group of avocado on table with one avocado slices open

Can People with Diabetes Eat Avocados?

Avocados are known for their creamy texture and numerous health benefits, but can they be safely enjoyed by people with diabetes? Read on to explore the nutritional profile of avocados and uncover how they can fit into a diabetes-friendly diet.

group of avocado on table with one avocado slices open

This article is sponsored by Avocados – Love One Today®. The Avocado Nutrition Center supported the research included in this article. Conclusions cannot be generalized to all populations, study length, or for different amounts of avocado. The findings in the studies align with a growing body of evidence investigating the role of avocados in areas like heart health and inflammation.

Can people with diabetes eat avocados?

Yes, people with diabetes can safely consume avocados in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Unlike most other fruits, avocado contains zero grams of naturally occurring sugar per serving and does not affect the glycemic response. In addition, one-third of a medium avocado is a good source of fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. But the benefits don’t stop there. Adding avocado to your diabetes meal plan may help with blood sugar regulation, appetite, and cardiovascular health.

Nutritional Profile of Fresh Avocados

One serving of fresh avocado (50 grams), provides the following nutrition:

Calories: 80

Total Fat: 8g

  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Total Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 1g

Avocado also provides a good source of vitamins and minerals like folate and potassium.

Benefits of Avocados for People Living with Diabetes

Adding fresh avocado to your diabetes meal plan can offer a variety of health benefits. Avocado contains numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which can contribute to reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the research on fresh avocado and the impact it can have on those living with type 2 diabetes.

Lower diabetes risk

Eating fresh avocado more often may help to reduce overall diabetes risk. An analysis of over 14,000 Hispanics revealed that consuming avocados is associated with better insulin responses in those with normal blood sugar. In people with type 2 diabetes, avocado consumption was linked to lower average blood sugar and better insulin-related measures. The Avocado Nutrition Center funded the research, contributing to mounting evidence supporting avocados’ potential benefits for blood sugar and insulin control.

Similar research has found regular avocado consumption may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, improve blood lipids, and improve body composition.

Improved Blood Sugar Control

The good fats and fiber in avocado may help to improve blood glucose control, especially after meals. A study published in Nutrients found adults with overweight or obesity who consumed half or a whole avocado, replacing carbohydrate energy, as part of a breakfast meal showed improvements in blood glucose control along with improved function of the endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels) to allow for proper blood flow. These findings suggest that adding avocado to the breakfast meal may offer a benefit to both glucose metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Improved Appetite Regulation and Satiety

Adding fresh avocado to your plate may help to improve feelings of fullness after meals, which in turn may help with portion control throughout the day in addition to managing a healthy weight. Research has found the addition of fresh avocado to meals improved satiety hormones after eating.

Improved Blood lipids and Cardiometabolic Health

Diets incorporating unsaturated fat and high fiber are associated with reducing cardiometabolic risk factors. For this reason, adding fresh avocados, which provide a good source of monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) and fiber may benefit cardiovascular health. For those living with insulin resistance, the benefits may be even more beneficial. One study analyzing adults with insulin resistance found replacing carb prone foods with fresh avocado to be associated with a healthier dietary pattern and trends favoring improved glucose control and reduced biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk in those who have overweight or obesity.

How to Incorporate Avocados into a Diabetes Meal Plan

If you understand the health benefits that avocado can offer, you probably are motivated to add more fresh avocado to your meal plan each day. Well, you are in luck!

Avocado is incredibly versatile and can be added to a variety of meals and snacks. Here are a few simple ways to add more avocado to your diabetes meal plan:

  • Avocado toast: Spread mashed avocado on whole-grain toast and top with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon juice.
  • Salads: Add sliced or diced avocado to salads for a creamy texture and good fats.
  • Smoothies: Blend avocado with spinach, unsweetened almond milk, and a handful of berries for a nutritious smoothie with a creamy, rich texture
  • Guacamole: Make a simple guacamole by mashing avocado with lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt, and use it as a dip for raw veggies.
  • Egg topping: Top scrambled eggs or an omelet with slices of fresh avocado for a delicious and satisfying breakfast. Or blend mashed avocado into your eggs for a rich, fluffy texture.
  • Sandwiches and wraps: Include avocado slices in sandwiches or wraps for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Soups: Garnish soups with avocado slices or chunks for a rich and creamy addition.
  • In baked goods: I love replacing butter with mashed avocado in baked goods to create a delicious, nutrient-rich dish!

The Bottom Line On Avocados and Diabetes Management

Adding fresh avocado to your diabetes meal plan can be a great way to add flavor, nutrition, and improve your overall health. When adding fresh avocado, remember one serving is equal to ⅓ of a medium avocado.

Consider adding avocado into your favorite dishes for a way to enhance nutrition and taste!

Looking for more ways to add avocado to your plate? Give these delicious recipes a try:

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