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Where do the Calories in Avocado Come From?

Sep 30th 2013 at 2:14 AM

Perhaps you've heard some of the discussion about the amount of calories in avocado and are wondering about how they are broken down by category or how avocados in general should be viewed from a health standpoint.  The truth is that because avocados have a very different nutritional profile than most other fruits, it's sometimes difficult to determine just how good for you they are, and if they should be included in a healthy diet at all.

This question of whether calories in avocado come from healthy sources is due in large part to the high fat content in avocados.  One cup of avocados (230g) can contain more than 300 calories from fat.  This may seem very high, and it actually is compared to most other fruits.

It can even seem high in comparison to what we would think of as junk foods.  Avocados are surely high in fat, but it's important to understand just what sort of fats we are talking about here.  It's true that avocados contain some saturated fats, but it's a relatively low percentage of the total calories in avocado snacks.  This is less than 15% in fact.  The rest of the fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are much more healthy.  Mono-unsaturated fats for instance are important as they can help lower cholesterol levels.

Given that avocados do not contain any cholesterol, this means that avocados can be a very heart healthy food.  So just because a lot of calories in avocado are from fat doesn't mean they are unhealthy.

Far from it in fact, as avocados have a lot to offer in the way of nutrition, it's not all just fats.  Avocados are low in sodium.  They are also very low in sugar unlike many other fruits.  Perhaps the most beneficial fact is there is a very high ratio of dietary fiber to calories in avocado.

Dietary fiber is also a heart healthy compound that is an important inclusion in any diet.  It helps to reduce cholesterol and aids in general digestion.  Given it's ability to help cleanse the digestive tract, it also helps to reduce the risks of cancer in the lower abdominal tract.

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