Table of Contents
The Quick Answer
Yes. Avocados are paleo.
Why Are Avocados Paleo?
Avocados (which are actually a fruit and not a vegetable) are paleo because they are naturally occurring and nutrient-dense foods. They contain healthy fats, as well as other important vitamins and minerals, making them a staple in many people’s paleo diets. Avocados have been eaten for thousands of years in different parts of the world and today they are one of the most beloved paleo foods.
The biggest benefit that avocados have to offer is their healthy fat content. Healthy fats are essential for a variety of bodily functions: brain function, hormonal balance, absorption of vitamins and minerals, and so on. Because many nutrients are fat-soluble, if you eat a nutrient-rich paleo diet but you aren’t consuming enough fat, you may be missing out on absorbing many of those nutrients. Healthy fats also help us feel full after eating, which prevents us from reaching for unhealthy high-carb snacks.
What Do Avocados Contain?
Avocados are roughly 77% fat (63% monounsaturated, 14% saturated, and 12% polyunsaturated). This is a near ideal breakdown of fat and this isn’t even all that avocados have to offer! They are also high in fiber and low in sugar (which is rare for a fruit) and they contain high levels of vitamins B, E, C, and K, as well as potassium. Here are some of the great things tht avocados have to offer:
- Vitamin K1: 36% of the recommended daily value
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 30%
- Vitamin C: 20%
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 20%
- Potassium: 20%
- Vitamin B6: 20%
While avocados are high in calories, especially for a fruit, those calories are nothing to worry about. While half of an avocado contains around 140 calories, the high amount of healthy fat that they contain means that you will be a lot more satisfied after eating half an avocado than you would be after eating something with a similar amount of calories but more sugar (like an apple, for example).
Not all fats are created equal. Avocados are a healthy fat “superstar”, while other forms of fat (even some that claim to be “healthy”) should play no part in your paleo diet. It’s a good idea to replace any oils high in polyunsaturated and omega-6 fatty acids with avocado oil. These oils are not the type of healthy fats that we are looking for.
Examples of processed and unhealthy oils are corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and grape seed oil. Avocado oil provides the same healthy fat benefits as avocados, however, it is not a good oil to cook with at high heats. If you need to cook with oil at a high heat, use coconut oil or another more stable oil.
How Do You Eat Avocados?
Avocados are easy to find and even easier to use. There are endless ways to get creative with avocados. You can use them in everything from “chocolate pudding” to smoothies. It doesn’t matter how you use them, just use them! They are especially great to start your day with, since the fat keeps blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, decreasing the chance that you will want to snack on a load of junk.
Try this. Make a smoothie and add avocado instead of Greek yogurt or another processed dairy food. This will give you the same creaminess and richness without the sugar, chemical ingredients, and growth hormones.
Is There Any Confusion?
No, everyone agrees that avocados are awesome and paleo. Eat them!
So, Are Avocados Paleo?
Yes, avocados are paleo. They are highly nutritious, they help us absorb vitamins and minerals, they enable our bodies to function properly, and they help us to stay full between meals.
How To Know What Is And Isn’t Paleo
Check out Paleo.io, the mobile app that answers the question, “is __ paleo?” Paleo.io comes with the most comprehensive paleo diet food list out there, so no matter which food you’re confused about, you’ll always be able to find out whether or not it’s paleo.
Photo credit: olle svensson
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