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Is Avocado Good for Diabetics? Let’s Find Out!- HealthifyMe


Avocado is a superfood with unusual looks. This dark green or sometimes blackish skinned fruit has a creamy green inside. The flesh is smooth and buttery, has a subtly nutty flavour, and has a texture akin to a firm, ripe banana. Avocados have a host of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and are known for containing an abundance of healthy fats. Hence, it is an excellent choice for people with diabetes. It is suitable for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

The avocado is a pear-shaped fruit belonging to the berry family. The hue of the outer skin ranges from yellowish-green to maroon or purple. The soft flesh is a pale yellow-green colour, whereas the hard flesh is a pale yellow-green. The flesh is smooth and buttery, has a subtly nutty flavour, and has a texture akin to a firm, ripe banana.

This article explores whether avocados are good for diabetics and the potential risks and benefits.

Is Avocado Safe for Diabetics?

Carbohydrate-rich foods are eventually converted to glucose during digestion, resulting in a rise in blood sugar levels. Avocado has a glycemic index of 15, making it a suitable fruit for people with diabetes. Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) make up most of the fat in avocado, which helps lower bad cholesterol (VLDL). However, you must be careful when it comes to the portion size of this fruit as it is very calorie dense.

Avocado, being a high-fibre food, aids in the gradual absorption of nutrients and hence regulates blood glucose levels. Furthermore, its high potassium content aids in regulating blood pressure and enhances muscular contractions. In addition, it contains folic acid, which aids in the reduction of homocysteine levels, which results in blood sugar levels. 

Avocados can help you meet your blood sugar goals and avoid diabetic problems as part of a healthy diet. You should eat adequate protein and vegetables, drink lots of water, engage in regular physical activity, get enough sleep, and handle stress in addition to adding avocados to your intake.

As per USDA, the nutritional value of 100 grams of raw avocado is as follows:

  • Energy: 160kcal
  • Water: 73.2 g 
  • Protein: 2 g 
  • Fat: 14.7 g 
  • Carbohydrates: 8.53 g 
  • Fiber: 6.7 g 
  • Calcium: 12 mg 
  • Magnesium: 29 mg 
  • Phosphorous: 52 mg 
  • Sodium: 7 mg 
  • Vitamin C: 10 mg 
  • Fluoride: 7 mcg 
  • Folate: 81 mcg 
  • Choline: 14.2 mg 
  • Vitamin A: 146 IU  
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: 271 mcg 
  • Vitamin E: 2.07 g 
  • Vitamin K: 21 mcg 

As for people with diabetes, low GI foods are ideal. And avocado has a glycemic index of 15, that’s why it is suitable for people with diabetes. 

Benefits of Avocado 

Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

As per studies, avocados boost insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is common in people with type 2 diabetes, which implies that it is ineffective though insulin is present in the body. Avocados help increase insulin action in the body, which could help with diabetes treatment. Hence, adding avocado results in lowering blood glucose levels. 

They also have a low GI or Glycemic Index of 15, meaning they don’t cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels when consumed. They also have a low GI or Glycemic Index of 15 meaning they don’t cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels when consumed.

Lowers Inflammation

Low-grade chronic inflammation is a hallmark of chronic disorders like diabetes. It can lead to a variety of diabetes-related problems. A study shows Avocados have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation. In addition, they are high in antioxidants, which protect numerous tissues and organs in the body from the adverse effects of toxic chemical species known as free radicals.

Heart-Healthy 

Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats, also known as good fats, good for your heart. An avocado weighing about 150g contains 14.7 grams of monounsaturated fats and 2.73 grams of polyunsaturated fats. These fats are beneficial to your health because they help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. In addition, the potassium content in avocado dilates blood vessels and also aids in a healthy heart. All the heart-healthy benefits of avocado are research-based

According to studies, avocados help manage blood pressure by promoting blood vessel and heart health, regulating blood cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. They include minerals (such as potassium) and antioxidants that aid in blood pressure regulation. People with diabetes who have high blood pressure have additional health concerns.

Avocados help in Early Satiety

Avocados have a high fat and fibre content, which helps them provide satiety or a feeling of fullness. It aids in overcoming frequent food cravings and overeating, leading to blood sugar changes. Avocados are primarily responsible for fullness for extended periods due to their high healthy fats and fibre content.

Strengthens Immunity 

Avocados are high in micronutrients that are essential minerals and vitamins that assist people with diabetes stay healthy. Iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc are among the minerals in avocado, while vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamins K, and E are among the vitamins. These nutrients aid in strengthening immunity, maintaining good health, and reducing diabetes-related problems.

Improves Gut Health

Gut health is crucial for controlling blood sugar levels and boosting immunity. One avocado has about 10 grams of fibre, which helps to support regular bowel movements and the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Avocados may aid in the relief of constipation, which is prevalent in people with diabetes.

Assists in Weight Management

A greater BMI raises the likelihood of insulin resistance and, as a result, diabetes. In addition, healthily losing weight regulates blood pressure. Studies show avocados can help you lose weight. Various methods of reducing weight by eating avocado include reducing hunger and raising your metabolic rate. When eating avocados, though, you must be mindful of portion sizes. A single fruit (about 150 grams) contains about 240 calories. As a result, please keep track of your calories when munching on avocado slices or spreading them over bread.

Avocados keep your Nerves Healthy

Nerve damage is a typical problem among people with diabetes. Avocados include several nutrients (such as vitamin B6 and antioxidants) that protect nerves and enhance their health.

Protects against Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular oedema, cataracts, and glaucoma are just a few eye illnesses that can impact people with diabetes. Diabetic eye illnesses are the umbrella term for all of these conditions. Avocados benefit eye health by containing antioxidants like lutein, which protect the eyes. Avocados aid in regulating blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels, all of which are crucial in preventing diabetic eye damage.

Risk Factors of Consuming Avocado

Avocados don’t have many adverse effects on their own. But as the saying goes, ‘too much of a good thing is ultimately a bad thing’; excess intake of avocados can harm you. Don’t forget that ultimately, avocados do have a good amount of calories and a large percentage of those calories are from fats. So overeating these avocados will lead to an over intake of calories that your body doesn’t require, and you will disrupt your protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre ratio.

If you have any liver disease, it is wise to only eat avocados after consulting your nutritionist or medical practitioner due to their high-fat content.

The Takeaway

Regardless of the type of diabetes, you can include avocados in a diabetes diet plan (type I, type II, or gestational diabetes). These versatile fruits can help you manage your blood sugar levels and preserve your general health by including them in your regular calorie intake. In addition, you can use it in various meals, including sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and milkshakes. 

While avocados are considered superfoods and have many nutrients, you cannot depend on only them to help control your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Managing your diabetes depends on your total dietary intake, physical activity and several other factors. It is also not mandatory to rely only on avocados for healthy fats if they are above your budget- nuts and seeds can help provide this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can people with diabetes eat avocado?

A. Yes, people with diabetes can eat avocado. It has high fibre and fat content. The glycemic index of avocado is 15, making it a low glycemic index food. Moreover, it contains folic acid, which aids in the reduction of homocysteine levels, which results in blood sugar levels. 

Q. Is avocado high in sugar?

A. No, avocado is not high in sugar. Instead, it helps in reducing blood sugar levels. It also has high fibre and fat content. The glycemic index of avocado is 15, making it a low glycemic index food. Moreover, it contains folic acid, which aids in the reduction of homocysteine levels, which results in blood sugar levels. 

Q. Can I eat two avocados a day?

A. No, two avocados may result in high-fat content in blood which may have adverse effects as avocados are high in good fat. A medium avocado can be eaten daily by a healthy adult. If you are suffering from any complications, you must consult a qualified dietitian regarding your dosage of daily avocado intake. 

Q. What are the disadvantages of eating avocado?

A. Some risk factors to be considered while eating avocado are, firstly, its portion size. It has to be limited and checked regularly. Eating avocado with many fatty foods like mayo, cheese, butter, etc., may result in high-fat levels in the blood and cause adverse effects. People with liver diseases should only consume avocado after consulting a qualified nutritionist. Avocado has high amounts of fat. One should not eat high fatty foods for liver diseases. 

Q. Does avocado have natural sugar?

A. According to the USDA, 100 grams of avocado has less than a gram of sugar. However, this is because most of the carbohydrate content is in an insoluble form. In addition, avocado has significantly less natural sugar, and it helps reduce blood sugar levels. Also, it has high fibre and fat content. As a result, the glycemic index of avocado is 15, making it a low glycemic index food. Moreover, it contains folic acid, which aids in the reduction of homocysteine levels, which results in blood sugar levels. 

Q. What happens if you eat avocado every day?

A. Eating an avocado every day will result in a healthier body. A medium avocado can be eaten daily by a healthy adult. However, if you are suffering from any complications, you must consult a qualified dietitian regarding your dosage of daily avocado intake. 

Q. Is it OK to eat a whole avocado?

A. A medium avocado can be eaten daily by a healthy adult. If you are suffering from any complications, you must consult a qualified dietitian regarding your dosage of daily avocado intake. If the avocado is very big, you must consider consuming in two days or sharing it with a friend, family member, or partner. 

Q. What happens if you eat avocado every day for a month?

A. Eating an avocado every day will result in a healthier body. A medium avocado can be eaten daily by a healthy adult. However, if you are suffering from any complications, you must consult a qualified dietitian regarding your dosage of daily avocado intake. 

Q. When avocado is not good for you?

A. If you are suffering from any diseases, consume avocado after consulting a qualified nutritionist. Avocados have high amounts of fat, and one cannot have high fatty foods for some ailments, including liver diseases. 

10. Do avocados cause blood clots?

A. No, avocado does not cause blood clots. The potassium content in avocado dilates blood vessels and aids in a healthy heart. In addition, it has good fats, which help in blood thinning. 

11. Do avocados cause high blood pressure?

A. No, avocados help manage blood pressure by promoting blood vessel and heart health, regulating blood cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. It has good fat and potassium, which help maintain a healthy heart.

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