Delicious avocados are great foods for any diet, but they are particularly good for ketogenic diets. They are also present in Mediterranean diets. Both these diets have significant benefits when it comes to protecting your heart and your brain from age-related diseases. In addition, if you embrace the concepts in our diet, you can lose significant weight while eating a great meal.

 

Of their total calories, avocados contain 77% fat. They are even higher than fat contained in most animal foods. The main fatty acid they contain is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This happens to also be the predominant fatty acid in olive oil, which is essential for a healthy Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to reduce your risks of developing heart disease, dementia and cancers.

 

Avocados are high in potassium, and doing a ketogenic diet can sometimes deplete your body of electrolytes, including potassium and sodium. If you develop these problems, you usually get muscle cramps or feel lightheaded. To fix this, just eat more salt to boost your sodium level up if you’re feeling weak on this diet. Or, eat an avocado. One 9.6 oz. avocado contains 975 mg of potassium, enough to supplement anyone with a deficiency of this mineral.

 

Avocados also contain a high amount of fiber. Each avocado contains around 14 gm of fiber. Most nutritionists recommend 35 gm of fiber a day. Eating a half avocado helps you achieve this goal. In addition, because in ketogenic diets you calculate net carbs, even though the number of total carbs in a whole avocado are 17 g, the Net carbs is only 3. This allows you to eat avocados with little worry about boosting your carb intake for the day.

 

Weight loss or maintenance is actually better when you eat avocados. Results from the NANES Study[1]demonstrated that people who ate avocados tended to weigh less and have less visceral fat than those who didn’t.  In addition, those who consumed more avocados also ate more vegetables and fruit in their diet, plus they consumed less sugars. They also had a 50% less risk of developing metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, obesity and high lipids) compared to those who didn’t consume avocados.

 

In addition to being a great keto food, avocados can improve your lipid profile, which can decrease your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. They have been shown to reduce the bad lipids (LDL and triglycerides) while increase the good lipid (HDL) levels.[2]Moreover, because they lower lipid levels they offer a great advantage over low-fat diets that contain greater amounts of carbohydrates.[3]

 

In one study,[4]avocados decreased total cholesterol levels 17%, LDL-cholesterol 22%, and triglycerides by 22%. These are considered the “bad” lipids. The “good” lipid, HDL-cholesterol, increased by 11%. Anytime you can increase HDL levels, there is less risk of you developing cardiovascular disease.

Thus, because of all these beneficial associations of avocado intake, adding avocados to your diet is a very healthy dietary recommendation that can also improve your ability to achieve and maintain ketosis for the Keto-Medi diet we recommend.

 

[1]Fulgoni VL, Dreher M, Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutr J. 2013 Jan 2;12:1. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-1.

[2]Alvizouri-Muñoz M1, Carranza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, Chávez-Carbajal F, Amezcua-Gastelum JL.  Effects of avocado as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipid levels. Arch Med Res. 1992 Winter;23(4):163-7. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1308699

[3]Carranza J, et al. [Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype II and IV dyslipidemias]. Arch Inst Cardiol Mex. 1995 Jul-Aug;65(4):342-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8561655

[4]Ledesma LR. Et al. Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Arch Med Res. 1996 Winter;27(4):519-23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8987188