for anybody with diabetes or following a ketogenic diet, and can help lower metabolic syndrome risk [1].

They also have low sodium and no cholesterol, which is good news for anybody with high blood cholesterol or blood pressure issues.

An average medium-sized avocado contains approximately 240 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, and 22 grams of fat (split into 15 grams monounsaturated fats, 4 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 3 grams of saturated fat).

What are the health benefits of eating avocados?

As we've mentioned above, avocados are nutritional powerhouses, and regular avocado consumption could have numerous health benefits.

For one thing, they are an excellent source of healthy fats, which keep you fuller for longer — especially when paired with a source of protein. This is particularly helpful for anybody on a weight loss journey, or anybody trying to prevent weight gain.

Studies have found monounsaturated fat, which is found in avocados, can have a positive impact on weight loss [7].

Studies have also found that avocado consumption and monounsaturated fats could help heart health, prevent cardiovascular disease, and support healthy ageing [6].

They are a low glycemic food which is beneficial for blood sugar, and their high potassium and low sodium can help keep blood pressure down.

Additionally, avocados produce avocado oil, which has plenty of benefits of its own.

Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which is believed to enhance nutrient and phytochemical bioavailability — meaning it can help you absorb and get the most out of vitamins and minerals from other fruits, vegetables, and nutritious foods [4].

What protein-rich foods pair well with avocado?

So we've established that avocado-enriched diets can be a great health choice, but while they contain lots of vitamins and healthy fats, they do not provide a lot of protein.

Eating foods and meals that contain protein and have healthy fat content is ideal when possible, as it will keep you fuller for longer and is less likely to leave you with an energy crash.

The good news is that there are many healthy foods you can pair with avocado to create a tasty and nutritious meal or snack.

When it comes to increasing avocado consumption and incorporating more protein, the options are endless. Here are some meal ideas:

  • Add half an avocado to a salad or sandwich, along with a protein source such as chicken or tuna, or tofu or chickpeas for those on vegetarian diets.
  • Add sliced avocado to tacos along with meat, beans, and salad.
  • Make a healthy homemade pizza, and top it with some fresh avocado after cooking.
  • Try making stuffed avocados by preparing a tuna or salmon salad, and dolloping a couple of spoonfuls onto an avocado half.
  • For breakfast, you can try adding half an avocado to a protein smoothie — it might sound odd, but its creamy texture will help thicken up the drink. Plus, when paired with flavoured protein powder and berries, you will probably not even taste it!
  • For a snack, sliced avocado on rice cakes topped with cottage cheese or tuna is a filling and balanced option, packed with protein, healthy dietary fats, and carbohydrates.
  • Avocado flesh can also be a great addition to baked goods and can work as a substitute for butter or olive oil. There are recipes out there for avocado brownies, muffins, and even banana bread.
  • Avocados' creamy texture also makes them a perfect dip or spread — with a little lime or lemon juice and seasoning, you can make a quick guacamole. To increase the protein, you can add some cottage cheese, blended chickpeas or edamame, or simply serve alongside a high-protein meal such as a burrito bowl.

Can you eat avocados every day?

In theory, daily avocado intake is perfectly healthy.

As we've discussed, the monounsaturated fat in avocado is a healthy type of dietary fat, and the nutrients in avocados are beneficial for heart health, and there are many other health benefits.

Like everything though, it is important to eat them in moderation.

Due to their high-fat content, they are relatively high in calories, containing over 200 per fruit — which is important to know if you have a weight loss goal or are keeping an eye on your calories.

Fats contain more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein-rich foods, so while they can be a great addition to a healthy diet, it is also easy to unintentionally overdo it [6].

A recommended serving size or portion is about half an avocado, which will provide you with many of the benefits we've discussed [4].

So if you're spreading a whole avocado on your toast each morning, you might technically be eating a much bigger meal than you realise.

How do I plan a balanced diet?

If you are trying to improve your diet quality and incorporate more healthy fats while also striving for weight loss, things can get a little confusing.

There is so much information out there, but we believe improving your health doesn't have to be complicated — in fact, to maintain long-term changes, it is often best to keep things simple.

That's where a program like the Juniper Weight Reset comes in. This holistic program pairs clinically proven treatments and tools for lasting change and weight loss, and is designed alongside health professionals.

You will have access to health tracking, an encouraging community, and dietician-led coaching to help you make the best nutritional choices to support your goals.

When it comes to nutritional targets and meeting your body's requirements, we should aim to get as many nutrients as possible from whole foods.

However, we all lead busy lifestyles and sometimes this is easier said than done. For those busy times, having dietary supplements on hand is a great option.

Remember, losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or boring. In fact, if done right, it should be the exact opposite — and delicious foods like avocados can help you along the way!

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