I Ate an Avocado Every Day for a Week—Here’s What Happened

Updated: Apr. 14, 2024

Eating an avocado every day means heightened fat intake, doesn't it? Maybe, but a researcher and expert deliver their scoop on why that's not all bad.

Avocado nutrition facts

Maybe you’ve seen that silly comic where one avocado is running off in tears, and another is following behind it, yelling, “But I said you’re the good fat!”

Cute, right? Avocados are, in fact,  famously high in “good fats”—in this case, they’re monounsaturated fatty acids (also referred to as MUFAs). Monounsaturated fatty acids have been shown to play roles in reducing bad cholesterol and belly fat, which are two factors that play into the risks for heart disease and other conditions.

But if you’re one of those avocado-loving souls who regularly tops a salad, toast, or a taco with that creamy green goodness, maybe you’ve quietly asked yourself: When does “good fat” become too much fat?

The amount of fat you should have in a day breaks down as the following if we use a 2,000-calorie diet as the example:

  • 44 to 78 grams total fat
  • 400 to 700 calories as “healthy fats” (which works out to 25% to 35% of those 2,000 daily calories)
  • 7% to maximum 10% (140 to 200 calories) coming from saturated fat

Here’s how it would fit in if you eat an avocado every day for a week—a whole Hass avocado is said to contain:

  • 240 calories
  •  24 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of fiber

This accounts for approximately one-half to one-third of the recommended daily fat intake, depending on an individual’s needs.

Factor in those nine grams of fiber against 12 carbohydrates, and you’re left with just about three grams of carbohydrates that aren’t fiber. That’s why so many of the low-carb crowd love avocados.

Now clear on this nutrition breakdown of avocados, I had to consider the health benefits and any potential drawbacks of embarking on my experiment to eat avocados every day for a week.

avocado slicesYagi Studio/Getty Images

The health benefits of avocados

Along with high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados are packed with several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, E, K1, B6, folate, potassium, and copper. Katie Bressack, INHC, AADP, an award-winning health coach certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners, supports the inclusion of at least a serving of avocado every day. (The Mayo Clinic calls one serving of avocados “three thin slices or two tablespoons smashed.” Note my week-long experiment eating avocado every day probably contained about four servings per day.)

Bressack notes avocados are “full of fiber”—with fiber in particular lacking in many Americans’ diets. Plus, avocados contain essential minerals, like magnesium and potassium. To boot, despite an avocado’s fat content, Bressack says all that “good” fat actually “helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL),” she says.

Several studies also supported my mission to eat avocados every day, and none seemed to caution a drawback. One 2013 study involved more than 17,000 participants and found that people who ate avocados also consumed more fruits and vegetables overall, more vitamins and minerals, good fats, and less sugar than non-avocado eaters.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2022, which spanned 30 years and included over 110,000 participants, showed that avocado eaters experienced a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease with just two servings of the green fruit per week. “These are particularly notable findings since the consumption of avocados has risen steeply in the U.S. in the last 20 years,” said Lorena S. Pacheco, PhD, MPH, RDN, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow in the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Finally, one study put “one avocado a day” to the test to see whether it would lower the amount of belly fat in overweight people. Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in July 2022, the Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial asked more than 1,000 participants to eat one avocado a day for six months or maintain their regular diet. While the study did not end up showing a general reduction in belly fat, it also did not show an increase, and it showed no increase in the risk to the heart in terms of other health metrics.

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Health risks of eating an avocado a day

In general, eating avocado is a safe way of increasing healthy fats and several vitamins and minerals. However, Bressack advises, “I’d check in with your doctor if you are on any medications.” One reason: “Avocados are rich in potassium, so if you are on any medications for hypertension, check with your doctor about the weekly amount to include in your diet as it might interfere.” Half a medium avocado has more potassium than a medium banana, so anyone who needs to avoid excess potassium shouldn’t eat a whole avocado in one sitting.

Also, if you have a sensitive belly, beware: The extra fiber could cause gas and bloating if you aren’t used to it. Start slowly, adding one-quarter to one-third of an avocado to a salad or dish. If it agrees with you, “I eat about a half of an avocado a day, as they are great for supporting hormones,” Bressack says.

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Here’s what happened when I ate an avocado every day

I was very, very full

When eating an avocado a day, it’s best to split it up into two or three portions because they are energy-dense. I typically ate half with breakfast with scrambled eggs or spread onto toast. For lunch, I ate it in a salad or on the side of a sandwich.

Even splitting up the avocado, I noticed I was very full, and it was a stretch to eat the rest of my portion during lunch, since I still felt full from breakfast! I may have even uttered the words, “This doesn’t even need cheese.” If you know me, I believe that cheese could and should go with every meal. The richness of the avocado made the cheese optional. This jives with the study that found people ate less of other fats when consuming avocado—a good thing, given much of cheese’s fat content is generally saturated.

Bressack wasn’t surprised that eating that much avocado kept me to the brink of stuffed. “They are full of healthy fats that help keep us satiated,” she said. “The combination of proteins with healthy fats and fiber is great for helping to maintain blood sugar levels and helps you feel full longer.” I found I’d naturally push my lunch to later in the day, well after 2 p.m. in some cases.

A 2019 study in the journal Nutrients corroborated this observation, showing that people who ate a meal with a whole avocado or even half were fuller longer than those who ate a low-fat meal. The avocado-based meals led to an increase in a hormone called PYY which, when lowered, makes people hungry.

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My skin was noticeably smoother

Looking in the mirror after the third day of my avocado experiment, I saw visibly shinier skin and a noticeable smoothness. Curious, I found research from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and David Geffen School of Medicine which showed eating avocado resulted in improved skin elasticity and firmness.

For that study, 39 women were instructed to either eat an avocado a day for eight weeks, or to maintain their normal diet. The women who ate the avocados had a “significant increase in elasticity and firmness” as indicated by a suction instrument that measured skin tone and moisture retention. “This study showed more accurately that if you want your skin to be young and vibrant, then the best approach is not just topicals, but improving your whole diet,” said Zhaoping Li, MD, chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at UCLA. “When you take care of your entire body with proper nutrition, then your skin is going to reflect that.” Reflect that, literally: My skin seemed to glow.

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Eating an avocado every day didn’t make me more regular

Despite the extra fiber, I didn’t notice any notable effects with using the bathroom. In fact, I felt like I noticed that things went slower. Avocados contain a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, which act differently in the body. The soluble forms a gel-like substance that slows digestion while the insoluble helps move things along. The extra fat could have slowed my digestion too.

The Mayo Clinic recommends increasing fiber slowly to avoid cramping or excess gas. Also, increasing fiber requires that you also increase water to help it move through your digestive system.

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When I ate an avocado every day, I never got bored

Avocado has that luxurious taste and smooth texture that makes it a truly unique fruit (botanically, the avocado is classified as a large berry!). I honestly didn’t get bored of the flavor throughout the seven days, since there are so many inspired avocado recipes. However, I would probably lower to eating half an avocado a day due to the incredible fullness I experienced. Plus, avocados can be on the expensive side so eating just half an avocado a day can be a budget-friendly way to enjoy their health benefits.

You don’t have to eat an avocado a day to get the benefits of the high fiber and healthy fat. Several times a week or up to half a day will get you there, while still avoiding any drawbacks and that heavy full feeling.

Likewise, Bressack says, unless your healthcare provider recommends otherwise, don’t avoid an avocado because of its fat content. Fold it in with egg salad, top a bright poke bowl or scoop some into your smoothie (one of Bressack’s favorite methods). My experiment eating avocado every day was satisfying proof this food truly serves up the best of all worlds.