Is Avocado Bad for Your Health?

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Is avocado bad for you? That's a question we don't hear very often since the avocado is renowned for its abundant health benefits. The correct answer is "No, it's normally not bad for your health, but in some cases, it could be." Here are some scenarios when avocado consumption may contribute to health risks.

Avocado Halves
Avocado Halves | Source

Avocado and Latex Allergy

"How are the two even related?" you may ask. The answer lies in the enzymes called "chitinases," found in some fruits, legumes and vegetables, such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, figs and tomatoes. Many latex-allergic individuals tend to also have allergic reactions to chitinases, which is known as "latex-fruit syndrome." The typical symptoms include stomachache, nausea, headache and rashes. If you have latex allergy, it might be wise to avoid avocados and other foods that contain chitinases, or get properly tested for latex-fruit syndrome. If your love for avocados is much greater than your fear of allergic reactions, however, at least try to buy ones that were organically grown. Organic avocados are not ripened with ethylene gas, a compound that increases the amount of chitinases, so they contain a lot less allergy-causing enzymes.

Too Much Avocado?

You may have heard a lot about the health benefits of avocados. For example, they can promote heart health, improve blood sugar regulation and reduce cancer risks. Some even say that eating avocados can aid in weight loss. The truth is avocados, although packed with important nutrients, are also high in fat and calories, so there's no way you can eat a truckload of them without suffering any consequences. While eating a proper amount of avocado can help lower cholesterol and possibly facilitate weight loss, over-consumption of it may actually lead to weight gain. To better understand this, let's take a look at some nutrition facts.

Nutrients and Calories in 1 Large Avocado

Calories
230
Fat
22 g
Potassium
700 mg
Carbs
13 g
Fiber
10 g
Protein
4 g
Vitamin C
24%
Iron
4%

Avocado Fat Content

Types of Fat
Amount
Saturated Fat
3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
3 g
Monounsaturated Fat
14 g

As you can see, a large avocado contains 22 grams of fat and a whopping 230 calories, which are relatively high compared to most vegetables and fruits. One large tomato, for instance, contains only about 35 calories. So if you put an avocado in your salad instead of a tomato, you are consuming approximately 200 more calories! As for the fat content, the amount of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) significantly exceeds the amount of bad fat (saturated fat). Nonetheless, fat is still fat, and needs to be consumed in moderation.

Don't allow these numbers to scare you from eating avocados, though. If you don't overeat them, avocados can be very beneficial for your health. Plus, there are many other factors that play crucial roles in weight management, such as your overall diet plan, eating habits and level of physical activity. For example, if your salad consists of grilled chicken breast and low-calorie vegetables, adding some avocado to it probably won't be a problem. However, if it's a steak salad crowned with scrumptious blue cheese and bacon bits, you might not want another 230 calories on top of that. Also, if you live a pretty active lifestyle and exercise regularly, those few grams of fat from avocados are nothing to fuss about!

Avocados
Avocados | Source

How Much Avocado is Too Much?

There is no general guideline for this. One easy way to determine how much avocado is too much for you is to calculate your ideal calorie and fat intake per day. Many fitness sites and smartphone apps offer calorie calculators, which determine your proper calorie and nutrient intake, based on your height, age, sex and level of physical activity. For example, my ideal calorie intake is 1500, and the maximum amount of fat I should eat per day is 45 grams. So one avocado a day sounds about right for my personal diet plan; two might still be okay if I don't eat an excessive amount of other fatty foods on the same day, but three are way too much.

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Comments 28 comments

Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I love to use raw fruit on my skin and make my own scrub so this is invaluable to me.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Thanks for dropping by, Angela. Glad you find this information useful!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Interesting Hub. Love avocados and now I'm more convinced than ever to only buy them organic. Thanks for your information.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I love avocados and knew of the health benefits but never knew that those suffering with latex allergies could have problems. Interesting! Reading this hub reminded me to add avocado to our shopping list. Thanks! Up, useful and interesting votes and shared.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

I had no idea that avocado could be bad for someone with a latex allergy! Wow, that is very interesting - great hub, Om!


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

I have to say that the steak salad with bacon and blue cheese does sound good :). Great hub Om! I absolutely adore avocados so this was terrific for me!


Riverfish24 profile image

Riverfish24 4 years ago from United States

I just love avocados and guacamole. I stick to 2-3 a week, Im hoping that's working out for me :D Well written Hub Om! Nice clear pic too.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

I usually consume 1 avacodo each week. but, i agree that excess of it or anything is bad.

good and informative hub. voted up and sharing it across


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

LOL after reading all the comments I think I'm the only person out there that doesn't like avocados :) Maybe I should try them again, lots of good reasons to :) Voted up and shared!


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

I love avocado, but avocado and my stomach don't mix too much so I have to eat it in moderation. TGI Friday's has this awesome chipote salad with avocado. That is one of the best salads that I have ever eaten. I agree with Ruchira. Anything in excess is bad for you and even though avocados are high in fat, they also contain the good fat. 1/2 of an avocado contains about 160 calories. nice picture. I have an avocado tree in my backyard, but there aren't any left. Great hub!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

I always wondered about this. I've heard good and bad things about them. Your Hub cleared up the confusion! Wow, I had no idea about the latex allergy connection. For the rest of us, best to eat in moderation and that's not too difficult given the prices of avocados these days! Super Hub packed with useful information. Voted up, useful and interesting.


Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

Love this fruit, and featured it in one of my Hubs recently. They are fatty, that's for sure. Thank you for the well researched and informative Hub! I had no idea about the latex connection. Voted up.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

When I was in Cape Town about 10 years ago, I was surprised when I found out that they were selling avocados for $2 for the whole big gunny sack! I was told that the poor will feed their babies on avocados as it is cheap. No wonder they have good complexions.


donnaMhicks 4 years ago

Very good info about avacados as well as the relationship between avacados and latex allergy. Many people do not realize the connection between certain foods and their allergies.

I am allergic to coconut but never made the connection between the suntan oil or certain lotions I used causing a bad skin rash until I learned they all contained coconut!

Voted up!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Hey Om, am I missing something with the first comment? I don't get it. I read the hub three times searching for the use of the avocado on the skin but couldn't. I thought you had jotted that somewhere in there.

Anyway, I had no idea there was an allergy issue with laser surgery. I know that consuming too much avocado could set you back on your diet plan though. This was interesting info. Thanks for sharing.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

GoodLady - Yep, organic foods are usually better!

Peggy W - Yeah, the latex-fruit syndrome is not very common. That's why most people are unaware of it. Glad you're going to add some avocados to your shopping cart next time!

leahlefler - Thanks! I'm glad you learned something new from this hub.

krsharp - It does sound good, doesn't it? LOL Well, glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for dropping by.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Riverfish - A few avocados a week is probably ok! Thanks for the kind words.

Ruchira - Yep, moderation is one good word to always remember.

CassyLu - What? You don't like avocados? What's wrong with you??!!! Hehehe Just kidding. I actually know a few other people who are not so fond of them, either.

lovedoctor - Ah, I have to try that avocado salad dish at TGI Friday's sometime. Thanks for letting me know!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

lindacee - Yeah, I know avocados aren't so cheap anymore, are they?!!

Kaili Bisson - Thanks for the kind words and vote, Kaili.

greatstuff - $2 for a whole sack of avocados? Wow! They must have eaten avocados every single day lol

donnaMhicks - Yep, lots of people are totally unaware of their allergies, either because they're rare allergies or the allergic reactions are not severe so they don't pay much attention to them.

Cardisa - You're right. I didn't mention anything about the use of avocados on the skin in this hub, but I guess she might have come across the info through one of my links. By the way, I believe you meant "latex allergy" when you said "laser surgery." hehehe :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

There is a Chinese word for "latex" and you describe the symptoms perfectly. I love avocados and often have periods of cravings followed by periods of "abstinence" (probaby brought about my over-indulgence). I hope that evens out my intake. Thanks for sharing. Rated up, of course.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Hehehe Yeah, I guess that evens it out. I also like avocados but not so much that I crave them.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

LOL LOL LOL, I found that very funny. There I was looking for something else and totally forgot what I was writing about. I had the right thing in my mind then wrote something totally stupid....lol


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

HAHA! I actually do this kind of thing all the time, too. Sometimes I guess we've been writing or typing too much so our hands just give up receiving messages from our brains. LOL


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I was so surprised by that detail about avocados and latex allergies! How fascinating.

Your additional advice about calories and fat is right on- it bothers me so much when people hear about ONE good health benefit a food has and subsequently assume that consuming a TON of that food is going to make them lose weight or otherwise become more healthy.

Great Hub, Om!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Simone. Yes, some people are too quick to jump on a bandwagon, especially when it comes to losing weight. They think simply adding a lot of healthy foods to their diet will work wonders, but fail to assess their overall eating habits. For example, they might drink huge cups of green tea throughout the day, hoping it would speed up their metabolism. Yet at the same time, they also eat lots of donuts, cupcakes, pork belly and lard!


LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

The though one could eat too many avacados just about breaks my heart, but I guess too much of a good thing is never so good after all. Thanks for alerting us to these issues.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

I know some avocado lovers must hate this article! Oh well, I'm just offering some facts here, not trying to turn anyone against this yummy fruit. hehehe


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

I had never heard that avocados were bad for us, but over the past year I have had to stop eating avocados because each time I ate them I would become sick. I am glad I read your hub. It gave me a starting place to research it as a possible allergy. Even today, my husband is slicing up an avocado to make up a batch of guacamole, which I won't be eating, because I don't want to be sick today. Great hub - and most helpful to me.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago Author

@MarleneB - Ah yes, latex allergy could be the reason for that. I'm glad you're going to look into it and maybe get tested. Thanks for stopping by, Marlene.

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