I’ve heard avocados are fatty.


I have an avocado tree. I’ve heard avocados are fatty, so limit myself to a half one per day. Recently I read they are a good source of protein, so I would eat more if it made sense. Considering the pros and cons, just what would be a sensible, regular use of avocados in my diet?

I am 76, bicycle and work out at gym three days a week and run five miles three other days a week. Occasionally day-hike and sometimes backpack. Six feet, one inch tall, 185 pounds with 14% body fat. Is this enough info? Thanks for the help.

One Avocado has 4 grams of protein, 15 grams carbohydrate and 31 grams of fat. So avocados are mostly fat. However, it is a good fat because avocados contain monounsaturated fat (19 gms in 1 avocado) like olive oil and peanut oil.

So choose avocados like you would any other fat source. If you choose to eat 1/2 avocado per day, you are eating 3 fat servings (diabetic exchanges) which should fit into a healthy eating plan. Or you could compare avocados to the My Plate where 1 medium avocado is a serving of fruit. Hope this isn’t confusing, but depending on how you keep track of your food intake (diabetic exchanges or the food guide pyramid), avocados are one of those foods that could be in either group. I would choose the fat group since fat is the predominant nutrient.

Congrats on a great exercise plan. You’re a role model for what aging can be about.

Have you tried out the Healthy Body Calculator? If you put in your physical data, you can see for yourself how much fat you should eat in a day. You can adjust the fat percentage the calculator uses to fit your fat goal. Given your statistics above, you need at least 60 grams of fat per day at 30% fat from your total calories for your basal energy needs. This amount of fat doesn’t include fat you need for exercise.

So if you ate 1/2 avocado per day, that would provide 25% of your fat needs at this basal energy level. Depending on what else you eat and how much you exercise on a daily basis, this could be too little or just right.