Why I love avocado on the keto diet
Avocado is one of the healthiest low carb veggies (er, fruit actually!) on the planet.
Avocado contains fiber, copper, folate, and potassium. The fruit also contains Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. That’s a lot of B-Vitamins! It also contains zinc, iron, manganese, and magnesium. With a mere 2 net carbohydrates per 100 grams, the avocado is a must on the list of acceptable foods on the keto diet. It is low in saturated fats and absent of sodium and cholesterol.
Eating avocados may help with controlling hypertension. The fruit is high in potassium and studies have identified a link between elevated potassium levels and normalized blood pressure values. The fruit is also high in good-for-you monounsaturated fatty acids. About ⅕ of the avocado’s content is insoluble and soluble forms of fiber: This means the fruit can help in keeping the digestive processes and gastrointestinal tract functioning at its best.
Avocados have high phytonutrient content. The fruit also features a number of antioxidants for natural free radical defense. Additionally, the high amount of oleic acid in avocados serves to help in diminishing issues with inflammation and for lowering cholesterol levels.
Super low in carbs, high in healthy fats, packed full of nutrients – this is one of the most perfect superfoods for a LCHF ketogenic diet. If you love avocado as much as I do, go ahead and treat yo’ self! The fruit is rich and filling, making it pretty hard to over-indulge on carbs.
Curious where it stacks up in comparison to other vegetables? Check out the low carb vegetables list I put together!
How to cook avocado
Avocados really shine when eaten raw, offering a complex mix of flavors: smooth, creamy, buttery. They maintain a fresh, but mildly earthy scent. Use avocados whenever you need to add richness to a dish for amazing results.
Preparation techniques include: raw, fried, pureed, baked
To consume the avocado, make sure you wash the fruit first. You can use a paring knife to cut the pear-shaped fruit into two halves, but know in advance you will encounter a large, hard seed when you are cutting. Once cut in half, you can eat the fleshy interior raw as-is or you can scoop it out of the fruit’s skin and mix it into your favorite dishes. If you are feeling a little fancy, you can put your knife skills to the test and make a beautiful avocado rose.
Of course, you probably already know that you can use avocados to make guacamole, but did you know that the fruit is also ideal as a meat substitute because it is so high in protein? If you are a vegetarian embarking on the keto diet, put this on your grocery list asap!
You can cut up the fleshy fruit into slices and garnish your dishes for an extra pop of flavor and color. If you want to be clever with your dishes, cut the avocado in half after removing the pit. Use the small indentation left behind after removal of the seed … Voila! An avocado bowl for a small scoop of your favorite salad!
Consider adding the cut up fruit to your soups, casseroles, and salads. Oh, and did you know you can use avocado as a low-calorie mayonnaise substitute? That’s right ... you can puree the avocado’s flesh and use it as a low-calorie alternative to mayonnaise in case you are watching your calories in addition to cutting carbs. Use the puree for deviled eggs, tuna or chicken salad for an easy keto snack or meal.
Avocado pairs well with the following flavor combinations:
- Basil + Red Onion + Balsamic Vinegar + Tomatoes
- Lemon + Smoked Trout
- Cilantro + Lime Juice
- Bacon + Pretty Much Anything 🙂
How to pick the perfect avocado
When choosing your avocado at the Farmer’s Market or grocery store, make sure the exterior skin of the fruit is just a bit soft. The skin should not be compromised in any way by cracks, holes, or spots. If you want the fruits with the richest flavors, choose those that have a short neck versus those that have a rounded-off top portion: The short-necked avocados have had a bit more time on the tree to ripen more, so the flavor from the berries is intensified.
When storing your avocados, refrain from refrigerating them until they are ripe. You can speed up the ripening process by placing avocados in a paper bag at room temperature. Once ripened, they will last up to seven days when refrigerated.
Here's a great in-depth visual guide for selecting the right avocado if you are unsure which to choose.
LOW CARB AVOCADO RECIPES
This easy Avocado Popsicle recipe is fun and refreshing! The texture is just like a fudgsicle; a perfect warm weather low carb treat!
One of the easiest ways to incorporate avocado into your diet is to use it as a condiment. Try my Avocado Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise recipe for a low carb, nutrient-packed sauce that's good on EVERYTHING!
Low Carb Avocado Recipe Roundup
- I love to mix avocado with other fresh veggies and herbs to add richness and depth of flavor to simple salads. This Cucumber Avocado Salad from Dani at The Adventure Bite is the epitome of easy and would make an excellent low carb side dish!
- These Egg Stuffed Avocados by Martina of the KetoDietApp are not only delicious and beautiful, they may help you combat the dreaded keto-flu!
- Kalyn's Kitchen always delivers tasty low carb recipes! Her blog is geared toward South Beach diet recipes, but I've found lots of keto friendly treasures like her Avocado Frittata with Cotija and Mozzarella Cheese!
Everything you could ever want to know about avocado (…and more!)
The avocado is a fruit native to Central America and Mexico. The tree-grown fruit is part of the Lauraceae family: This grouping also includes laurel, camphor, bay, and cinnamon. The avocado is a flowering tree. The fruit is actually a single, pear-shaped berry with a large walnut-colored seed in the middle.
Avocados are also referenced as Persea americana. The Aztecs used to consume the berry (Nahuatl Indians), and called the fruit ahuakatl or ahuácatl meaning “testicle.” Several theories exist as to why the name of the avocado stems from the word ahuácatl. One argument suggests it was because the avocado has an appearance like a testicle, so the connection between the two words was made. Some sources suggest the fruit is associated with Aztec fertility rites. A similar argument suggests that avocados are powerful, all-natural aphrodisiacs. Ooh-la-la!
The word ahuácatl became aguacate, which is the word “avocado” in Spanish. In Central and South America, because the exterior of the fruit has a near-scaly, reptilian-like appearance, coupled with the notion the body of the avocado looks just like a pear ... people began calling avocado the Alligator Pear. As of this date, the earliest written reference to the avocado was in the early 1500s and it appeared in a book by Martin Fernández de Enciso.
The avocado tree and fruit grow best in the Mediterranean and tropical environments. Once plucked from the tree, the avocado will start to ripen. The skin of the fruit starts out thick and thins as it grows and ripens: It is a deep, dark green color. The interior of the berry ranges from a yellow to light green color. The seed is a walnut-brown to dark brown color. While the majority of avocados are pear-shaped, some of the berries have spherical or egg-shaped exteriors. The avocado tree is often grown and cultivated through a process known as grafting.
Originating in Puebla, Mexico, is the Persea Americana: The undomesticated avocados called criollo have one big seed inside, and the skin is a dark black color. This avocado tree has been around for at least the last 10,000 years. Today, this long beloved fruit remains a popular food choice for healthy eaters.
As mentioned earlier, the avocado is native to Mediterranean and tropical climates. If grown during its natural season, the avocado grows from early spring until fall. The fruit is ripened by the fall as well. The trees grow best in dry soil and direct sunlight. This doesn’t stop people from growing the fruit the whole year through, so you can rest assured avocado is available to you every single day at your grocery store. Win!
Let me know how it goes!
If you are anything like I am, you will find playing around with low carb recipes super fun! I firmly believe you can eat delicious meals on the keto diet and still feel full, satisfied, and un-deprived. I hope you will share your recipes with me and let me know about your kitchen adventures. Try out some of the recipes or flavor profiles provided and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published author dedicated to helping people thrive and succeed using low carb and keto dietary patterns.