dipping a tortilla chip in guac

Guacamole is a “go-to” dip at get-togethers, game-day parties, or casual family gatherings. But is guacamole healthy? Good news: When eaten in moderation, guacamole does have some health benefits.

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Guacamole Nutrition: Is Guac Good for You?

What makes guacamole so special? It’s the avocado, of course.

Guacamole is generally made from mashed avocados, onions, lime juice, tomatoes, jalapeños, herbs, and spices. The health benefits of guacamole primarily come from the avocado.

Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat, which boosts brain function and health. It is one of the good plant-based fats that can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

A study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition revealed that avocados contain dietary fiber, large amounts of potassium, magnesium, high levels of folate (which also supports brain health), vitamin E, vitamin B for cell health, and vitamin K.

Also, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the fat in avocados can help regulate cholesterol levels.

To learn more about lowering your risk for heart disease and choosing heart-healthy foods, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-876-2484.

Is Guacamole Healthy?

With all the vitamins, fiber, and healthy fat in avocados, it’s hard to imagine guacamole being bad for you.

However, it’s important to consider what you’re eating with the guacamole. Since guacamole is usually served as a dip, it can keep you reaching for more and more chips. Also, guacamole is a common topping for tacos, which may contain fatty meat and tons of sodium all wrapped up in corn tortillas. These foods can rack up calories quickly, along with excessive amounts of carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and preservatives.

As with everything, moderation is key. Guacamole can be healthy, but eating too much unhealthy food paired with large quantities of guacamole can harm your health and cause weight gain.

That said, the average person eats roughly seven pounds of avocados per year, according to Time. By comparison, most people eat an average of 131 pounds of added sugar each year. If you’re gaining weight, guacamole isn’t the likely culprit. Instead, you may be eating too many unhealthy foods in general.

Making Healthier Guacamole

As guacamole is typically a healthier option than sour cream-based dips and dressings that contain high levels of saturated fat, sodium, and preservatives, it is a better choice.

To avoid extra unhealthy fat and calories, don’t add ingredients like sour cream or mayonnaise to your guacamole. Instead of chips, try dipping vegetables like carrots or bell peppers into your guac.

Homemade guacamole is a quick, easy, and healthier choice. Store-bought guacamole frequently contains sour cream, added sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives, and a lot of sodium.

To learn more about lowering your risk for heart disease and choosing heart-healthy foods, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-876-2484.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.