February 2013

Avocado Intake Linked to Healthier Diet

A recent study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggests that eating avocados may be associated with an overall healthier diet.

Avocados are a nutritious source of potassium, containing 60% more potassium than bananas. An avocado has a higher fat content than other fruit, but the fat is monounsaturated fat, considered healthy when consumed in moderation. Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can reduce total cholesterol and increase the ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) to low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

In the NHANES study, 17,567 adult participants answered dietary surveys about their eating habits. Researchers assessed diet quality from the USDA Healthy Eating Index-2005. 347 participants frequently ate avocadoes, of which the average consumption was half an avocado daily.

Avocado intake was linked to an overall more nutritious diet. The avocado consumers had significantly higher vegetable and fruit intake, in addition to significantly lower sugar intake. Individuals eating avocados also consumed significantly more total fat, vitamins E and K, magnesium, potassium and fiber than those who didn't eat avocados.

Furthermore, avocado consumers had a significantly lower weight, BMI and waist circumference, compared to non-avocado consumers. Avocado intake was significantly linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, defined by waist circumference, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and fasting glucose levels.

For more information about avocados, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.


  1. Fulgoni VL 3rd, Dreher M, and Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutr J. 2013 Jan 2;12(1):1. 
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2023 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.