How Many Calories Are in an Avocado?
Avocados, especially compared to other fruits and vegetables, have kind of a lot of calories. There are 322 calories in an avocado that weighs 201 grams, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA). To put that number in perspective, a large banana has 121 calories and a slice of cooked bacon has only 54 calories. That means you could eat 5 slices of bacon and consume fewer calories than you would if you ate a whole avocado. But the relatively high number of calories in an avocado doesn't mean that avocados are bad for your health. So are avocados good for you? Yes, and when you look at avocado nutrition facts, you quickly realize that the caloric content is only one part of the equation.
According to information from the Hass Avocado Board, avocados are a so-called "nutrient-dense fruit." They're packed with nearly twenty vitamins and minerals, including 4 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamins E and C and 2 percent of your requirement for iron. Avocados also have a healthy serving of dietary fiber—the stuff that helps regulate your bowel movements and is correlated with lower cholesterol and better heart health. They're are also high in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and regulate your heartbeat.
The potassium and fiber are why avocados are heart-healthy despite their relatively high fat content, especially for a fruit. (Did you know that technically, an avocado is a fruit? I still think of it as a vegetable, though. It's the classic tomato conundrum, you know?) An avocado has nearly 30 grams of fat, according to the USDA. A slice of cooked bacon, for reference, has only 4 grams of total fat.
But unlike the fat that's coming from bacon, the vast majority of the fat in avocados is the so-called "good" kind of fat: monounsaturated fat. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), monounsaturated fat can "can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke." (Meanwhile, saturated fats, like those you find in animal products, can raise cholesterol levels and, according to the AHA, should be limited.)
Yes, avocados have more calories than other fruits or vegetables, and yes, they also have a good amount of fat, but at the end of the day, avocados are good for you. After all, avocados are still a fruit, and eating any fruit—even one with a lot of calories and fat—is still probably better for your health than eating something that's not a fruit. So feel free to slather on that extra guacamole.