Avocados have certainly made a name for themselves in kitchens around the globe. Whether you’re a fan of a fancy avocado toast or just find yourself adding it to everything, avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But are avocados good for diabetics? Yes — in fact, you may want to consider making avocados a regular part of your diabetes management plan, along with your DigiVibe, designed to make finger pricks pain free.
If you’re exploring the best foods to control type 2 diabetes, let’s examine why avocados are a great food for people with diabetes.
Avocados are an incredibly healthy and nutrient-dense food. One average-sized avocado offers the following nutritional profile:
- Calories: 147
- Protein: 4 grams
- Total Fat: 29.5 grams
- Total Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Fiber: 13.5 grams
- Total Sugar: 1.3 grams
If you’ve been wondering if avocados have sugar, the answer is yes. However, the kind of sugar found in avocados — and other raw fruits and vegetables — is not the same as added sugar you would use when baking a cake or purchasing a sugary packaged snack food.
The 1.3 grams of sugar in one avocado is naturally-occurring. However, it doesn’t have the same impact on your blood sugar because it’s also packaged in other nutrients, like fat and fiber.
While it looks like avocados contain a significant amount of fat, remember that most of it is unsaturated. Specifically, avocados are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which offer numerous health benefits.
Finally, avocados are rich in micronutrients such as potassium, the B vitamins B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, as well as vitamins E and K.
Benefits of Avocado for Diabetes
For people with diabetes, eating avocados can offer even more benefits for weight management, blood sugar regulation, and more.
1. They may help support healthy weight management
Avocados are packed with healthy unsaturated fats and fiber and even contain some protein. These nutrients work together to help keep you satiated after eating, which can help prevent overeating that could otherwise lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss goals.
A 2013 clinical trial among 26 overweight adults found that adding half of an avocado to their lunch after eating a standardized breakfast resulted in a 26% increase in meal satisfaction as well as a 40% reduced desire to eat more afterward.
2. They may help support blood sugar regulation
Regulating blood sugar levels well, and minimizing major spikes and drops as much as possible, is important for diabetes management. Nutrition plays a key role in being able to do so, and avocados are a great food for that.
Unlike foods that are high in added sugar and low in other nutrients, the healthy fats, protein, and fiber in avocado help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Additionally, the weight management benefits of avocado can also translate to better insulin sensitivity among individuals with diabetes. For instance, a 2007 randomized controlled trial examined various calorie-restricted diets among people with lower insulin sensitivity. The authors found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats, like avocados, was more effective for both weight loss and increased insulin sensitivity than a similar high-carbohydrate diet.
3. They are good for your heart
Having diabetes can increase your risk of developing other chronic conditions, such as heart disease. Incorporating avocados into your diet can help support heart health.
While a diet high in saturated fat — found in animal-derived foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as coconut oil and palm oil — has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, eating unsaturated fats can have the opposite effect.
An excessive intake of saturated fat tends to raise the amount of LDL “bad” cholesterol levels circulating in your blood and can even lower the amount of HDL “good” cholesterol. On the other hand, unsaturated fats can help raise HDL and offer protective benefits to your heart health. When your HDL levels are higher, they can help clear out the unhealthy fats from your blood and lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
How to Enjoy Avocados with Diabetes
Can a diabetic eat avocado every day? Sure! Avocados have so many benefits to offer nutritionally as well as for blood sugar and weight management. If you like them, here are a few simple ways to enjoy avocado as part of your overall healthy diet.
- Guacamole: Is guacamole good for diabetics? Make diabetic-friendly guacamole at home by mashing together ripe avocado with diced red onion, minced garlic, chopped tomato, lemon juice, and salt.
- Avocado toast: Mash avocado on slices of whole-grain toast and top with sliced tomato, lemon juice, and pepitas.
- Burritos: Top burritos, enchiladas, or tacos with sliced avocado.
- Soup: Chunks of cool avocado are a great pairing for warm bean soup.
- Smoothies: Toss a few chunks of avocado into a chocolate smoothie to add creaminess without adding an overpowering flavor.
- On grits: If you like eating grits, try topping a savory bowl with avocado slices.
Can Diabetics Eat Avocados?
To answer the question of is avocado good for diabetics: avocados are one of the healthiest foods to add to your diabetes-friendly diet. Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they also offer fiber, protein, and healthy fats that support weight management, blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity, and heart health. Enjoy avocados on their own, as a topper for a variety of dishes, or even blended into smoothies and dips.
Did you know DigiVibe is an affordable and compact device that takes the pain out of finger pricks? To learn more about how to order a DigiVibe and how it can help you or a loved one, check out these patient and doctor reviews.
- “Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties.” USDA FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
- Wien M, Haddad E, Oda K, Sabaté J. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J. 2013;12:155. Published 2013 Nov 27. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-155
- Leon BM, Maddox TM. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Epidemiology, biological mechanisms, treatment recommendations and future research. World J Diabetes. 2015;6(13):1246-1258. doi:10.4239/wjd.v6.i13.1246
- Paniagua JA, de la Sacristana AG, Sánchez E, et al. A MUFA-rich diet improves posprandial glucose, lipid and GLP-1 responses in insulin-resistant subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007;26(5):434-444. doi:10.1080/07315724.2007.10719633