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Food Guide

Avocado

Buying Tips

Look for avocados that are heavy for their size and are free of bruises and dark sunken spots. Unripe avocados are hard to the touch. Place them in a brown paper bag at room temperature for two to three days to ripen. They are ready to eat when slightly soft.

Varieties

Although there are about a hundred varieties of avocado, only a few are grown and consumed in the United States. The most commonly available variety is the Haas avocado, a dark-green, pebbly skinned avocado grown in California that is available year-round. Fuerte avocados are medium green and have a smoother skin. Grown in California, they are available in the fall and winter. Florida avocados are larger than those from California, have a smoother skin, and are lower in fat. Some jumbo avocados may be slightly lower in fat as well.

Preparation, Uses, & Tips

Avocados are always eaten raw because heating can cause them to become bitter. They can be added to cooked dishes just before serving. Avocado is most commonly used to make the Mexican dip called guacamole, a mixture of mashed avocado, lime juice, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Avocado slices can also be added to salads, sandwiches, or sauces. Mashed avocado is a good spread for toast, bagels, or sandwiches, and can be used to top chili or a baked potato. It makes a healthful replacement for sour cream, butter, or margarine. Avocado halves can be stuffed with tuna, chicken, or crab salad.

To prepare an avocado, slice in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin and pit. Avocado flesh darkens quickly when exposed to air. While this doesn’t present any health hazard, it makes the avocado look less appealing. To prevent this from occurring, rub avocado slices with lime or lemon juice, or mix about ½ tablespoon (7mL) of juice into mashed or puréed avocado.

Storing

Once ripe, they should be stored in the refrigerator and used within two to three days. To freeze avocado, remove the skin and pit and purée the flesh with ½ tablespoon (7mL) of lemon or lime juice per avocado. Pack in an airtight container and freeze for up to five months. Avocado slices and halves do not freeze well.

Nutrition Highlights

Avocado (raw, all varieties), 1 medium

  • Calories: 322
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • Total Fat: 29g
  • Fiber: 13g

*Excellent Source of: Folic acid (162.81mcg), Pantothenic acid (2.79mg), Potassium (974.85mg), Vitamin B6 (0.52mg), Vitamin C (20.10mg), and Vitamin E (4.16IU)

*Good Source of: Copper (0.38mg), Magnesium (58.29mg), Manganese (0.29mg), Niacin (3.49mg), Phosphorus (104.52mg), and Riboflavin (0.26mg)

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.

Copyright © 2021 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.