Is avocado good for diabetics? Benefits, risks and more
If you have diabetes, avocado may be a good choice. They are nutritious and contain healthy fats. However, they are also high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Using avocados as a substitute for other foods can help avoid the extra calories.
Lawyers are growing in popularity. The creamy green fruit is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and heart-healthy fats. Although they are high in fat, it is the right kind of fat that benefits people with type 2 diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes, adding avocado to your diet may help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and increase insulin sensitivity. Read on to learn more about the benefits of avocados for people with diabetes.
1. It won’t cause blood sugar spikes
Avocados are low in carbs, which means they have little effect on blood sugar. A recent study published in
Part of what makes avocados a good choice for people with diabetes is that although they are low in carbs, they are high in fiber. Many other fiber-rich foods can further raise blood sugar.
2. It’s a good source of fiber
Half of a small avocado, which is the standard amount people eat, contains about 5.9 grams of carbs and 4.6 grams of fiber.
According to the National Academies, the recommended minimum daily fiber intake for adults is:
- women 50 and under: 25 grams
- women over 50: 21 grams
- men 50 and under: 38 grams
- men over 50: 30 grams
A 2012 review published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine looked at the results of 15 studies involving fiber supplements (about 40 grams of fiber) for people with type 2 diabetes. They found that the supplements fiber for type 2 diabetes can reduce fasting blood sugar levels and A1c levels.
You don’t need to take any supplements to get these results. Instead, try eating a high-fiber diet. You can easily increase your fiber intake by eating more low-carb fruits, vegetables, and plants, such as avocados, leafy greens, berries, chia seeds, and nuts. Here are 16 ways to add more fiber to your diet.
3. It May Help Lose Weight and Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Losing weight – even a little – can increase your insulin sensitivity and reduce the likelihood that you will develop serious complications.
The healthy fats found in avocado can help you feel full longer. In
When you feel full longer after meals, you’re less likely to snack and consume extra calories. The healthy fat in avocados, called monounsaturated fat, may also help your body use insulin more efficiently.
4. It’s full of healthy fats
There are several types of fats, generally categorized into healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat and any amount of trans fat raises your bad blood cholesterol (LDL) levels. Trans fats at the same time lower your HDL (healthy) levels. High LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol levels are associated with a higher risk of heart disease in people with or without diabetes.
Good fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, raise your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. The good cholesterol in your blood helps eliminate bad cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Good sources of healthy fats include:
- nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts
- olive oil
- olive, avocado and flaxseed oil
- seeds, such as sesame or pumpkin seeds
A whole Hass avocado contains about 250 to 300 calories. Although avocados have the right kind of fat, these calories can still lead to weight gain if eaten in excess of your caloric needs. If you are trying to lose weight, it is essential that you practice portion control. Instead of adding avocado to your current diet, use it as a substitute for foods high in saturated fat, such as cheese and butter.
For example, you can mash an avocado and spread it on toast instead of using butter.
The FDA-recommended serving size for a medium avocado is one-fifth of the fruit, which contains about 50 calories. However, an analysis of data from the
- better overall nutrition
- lower body weight
- reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
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Avocados take several days to ripen. Most avocados you find at the grocery store will not be ripe yet. Typically, people buy an avocado a few days before they plan to eat it.
An unripe avocado will have a solid green color, a few shades darker than a cucumber. When an avocado is ripe, it takes on a darker, almost black shade of green.
Turn an avocado in your hand before buying it to check for bruises or soft spots. If the avocado is really mushy, it may be overripe. An unripe avocado is hard, like an apple. Leave it on the kitchen counter for a few days until it softens. You should be able to squeeze it like a tomato to test its ripeness.
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Using a knife:
- Cut the avocado lengthwise, from top to bottom on each side. There is a pit in the middle, so you won’t be able to completely slice the avocado. Instead, you’ll want to insert the knife until you feel it hit the pit in the middle, then cut lengthwise all the way around the avocado.
- Once you’ve cut all the way around, take the avocado in your hands and twist and separate the two sides.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the pit.
- Peel off the skin of the avocado with your hands or use the tip of the knife to separate the skin from the fruit and carefully remove the fruit.
- Slice it and enjoy!
Eat an avocado
The avocado is an extremely versatile fruit. A few things you can try:
- Slice it and put it on a sandwich.
- Cube it and put it in a salad.
- Mash it with lime juice and spices and use it as a dipping sauce.
- Spread it on toasted bread.
- Cut it up and put it in an omelet.
Replace with avocado
Avocados are creamy and rich, with a slight nutty flavor. Here are some ideas for replacing fat with avocados:
- Try putting avocado on your morning toast or bagel instead of butter and cream cheese. You will replace bad fats with good fats rich in fiber.
- Bake with avocado instead of butter and oil. The avocado can be replaced individually with butter. Here is a recipe for low carb avocado brownies.
- Add avocado to your smoothie instead of milk for a blast of nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals. Here are more diabetes-friendly smoothie ideas.
- Substitute cheese for avocado in your salad to reduce saturated fat and feel fuller.
Avocados are creamy and delicious. They are packed with vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The low carb to high fiber ratio is great for blood sugar stability. The good fats in avocado can help you prevent the complications of diabetes, like heart attacks and strokes, and help you use your insulin more efficiently.