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Is Avocado Good for Diabetes? 5 Benefits of the Creamy Green Fruit
Diabetes

Is Avocado Good for Diabetes? 5 Benefits of the Creamy Green Fruit

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 29
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7 min

Fruits and vegetables are staple components in a diabetes diet plan, but not all are suitable choices. As a delicious fruit beloved by most, we’re going to discuss whether avocado is a good match for people with diabetes, covering avocado nutrition facts, glycemic index, and five amazing health benefits of eating avocados.

Is avocado good for diabetes

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Finding the best foods for controlling blood sugar levels is a challenge. While whole foods like fruits and vegetables are highly recommended for a diabetes diet, some have a high glycemic index, making them unsuitable for your health.

Avocados are popular for the weight loss journey as they are rich in dietary fiber and good fats. They are known to promote satiety and may decrease the risk of high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.

As avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats and other essential nutrients, they may play a role in managing type 2 diabetes.

This article explores whether consuming avocados is safe for people with diabetes and whether doing so may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.

Is Avocado Good for Diabetes?

Yes, avocado is a good choice for people with diabetes as it is rich in healthy fats that may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity while benefiting the heart and overall health.

Aside from supporting healthy blood sugar levels, avocado may help you manage blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

The American Diabetes Association lists avocado as a beneficial food for type 2 diabetes. Avocados are naturally rich in monounsaturated fats, otherwise known as good fats. Eating fat is good for diabetes as it slows the body’s digestion of carbs, helping stabilize glucose production.

Improving fat quality by replacing saturated and trans fats with the healthy fat that avocados provide can benefit insulin sensitivity. Plus, these fats are essential for heart health. They keep the heart and blood vessels healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Avocados are a low-carb, high-fat, high-fiber plant food. They are an incredibly healthy addition to a diabetes diet plan. Many people with diabetes follow a low-carb diet or ketogenic diet to keep blood sugars in check, lower blood pressure, burn fat, and lose weight.

Avocados are top of the list on both diets as they provide a good match for the macronutrients required. So, if you are living with type 2 diabetes, adding avocado to your diet can bring significant health benefits.

Avocado Nutritional Value

An avocado contains plenty of essential nutrients that can benefit people with diabetes. You can incorporate avocado into meals as your primary fat source as this monounsaturated fat will keep you feeling full between meal times.

Below is the nutritional content of avocado per 100g serving.

Net CarbsTotal CarbsFatsProtein
1.83g8.53g14.7g2g
CaloriesFiberSugarsGlycemic Index
1606.7g0.66g15

Avocados are pretty high in calories, with 160 calories per 100g. Although they contain a moderate amount of total carbs, they are rich in dietary fiber, lowering the net carb count to 1.83g. They are also low in sugar, making them great for blood sugar management.

The high fiber content also contributes to satiety without causing glucose spikes, helping you meet your blood sugar goals and avoid complications. You may overcome frequent food cravings by incorporating avocado into a healthy diet.

Avocado glycemic index

Avocado has a glycemic index (GI) of 15, which falls into the low GI category. People with diabetes need to consume low GI foods as they are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They break down more slowly and cause a gradual rise, and therefore help stabilize blood sugars.

If you have diabetes, foods with a GI score between 1–55 are recommended for better blood glucose control. High GI foods, like simple carbs and sugary snacks, are broken down quickly and trigger a rapid spike in glucose levels.

Do Avocados Raise Blood Sugar?

No, avocados have little effect on blood sugar levels as they are a low-carb food. As they are plentiful in healthy fats and fiber, people with diabetes can eat avocado without the worry of causing spikes in glucose.

Avocados are also rich in potassium, with 485mg. Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that helps improve insulin sensitivity. When potassium levels are low, the body makes less insulin, causing blood sugar to rise. Eating avocados can help levels remain stable.

Pairing avocado with other diabetes-friendly foods can further support blood sugar levels by slowing digestion. Leafy greens, for example, can help lower blood sugar levels.

If you want something to make managing your diabetes a little easier, you can try the Klinio app. It offers users a personalized meal plan that tracks calories, macros, and sugars. You can log your blood glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin, and weight, all in one place.

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It’s not just for diabetes, either. You can now use the app to manage other chronic conditions, with meal plans tailored to people with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, anemia, and more.

Do Avocados Raise Blood Pressure?

Avocados do not raise blood pressure. In fact, avocado consumption can help manage blood pressure as they promote good blood vessels and heart health due to their monounsaturated fats. They are also effective in lowering LDL cholesterol when substituted for saturated fats.

Another reason avocados support blood pressure is that they contain oleic acid – an omega-9 fatty acid that can have a hypotensive effect. Olive oil, for instance, can lower blood pressure due to its high oleic acid content.

Avocado has satiating effects, which means it is incredibly filling. It is ideal for a weight loss diet as you are more likely to eat less following an avocado-based meal. An avocado a day may reduce abdominal fat, reducing your risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Weight loss is one of the most effective methods for reducing your blood pressure. Even losing 10 pounds can have remarkable benefits for hypertension as your heart no longer has to work so hard to carry blood through your body.

5 Benefits of Avocado for Diabetes

We’ve covered the healthy goodness of avocados and discussed the essential nutrients they contain. You can add avocado to your diabetes meal plan and enjoy the health benefits without the stress of diabetes-related complications.

Here are 5 more reasons to eat avocado as part of a healthy lifestyle.

#1 Low in carbohydrates

Carbohydrates raise blood sugars more than other macronutrients, requiring the body to produce more insulin. Limiting your carb intake can help stabilize glucose production.

Low-carb diets, including ketogenic diets, can be a safe and effective way for people with diabetes to manage weight, blood glucose levels and reduce heart disease risk. The avocado is low in carbs, making it a perfect addition to these dietary approaches.

There are 1.83g net carbs in a 100g serving of avocado. For reference, a medium avocado is about 80g. That means you can enjoy a whole avocado without consuming many carbs or hindering the benefits of a low-carb diet.

#2 Excellent source of fiber

Fiber intake is essential to a balanced diet, especially for people with diabetes, as it supports weight and blood sugar management. Unlike most carbs that break down into glucose, the human body cannot digest fiber. It travels through the system undigested and therefore doesn’t spike glucose levels.

Like fats, fiber keeps you feeling full as it passes slowly through the digestive system. A fiber-rich diet can help you lose weight by curbing hunger and contributing to a reduced caloric intake. Many zero-calorie foods are rich in dietary fiber, too.

Fiber is a critical nutrient for gut health. When you eat fiber, it essentially cleans out the digestive tract, removing waste build-up and keeping your bowel movements regular. Maintaining gut health can improve glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in diabetes.

You should still be mindful of your avocado intake on a diabetes diet. Too much fiber can negatively impact your gut, leading to digestive discomforts like constipation and vomiting.

#3 Increases insulin sensitivity

As avocado in the diet can help you lose weight, it can help increase insulin sensitivity. Maintaining a reduced body weight can enhance insulin sensitivity, while weight gain is likely to reduce sensitivity.

The monounsaturated fat in avocado also enhances the way the body uses insulin, especially when moving from a diet high in saturated fat to a MUFA-rich diet. Saturated fat intake can cause insulin resistance.

#4 Source of healthy fats

The best thing about avocados is their high healthy fats. Consuming too many unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) raises your LDL cholesterol – the bad kind. High LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease, as fatty deposits develop in the blood vessels making blood flow difficult.

Despite the health benefits of the monounsaturated fat from avocado, you should still be mindful of the calorie content. Just half an avocado contains around 160 calories.

While overeating avocado is unlikely due to its satiety effects, too much could push you over your calorie limit. Counting calories can benefit people with diabetes and is necessary if you follow a low-calorie diet under medical supervision.

#5 Relieves symptoms of arthritis

Avocados may be one of the best fruits for arthritis. It contains vitamin E – a nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce low-grade chronic inflammation.

The chemicals in avocado and soybean oils, called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, may help reduce pain and stiffness while improving joint function in people with osteoarthritis.

FAQs

Does avocado have sugar?

Unlike most fruits, avocados contain only a small amount of sugar, with 0.66g per 100g serving. Therefore, avocados do not cause sharp blood sugar spikes. People with diabetes can meet their dietary reference intakes of fruit and vegetables without consuming too much sugar.

How many avocados can a person with diabetes eat per day?

People with diabetes can eat avocado in moderation as they are fiber-rich fat. As they are high in calories, it may be best to stick to one avocado per day to avoid eating too many calories. Even half an avocado can bring significant benefits to a diabetes dietary plan.

Could people with diabetes eat avocados every day?

People with diabetes can safely consume an avocado each day as they are low in carbs and high in fiber and healthy fats. To maintain balance, it’s best to include other healthful fats in the diet for variety and additional benefits. Rather than solely relying on avocado, you can enjoy olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

A Word From Our MD

Avocado is an excellent food choice for managing symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The fiber and fat content slow digestion and allow a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream. It also fuels your body with other nutrients and antioxidants to support your overall health.

It’s a versatile product, too. You can pair avocado with almost anything, from salads to eggs. Swapping your usual saturated fat intake from products like butter and cream cheese to avocado can bring tremendous benefits. For example, you could try adding avocado slices to toast instead of full-fat butter.

If you’re interested in trying the keto diet to manage diabetes symptoms, avocado is a staple food. Entering ketosis helps your body burn fat for fuel, encouraging weight loss and helping regulate glucose production. Always talk to your doctor before trying out a new diet with diabetes.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say you can enjoy the creamy taste of avocado if you have diabetes. It is packed full of nutrients and heart-healthy fats that can help regulate blood sugar content. Adding it to your diet plan can also boost gut health and help you shed a few pounds without the stress of glucose control.

It’s important to discuss your meal plans with your doctor to ensure you’re controlling macros, calories, and cholesterol. In the meantime, you can use the Klinio app for daily support with diabetes while streamlining the management process of the condition.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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