If you're as obsessed with avocado as we are, you're probably spreading it on toast, using it to make mousse, and chucking it into your smoothie to make it extra thick and filling. We're told that avocados are super good for us, with a balanced of monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats that help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin K, A, D, and E) from your food and leave you feeling full and satiated. They contain B vitamins (super important for methylation) and vitamin E, which helps with collagen production and retaining moisture in your skin. They help keep your brain healthy and your immune system strong.
But can you consume too much avocado?
According to Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner, "For most people a half to two avocados a day is a great idea for a nutrient-dense clean diet. One of the core understandings, though, in functional medicine is that we are all different, so even with healthy stuff like avocados it may not work for everyone in larger amounts. People with digestive problems like SIBO and FODMAP intolerance will probably have stomach problems when they eat too much avocado. For these people I suggest limiting your avocado intake to about one-eighth of an avocado per day, which is still the perfect amount to put in your salads or blend in your smoothies!"
Miranda Hammer, R.D., considers an ideal serving for most healthy people one-half an avocado per day, although she also suggests consuming more limited quantities if you're on a low FODMAP diet or suffer from IBS. "The key," she says, "is to listen to your body and really pay attention to whether or not you're having a negative reaction."
Kimberly Snyder, C.N., takes a measured stance, noting that "eating some fat is essential for beauty and health, but you don't need to overdo it. If you look at some of the people around the world with the best health and longest lives, including various cultures in Asia, you'll see that many of them favor plant foods with lower fat and protein consumption. Exactly how much avocado (and fat in general) you should consume in a day depends on your body type, general constitution, activity levels, and so on, so there is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. As a guideline, 15 to 30 percent of your diet should come from whole food sources of fat, including avocado and other healthy fats, like nutrient-dense seeds and nuts. Assuming you are eating some seeds and nuts and utilizing some coconut oil for cooking, a half to a whole avocado a day is a good general amount."
So there you go—use avocados liberally, but be mindful about portion sizes. This is especially important when consuming things that mask how much you're truly eating, like smoothies or avocado pudding. Remember that, while they're amazing for you, avocados are just one small part of a healthy diet. Or as Drew Ramsey, M.D., says, "For most people, eating more than one a day leads me to wonder about the overall diversity of their diet."
Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.