How it differs from other fruits and what studies have shown so far about its effects on our health.
The avocado is a fruit with a completely different nutritional composition from the rest, since it is rich in fats while most other fruits contain mainly carbohydrates. However, its fats are mostly beneficial, while it also contains many other ingredients that make it a true nutritional treasure.
In fact, the nutritional value of avocados is so high that:
It is a traditional component of healthy dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet.
It can be included in a balanced nutritional program, aimed at controlling body weight.
It offers essential nutrition to young and old, especially children.
Energizes and nutritionally improves breakfast or post-workout snack for athletes (combined with carbohydrates and proteins, in the context of sports nutritional support)
It is a fasting and vegetarian dietary option, being suitable even for strict vegetarians
These comments are made by Dietitian-Nutritionist and Biologist Ioanna Adamidou, MS, RD, Head of Bioiatriki+ Nutrition and BioClinic Thessaloniki Scientific Associate, and Clinical Dietitian-Nutritionist Melina Tsagkataki-Tsiringa, MSc, BioClinic Athens and Bioiatriki+ Nutrition Associate Scientist . BIOIATRIKI Group.
As the two experts explain, avocados have been introduced into the diet of most Greeks in recent years, becoming a new dietary trend. In some regions of the country (eg Crete, Rhodes) its consumption has been common since ancient times, since the climate fully favors its cultivation and the presence of trees even in gardens.
Its origin is believed to be from Mexico and Central America, with Mexico now being its main producer.
High nutritional value
Avocado is rich in many nutrients. These include:
healthy fatty acids
Abundance of valuable micronutrients
Among its micronutrients are antioxidant vitamins E and C, polyphenols, vitamins B6 and K, potassium, magnesium and folic acid.
Compared to other fruits, avocado is more energy dense (more calories), which is due to its high fatty acid content. Specifically, per piece of 200 grams, each fruit provides:
322 calories (energy)
29.5 grams fat (19.7 g is monounsaturated and 4.28 g is saturated)
4.02 grams protein
17.1 grams carbohydrate
13.5 grams fiber
1.33 grams sugars
As can be seen from its nutritional analysis, most of the fats it contains are monounsaturated. This fact makes it a very healthy source of fat and generally a completely nutritious food.
It is no coincidence that the corresponding oil is also produced from the avocado, which maintains the beneficial content of good fats and vegetable fibers, offering better satiety. At the same time, however, it is low in sugar.
Due to its high nutritional value, the fruit provides multiple health benefits when consumed regularly. In more detail it relates to:
Better cardiovascular health
Avocado is rich in oleic acid, which belongs to the group of monounsaturated fatty acids. Its consumption has been associated with:
optimal endothelial function
Improved blood lipid levels (increased “good” or HDL cholesterol)
Less chance of developing cardiovascular disease
Recent studies have shown that compared to simply having a low-fat diet, avocado has anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and antihypertensive effects. It also exerts a beneficial effect on cardiometabolic risk factors, due to its particular nutritional composition and its additional content of bioactive components (for example, phytosterols).
Improved digestion and gut microbiome
Due to its fiber and fat content, it promotes gastrointestinal health. Among other things, it contributes to the development of the normal microflora (microbiome) of the intestine and its good motility.
Mild rise in sugar
Avocado contains few sugars but is rich in fiber. This combination contributes to a smooth and not sudden increase in blood glucose (sugar) levels after eating (postprandial glucose).
The carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin) it contains have a beneficial effect on the eyes. These two antioxidant substances help protect eye tissues from damage that can be caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. They also help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.