Avocado is a pear-shaped green fleshed fruit. This superfruit is known for its health benefits all over the world. The fruit contains many, essential nutrients that are used to treat various skin conditions and health problems.
It contains 25 natural vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in fibers, proteins, and beneficial phytochemicals. Avocado is used in lowering cholesterol levels and increase the menstrual flow. They are even used to provide relief from diarrhea and dysentery.
This wondrous fruit is a native to Guam, Mexico, and Central America. The scientific name of avocado is Persea Americana, but it is most commonly known as alligator pear in English, avocado in Spanish, and butter fruit in India. Its other variants are found in Colombia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and West India.
An avocado has huge commercial importance in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Spain, China, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Palestine, Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand.
It is highly valued for its oil. Avocado known for its natural ingredients is used as a complete diet for young ones. It has many health benefits but can prove to be harmful when consumed in excess quantity. Hence, avocado has also its side effects.
You could eat avocado at every meal with its creamy texture and satisfying richness. And, with all its health benefits, what could possibly be wrong with that? Well, that depends.
There’s no risk of toxicity from eating too much avocado. but avocado is high in fat and calories which can really add up if you consume a lot. In addition, people with food intolerance may find that eating a lot of this fruit causes uncomfortable digestive upset.
Effects of Consuming Too Many Avocados
It is very good for your health if you include avocado in your diet in moderate amounts. The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in avocados are considered healthy fats because they can help lower your unhealthy cholesterol levels and improve heart health when eaten in place of saturated fats.
Avocados are also a rich source of dietary fiber, the part of plant foods that undergoes minimal digestion in your body. Fiber adds bulk to your stomach contents as it moves through your digestive tract, leading to improved bowel movements and bowel health. Getting enough fiber can lower your risk of colon cancer and other digestive diseases.
Fiber fills the stomach because of its bulkiness and can help you feel fuller after a meal, which helps you eat fewer calories to maintain your weight or lose weight. According to a research article in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2017, increased intake of dietary fiber is associated with normal weight, while lower intakes are linked to obesity.
The fiber in avocados also helps lower cholesterol by binding with it and helping to remove it from the body before it can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends women get 25 grams of fiber and men 38 grams of fiber each day, and one avocado provides 35 to 54 percent of an adult’s daily fiber needs.
Too Much Leads to Weight Gain
Weight gain occurs when you take in more calories than you burn each day. Eating too many calories over time leads to overweight and obesity, both of which have deleterious effects on health.
The average moderately active woman needs 2,000 calories a day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To put that in perspective, it’s the number of calories contained in six avocados.
If you eat up to three avocados a day, that’s half your total daily calories. Even if you limit the other foods you eat, you are more than likely to exceed your daily calorie quota. If you can’t limit other foods, you will far exceed your calorie needs and gain weight.
Calories in Avocado from Fat
Many people don’t realize how many calories an avocado contains, and that’s a big mistake. A large part of the calories in avocados comes from fat. Fat has more than twice as many calories as protein which is 9 calories per gram and carbohydrates, which have only 4 calories per gram.
A single avocado has a whopping 30 grams of fat. Just for the sake of comparison, that’s fatter than a large order of fast-food fries.
If you slice an avocado to top a salad or sandwich then, your meal could contain several hundred calories or more than that, depending on the other ingredients in your dish. The same thing goes for guacamole.
You could be eating more than one avocado if you mindlessly eat chipful after chipful of guac, plus the calories in the chips – and that’s just your appetizer.
The National Academy of Medicine has set the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for fats at 20 to 35 percent of calories. This is the amount of fat you need for good health, but it is also a limit that, if exceeded, could have health consequences.
An avocado provides approximately 38 to 68 percent of the daily needs of an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet. In addition to the other fat in your diet, eating more than one avocado a day will exceed AMDR.
The fat in avocados is considerably healthier than the fat in fried foods, but they still contain saturated fat, the type of fat that can clog arteries and lead to heart disease if eaten in excess. Of the 30 grams of fat in an avocado, 4 grams is saturated.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults limit their saturated fat intake to 5 to 6 percent of their daily calories, which is equivalent to 13 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet.
The amount of saturated fat in an avocado comprises about 30 percent of that limit. If you eat two avocados a day or more, in addition to other foods that contain saturated fat, you are likely to exceed the recommended daily limit.
An upset stomach, bloating, gas, and diarrhea are some of the symptoms that people with food intolerances may experience after eating certain foods. The most common example is dairy products; many people have trouble digesting the sugar in milk lactose.
Other natural sugars found in food can cause digestive problems for some people. These include:
Avocados contain polyols, so people who are intolerant to polyols may experience adverse effects after eating them.
Causes of avocado intolerance
Avocado intolerance is hypersensitivity not mediated by IgE, which makes it difficult to digest avocado. The lack of enzymes required for the digestion of fruit sugar is the main cause of such intolerance.
Inflammation of the intestine can alter the action of the enzymes required for the digestion of fruit sugars. It further affects the intestinal transport proteins required for the absorption of fructose present in the avocado.
Using antibiotics for a long time or intestinal infections can also change the activity of healthy microorganisms and enzymes present in the intestine. This can cause a temporary intolerance to avocado and other fruits that contain fructose.
Pre-existing intestinal problems like inflammatory bowel syndrome or celiac disease can also lead to avocado intolerance.
Avocado intolerance symptoms
The avocado contains sorbitol, a fruit sugar, which is fermented in people with avocado intolerance. Such fermentation gives rise to symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.
Symptoms generally appear after the consumption of avocado or avocado products. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Stomach ache
- Diarrhea or loose stools.
Diagnosis and tests
- Hydrogen breath test: This is a simple test, which does not require blood collection. Your breath is analyzed after the intake of fructose solution drink. A greater amount of hydrogen is produced in the intestines when the sugar present in the avocado remains undigested. Therefore, an avocado intolerant person will have more hydrogen in their breath.
- Elimination test: You can do this test yourself. Eliminating avocado and its products will eliminate undesirable symptoms in people with avocado intolerance. This helps the person understand the effect of avocado on their general health. With the help of a registered dietitian, you can develop a plan to eliminate avocado from your diet.
- Self-observation: Observing yourself and the symptoms after eating avocado or avocado-based products can help you determine the effect of avocado on health.
Risk factors; Having gastrointestinal issues like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) puts you at an increased risk of developing an avocado.
If you have avocado intolerance, you can still eat small amounts of the fruit without symptoms. However, eating too much avocado can cause symptoms immediately after eating it or for up to 48 hours afterward. Intolerances are not dangerous like food allergies in most cases, but the symptoms are likely enough to prevent you from overeating.
The avocado contains oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and fermentable polyols (FODMAP). These fermentable carbohydrates can trigger symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
In addition to being rich in healthy fats, they are rich in fibers that can cause gases when digested by our intestinal flora. You should avoid avocado if you have an upset stomach. A portion of plant food passes through your system without being digested.
Fiber is beneficial for digestion because it helps the movement of waste and prevents constipation. Since too much of everything is bad, if you eat too much fiber at once, you could experience diarrhea. To avoid an upset stomach, you should stick to a single serving of avocado at once.
In general, these fibers would be good for our intestinal flora, as they would support healthy and beneficial bacteria in the intestine. But, if you are getting bloating from avocados and other fibrous plant foods, this may indicate you have an imbalanced flora, with over colonization of unhealthy bacteria, this would generally be classified as a developed intolerance.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, approximately 30 to 50 percent of people who are allergic to natural rubber latex will also experience adverse reactions to avocados, along with bananas, kiwis, and peppers.
Avocados contain small amounts of tyramine, a breakdown product of the amino acid tyrosine, which has been linked to migraine headaches. Even if you are not prone to migraines, high tyramine levels can still cause headaches. Tyramine is an easily digested amino acid.
However, if a person is deficient in the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) or if they are taking certain antidepressants, it can interfere with the breakdown process.
How much should you eat
A serving of avocado is half a fruit. In general, it is recommended that you consume one serving of avocado per day, but depending on the other food balance in your daily diet, you can include one whole fruit each day.
It is important to pay attention to the amount you eat, especially when you eat dinner since it is not always easy to know how much of fruit, or more than one, is on a plate.
How to keep your avocado portions under control
To make sure you don’t eat more fruit than you need, it is suggested that cutting the avocado into portions. If you are someone experiencing digestive discomfort from avocados, start with an eighth of avocado and continue from there.
If you’re trying to curb your avocado addiction, mixing the fruit with other ingredients might be the trick. It is also suggested that combining avocado with other fruits and vegetables in sauces or salads can be a great idea.
You can love making an apple pomegranate guacamole, which is full of colorful fruits and herbs. In this way, you can get a lot of fiber, healthy fats, and, of course, a lot of flavors.
Although eating a healthy portion of avocado is recommended, eating a whole avocado is much better than eating refined or processed foods. In other words, eating more than you should of the superfood won’t kill you but adversely affect you.
By eating a box of refined cookies, which are primarily carbohydrates, you will take the same amount of calories, but you will feel much more satisfied with the avocado.
So there’s anything wrong with eating more than the recommended avocado serving size, as long as you have a balanced diet based on whole foods with lots of variety.