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The Fiber in Avocados and Weight Management

Navigating the roles and benefits behind each of the necessary nutrients in your diet can seem like a daunting task — especially when it comes to finding the few that can help you manage your weight without feeling hungry.

One way to help avoid hunger pangs while trying to maintain one’s weight is to opt for foods with fiber. A plant-food carbohydrate found in fruits, like avocados, fiber can help add bulk to your diet, helping you stay full longer and avoid overeating.

Let’s take a closer look at how the fiber in avocados affects our digestion and facilitates weight management as part of an overall balanced diet.

Fiber Functions

Most fiber-contributing foods, including avocados, contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble converts into a gel-like substance as your body digests it. Your body breaks down very little of this gel-like substance into caloric energy, and what it does break down it breaks down very slowly. This means foods containing soluble fiber stay in your digestive system longer and contribute few calories to your diet — an attractive combination for those hoping to manage their weight without feeling hungry.

Insoluble fiber contributes no calories to your diet, as your body cannot break it down at all. This type of fiber moves through the intestine completely intact, attaching to other digested food particles and increasing the speed of elimination in the body. This process can help protect the lining of your colon and — like soluble fiber — help you feel full longer. By keeping you satiated and clearing your digestive tract without adding calories to your diet, insoluble fiber can also be an effective tool in maintaining a healthy weight.

Fuel Up with the Fiber in Avocados

With a composition that is nearly 79% fiber and water, avocados provide a tasty and versatile option for those seeking to manage their weight by incorporating fiber contributing foods into their diet. A serving of avocado — 50g or 1/3 of a medium-size avocado — is a good source of fiber, providing 3g of fiber, or 11% of the daily recommended intake.
Before changing your diet, talk to your doctor about how fiber contributing foods, like avocados, could help you manage your weight. He or she may give you a list of fiber-contributing foods — including avocados — to incorporate into an overall balanced diet.

Armed with new nutritional knowledge and your doctor’s approval, fuel up with avocados. As you cook, save any leftover avocado in an airtight container in the fridge so you can add the fiber in avocados to even more meals.

By Barbara Ruhs, MD, RDN January 22, 2020

An avid avocado-eater and guacamole-lover, Barb is the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for Avocados From Mexico and former sports nutritionist for Harvard University. Her philosophy on food is simple: Enjoy what you eat, prepare food with love, and add avocados to everything! 

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