Ah- avocados! The buttery, green fruit that’s more Insta-worthy than a well-lit selfie.
Like most superheroes in the culinary universe, the avocado brings a bunch of health benefits to the table (14). It’s full of healthy fats, packed with vitamins and minerals, and is a heart-friendly choice that’s hard to resist.
It adds creaminess to your salads, gives your smoothies a health kick, and even makes a decadent toast topping.
But is it unhealthy to indulge in this superfood every day? If yes, why? Could your love for guacamole be leading you down a path of unexpected side effects?
Before you take another scoop of that delicious dip, read on to discover the eight potential avocado side effects that might make you rethink your love for guacamole.
What Are Avocado’s Side Effects?
The side effects of eating avocado every day include; potential high calorie intake, weight gain, and risks for those with latex allergy. Additionally, avocado contains Tryamine, an amino acid that can induce migraines for some individuals, although the evidence is still inconclusive.
High Calorie Intake
Avocados may be a healthy addition to your diet, but it’s crucial to keep in mind that they are high in calories. One medium-sized avocado packs around 240 calories (4), and most people tend to eat more than that in one sitting, especially in the form of guacamole.
A calorie-dense diet is linked to a higher risk of (11):
- Type 2 diabetes – when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it, leading to high sugar levels in the blood.
- Obesity – when a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeds 30 due to excessive fat accumulation.
- Coronary heart disease – when plaque builds up in the arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
To maintain a healthy weight, it’s essential to keep track of your calorie intake, and moderation is key.
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If you consume more calories than your body needs, this can lead to weight gain (8). As mentioned before, avocados are high in calories, and overconsumption can lead to an increase in body weight.
While avocados may not be the only reason for weight gain, it’s essential to keep track of your avocado intake along with other foods you consume to maintain a healthy weight.
Check out: How to Eat Avocado for Weight Loss, to learn how to incorporate this superfood into your diet without going overboard on calories.
Avocado intolerance is a condition where you experience negative reactions after consuming avocado (e). Unlike allergies, which are caused by your immune system, intolerance is a digestive issue. It occurs when your body has difficulty digesting.
The exact cause of avocado intolerance is not fully understood. However, experts believe that it could be linked to an inability of the body to produce enough enzymes needed for proper digestion.
The symptoms of avocado intolerance or allergy may include:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach pain or vomiting
Risks for Those with Latex Allergy
Avocado contains a protein called chitinase, which can cause an allergic reaction in individuals with a latex allergy (15). This is known as cross-reactivity, where the proteins in avocados are similar to those found in latex, and the body may mistake them for the same substance.
Symptoms of this allergy can range from mild reactions like itching or hives to more severe complications such as difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. If you have a latex allergy, it’s essential to speak to your doctor before adding avocados to your diet.
Avocado contains Tryamine, an amino acid that is believed to trigger headaches or migraines in certain individuals (7). However, the evidence for this is still inconclusive and varies from person to person.
If you’re prone to migraines or have a family history of them, it’s best to keep track of your avocado intake and consult with a doctor if they seem to be triggering headaches.
Blood Pressure Concerns
Tryamine is not only linked to migraines but it’s also known for its ability to raise blood pressure levels (17). Therefore, individuals with high blood pressure should consume avocados in moderation.
Furthermore, avocados have a high potassium content, which can also contribute to an increase in blood pressure if consumed excessively (12).
For people on medication to control their blood pressure, it’s essential to consult with a doctor before adding avocados to their diet.
If you eat too much of it, side effects include gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort (16). This is because of the high fiber content in avocados, which can be difficult for some people to digest.
Additionally, if you have a sensitive stomach or suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it’s best to limit your avocado intake to avoid any discomfort.
Read more: How to Prepare Healthy Avocado Mayo at Home?
Side Effects of Avocado Seed
According to the California Avocado Commission, there is not enough research to support consuming the seed (l).
While it’s known that the seed contains a number of nutrients and antioxidants, it’s unclear whether these substances are bioavailable (able to be absorbed and used by the body).
The seed also contains tannins, substances that can contribute to a bitter taste and may cause an upset stomach in some individuals (13).
Most experts recommend sticking with eating the flesh of the avocado, which is well-known for its health benefits (10).
We provide detailed information on the pros of avocado consumption in our previous post – Avocado Benefits For Men.
Avocado Seed Tea Side Effects
One way we can consume avocado seeds is by making tea out of them. However, there is not enough research to support this practice, and some experts caution against it due to the potential side effects.
Since avocado seeds contain tannins and other compounds that may cause gastrointestinal issues, consuming large quantities of seed tea can cause digestive problems like bloating, gas, and stomach pain.
Additionally, avocado seed tea may interact with certain medications, so it’s essential to consult with a doctor before trying it (6).
Check out our piece on Baked Avocado Egg Boats for inspiration on how to incorporate avocados into your diet in a healthier way!
How Much Avocado Is Too Much?
One way to get avocado’s health benefits without risking any side effects is to consume it in moderation.
According to the California Avocado Commission, one serving of avocado is about ⅓ of a medium-sized fruit, which contains around 80 calories (5).
It’s recommended to consume no more than two servings of avocados per day to avoid consuming too many calories and potential side effects.
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Is It Unhealthy To Eat An Avocado Every Day?
Yes, it may be unhealthy to eat an avocado every day, especially if you’re consuming it in excessive amounts.
As mentioned before, avocados are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain if over-consumed. Additionally, the side effects of eating avocado every day in large amounts can also harm your health.
Before eating an avocado a day, ask yourself:
What Is My Daily Calorie Allowance?
Assuming you’re not trying to gain weight, the recommended daily calorie intake for adults is around 2,000-2,500 calories a day (9). This may vary depending on your age, gender, and activity level.
If you consume an avocado every day without taking into account your other food choices and calorie intake, it’s easy to exceed your daily limit and risk potential side effects like weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, and blood pressure concerns.
Therefore, it’s important to track your avocado intake along with other foods you consume.
Am I Getting Enough Variety In My Diet?
Eating an avocado every day may also limit the variety in your diet. While avocados are incredibly nutritious, they do not provide all the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for a balanced diet.
It’s important to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats into your meals to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
Do I Have Any Specific Health Concerns?
Allergies, migraines, and high blood pressure are just a few examples of health concerns that can be affected by consuming avocados. If you have any specific health concerns or medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before adding avocados to your diet in excess.
When Not To Eat Avocado?
Avoid eating avocados if;
- You have a latex allergy
- You’re taking medication for blood pressure control
- You experience migraines or headaches after consuming avocados
- You have gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, bloating, or stomach pain
- You have IBS or other digestive issues
Tips For Enjoying Avocados In Moderation
- Use avocados as a healthy substitute for butter or mayonnaise in sandwiches and spreads.
- Limit your portion size to ⅓ of a medium avocado per day.
- Incorporate avocados into meals with other nutrient-dense foods, such as salads, omelets, or smoothies.
- Stick to one serving of avocado per meal, and don’t consume more than two servings per day.
- Avoid eating avocados every day and instead, mix up your diet by trying different types of healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
How Much Avocado Is Safe To Eat in a Day?
Two servings of avocado (⅓ of a medium-sized fruit) per day is recommended to stay within a safe and healthy range (5). However, this may vary depending on your individual factors such as age, gender, and health conditions.
Should I Avoid Avocados To Lose Weight?
No, you don’t have to completely avoid avocados to lose weight. Avocados are a nutritious and filling food that can be incorporated into a healthy and balanced diet. However, it’s important to track your avocado intake and consume it in moderation to avoid consuming too many calories.
What Are The Symptoms of Avocado Intolerance?
The symptoms of avocado intolerance may include bloating, gas, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea. It’s important to consult with a doctor if you experience these symptoms after consuming avocados.
Why Does Avocado Upset My Stomach?
If you experience stomach discomfort after eating avocados, it may be due to the high fiber content and tannins in the fruit. These substances can be difficult for some people to digest, especially those with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
Is Too Much Avocado Bad for Cholesterol?
Avocado contains healthy fats that can actually help improve cholesterol levels (p). However, it is important to remember that eating too much can cause side effects including weight gain, which can affect cholesterol levels.
It’s important to consume avocados in moderation and balance them with other nutritious foods to maintain a healthy weight and cholesterol level.
The Bottom Line
While avocados are a healthy food, overconsumption can lead to potential side effects, including high-calorie intake and weight gain.
Additionally, individuals with latex allergy should be cautious when adding avocados to their diet, as they may experience an allergic reaction due to cross-reactivity.
Although the evidence is still inconclusive, those prone to migraines should also keep track of their avocado intake. With this in mind, the next time you reach for that delicious avocado toast or guacamole, remember to enjoy it ian moderation.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Moderate-Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day Increases Plasma Antioxidants and Decreases the Oxidation of Small, Dense LDL in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2020, sciencedirect.com)
- Anaphylaxis related to avocado ingestion: a case and review | Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology (2011, biomedcentral.com)
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- Biochemistry, Tyramine (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- Potassium Intake and Blood Pressure: A Dose‐Response Meta‐Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2020, ahajournals.org)
- Putative Roles of Plant-Derived Tannins in Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatry Disorders: An Updated Review (2019, mdpi.com)
- The Forgotten Fruit: A Case for Consuming Avocado Within the Traditional Mediterranean Diet (2020, frontiersin.org)
- The latex-fruit syndrome (2002, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Too much fiber: Symptoms and treatment (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Tyramine – an overview (n.d., sciencedirect.com)