Of all the berries that exist (yes, an avocado is actually a berry in terms of botanical classification), none is as versatile and universally loved as the avocado, at least not as a savory ingredient.
It is known for its creamy texture, subtle flavor, and impressive nutritional benefits, and is a staple in kitchens all over the world. But did you know there’s more to avocados than just the popular Hass variety?
This fruit comes in a wide array of types, each of which boasts its own unique characteristics. From the rich, buttery Hass to the sweet, nutty Reed, and beyond—there’s a whole world of avocado varieties to explore. This guide will introduce you to some of the most popular ones out there.
How Many Types of Avocados Are There?
There’s no definitive number for the types of avocados as new hybrids continue to be developed all the time.
However, there are around 20 notable types that are commonly recognized and available in various parts of the world. These include popular varieties such as Hass, Fuerte, Bacon, Pinkerton, Reed, Zutano, and Gwen.
Avocados are generally grouped into three main categories based on their native regions: Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian. Each category has distinctive characteristics in terms of size, shape, flavor, and skin type.
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What Is The Most Popular Type of Avocado?
Based on available information, the Hass avocado continues to be the most popular type of avocado in 2023. It’s widely available and loved thanks to its creamy, buttery texture and rich flavor.
The Hass avocado market is also anticipated to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% during 2023 – 2028, further proving its popularity (7).
What Are The 2 Types of Avocado?
While there are several types of avocado, the two varieties that are most widely recognized and consumed, particularly in the United States, are Hass and Fuerte avocados.
This is the most popular variety globally. The Hass avocado is known for its pebbly, tough but thin skin that turns from green to a dark purplish-black when ripe. Its flesh is creamy, rich, and has a slightly nutty flavor.
The Fuerte avocado is another well-known variety that has a smoother, thinner skin that remains green even when ripe. The flesh of the Fuerte is slightly less creamy than the Hass, but it’s still flavorful and has a slightly more pronounced sweetness.
Which Type of Avocado Is Best?
While Hass and Fuerte lead the pack in terms of popularity, there are many other types of avocado to explore. Depending on your preference, you may like different varieties more than others, and you should consider the following list:
- Bacon Avocado: This type has a green-colored, thin skin and creamy, buttery flesh. Its flavor is described as nutty and sweet.
- Pinkerton Avocado: This variety is large in size, has a green-colored skin, and offers a mild, buttery flavor.
- Reed Avocado: Reed avocados are characterized by their light green skin and nutty but sweet flavor.
- Zutano Avocado: This type of avocado has bright yellow skin and is known for its smooth, creamy texture and mild flavor.
- Gwen Avocado: The Gwen avocado has dark green, thin skin and a rich, buttery flavor.
- Lamb Hass Avocado: The Lamb Hass has thick, dark green skin and offers a mild but sweet flavor.
The “best” type of avocado depends on your personal preference and your intended use for the avocado. However, there are several key factors you should consider when buying avocados:
Hass avocados are the most popular due to their creamy, rich flavor and texture. They’re ideal for most uses, such as in guacamole or sliced in sandwiches and salads. Fuerte avocados, with their slightly sweet flavor, are also excellent, particularly for eating raw.
A ripe avocado should yield slightly to gentle pressure but not feel overly soft or mushy. The color is also often an indicator of ripeness, depending on the variety. For example, Hass avocados turn from green to dark purple-black when they ripen.
Look for avocados that are free from blemishes, cuts, or dark spots, which can indicate damage or spoilage. The stem or cap on the top of the avocado should be intact. If this is missing, the fruit may have started decaying.
If you don’t intend to consume the whole avocado at once, you should consider smaller varieties such as the Hass. Larger types like the Reed may be more than you require for a single serving.
Avocado availability can vary according to season and region. Hass avocados are generally available year-round, but other types such as the Bacon and Zutano varieties have very specific seasons.
Which Is The Healthiest Avocado?
All avocado varieties offer significant health benefits, such as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and important nutrients like folate and potassium. However, there are some slight differences between them:
These are slightly higher in fat and calories than other varieties, giving them a richer taste and smoother, creamier texture. The fats in Hass avocados are healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower bad cholesterol levels (5).
Florida avocados, including the Choquette, Monroe, and Hall varieties, are generally larger and have smoother skins than Hass avocados. They are known for their slightly lower fat and calorie content, as they contain less oil and more water.
Green avocados are known to have a slightly lower fat and calorie content than black avocados, as they generally contain less oil and more water.
Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados are highly nutritious fruits that are packed with beneficial nutrients and plant compounds that can have a positive impact on your health:
Rich in Healthy Fats
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid, which is linked to reduced cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease, particularly when they replace saturated fats in the diet. These fats also help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K (5).
High in Fiber
Loaded with Antioxidants
Avocados are rich in antioxidants, including carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases (5).
Beneficial for Eye Health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in avocados, are incredibly important for eye health and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts (5).
May Aid Weight Loss
Avocados have been linked to weight loss due to their fiber content and their ability to enhance feelings of fullness, which may result in reduced calorie intake generally (6).
Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol (4). It has been suggested that regular consumption of this and other plant sterols can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels (2).
Good for Bone Health
Avocados contain a significant amount of vitamin K, which is often overlooked, but is essential for bone health.
Vitamin K is often overshadowed by calcium and vitamin D when discussing nutrients that are important for maintaining healthy bones. However, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health as it is involved in bone mineralization, in addition to increasing calcium absorption and reducing the urinary excretion of calcium (10).
May Improve Digestive Health
The fiber in avocados helps promote healthy bowel movements and maintain a healthy digestive tract. It also helps maintain the right balance of gut flora, which is essential for a healthy digestive system (8).
May Help Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis
Some studies have suggested that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, particularly in the hip and knee (1).
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Bonus Lists: Avocado Toast, Sandwiches, Salads, and More
Types of Avocado Toast
- Classic Avocado Toast: This is the simplest version, generally just ripe mashed avocado on toasted bread, sometimes with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper or a drizzle of olive oil.
- Tomato Basil Avocado Toast: This variety includes juicy ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, which creates a caprese salad-inspired twist on the classic.
- Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast: Top your avocado toast with slices of smoked salmon for a meal that is protein-packed and Omega-3-rich.
- Bacon and Egg Avocado Toast: Crispy bacon and a fried or poached egg make this a hearty breakfast option.
- Everything Bagel Avocado Toast: Sprinkle “everything bagel” seasoning on your avocado toast for a flavor-packed upgrade.
- Za’atar Avocado Toast: Middle Eastern za’atar spice blend adds a unique and tangy flavor to your avocado toast.
- Salsa Avocado Toast: For a Mexican-inspired twist, top your avocado toast with fresh salsa.
- Caprese Avocado Toast: Layer slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato over your avocado, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with basil.
Types of Avocado Sandwich
- Avocado BLT: A classic BLT sandwich with added fresh avocado slices.
- Avocado Grilled Cheese: Adds a creamy twist to a traditional grilled cheese.
- Avocado Veggie Panini: Loaded with avocado and other fresh veggies.
- Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich: Perfect for lunch, this sandwich combines creamy avocado with mayo and shredded chicken.
- Tuna Avocado Wrap: Mix canned tuna with avocado slices for a light and healthy wrap.
- Hummus Avocado Pita: Spread hummus on the inside of a pita and fill with avocado slices for a delicious, vegetarian option.
Types of Avocado Salad
- Avocado Tomato Salad: A classic summer salad with ripe tomatoes, red onion, and creamy avocado.
- Avocado Corn Salad: Add fresh or frozen corn to your avocado salad for added crunch and sweetness.
- Fruit and Avocado Salad: A hearty summer salad with fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes together with avocado.
- Avocado Kale Salad: Whip up this hearty salad in just a few minutes using fresh kale, cucumbers, and avocado.
- Steak and Avocado Salad: A steak salad with juicy steak slices and creamy chunks of avocado.
- Quinoa Avocado Salad: A vegan-friendly, nutrient-packed salad made with quinoa, avocado, and other fresh vegetables.
Types of Avocado Smoothie
- Avocado Banana Smoothie: Creamy and filling, this smoothie contains avocado, banana, almond milk, and honey.
- Mango Avocado Smoothie: A tropical smoothie with mango and avocado to provide a dose of healthy fats.
- Tropical Avocado Smoothie: A smoothie with pineapple, banana, and avocado for a delicious sweet treat.
- Spinach Avocado Smoothie: A nutrient-packed smoothie made with spinach, banana, and avocado.
Do avocados reduce depression?
Avocados can potentially contribute to fighting depression symptoms due to their rich content of essential nutrients. They contain folate (vitamin B9), which helps create serotonin and other neurotransmitters that regulate your mood (3).
Avocados also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is known to promote feelings of well-being and happiness (9).
However, specific foods or dietary changes are not a substitute for treatment for depression and you should seek advice from a healthcare professional if you exhibit any symptoms.
What’s the best way to cook avocado?
While avocados are normally eaten raw, they can also be cooked in several ways. Grilling, baking, and frying are all popular methods.
For grilling, cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, brush it with some oil, and place it on the grill. For baking, you may want to try ‘avocado boats’ where you bake an egg inside half an avocado. You can also slice avocados and fry them for a crispy and unique treat.
What is the healthiest way to eat avocado?
Eating avocados raw is generally considered to be the healthiest method as it preserves all the natural nutrients. You can add them to salads, spread them on toast, or use them to make guacamole (6).
However, pairing avocados with foods that are high in fat-soluble vitamins or carotenoids, such as carrots or sweet potatoes, can help enhance the absorption of nutrients, thanks to the healthy fats in avocados.
Are avocados useful for weight loss?
Yes, avocados can be a valuable addition to an effective weight loss plan. They’re high in dietary fiber, which can enhance feelings of fullness and potentially lead to reduced calorie intake.
Despite being relatively high in calories, avocados are packed with beneficial nutrients and healthy monounsaturated fats, which are important for overall health during weight loss. As with any food, you should consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re a fan of the creamy Hass or the buttery Reed, there’s an avocado variety for everyone. Every type offers unique flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits, which makes avocados a versatile and healthful addition to any diet.
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 potential role for avocado- and soybean-based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review (2010, pubmed.gov)
- An update on β-sitosterol: A potential herbal nutraceutical for diabetic management (2020, sciencedirect.com)
- Avocado as a Major Dietary Source of Antioxidants and Its Preventive Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases (2016, nih.gov)
- Avocado, raw (2022, usda.gov)
- Avocados (2022, harvard.edu)
- Hass Avocado Inclusion in a Weight-Loss Diet Supported Weight Loss and Altered Gut Microbiota: A 12-Week Randomized, Parallel-Controlled Trial (2019, pubmed.gov)
- HASS AVOCADO MARKET SIZE & SHARE ANALYSIS – GROWTH TRENDS & FORECASTS (2023 – 2028) (n.d., mordorintelligence.com)
- Health benefits of dietary fiber (2009, pubmed.gov)
- Tryptophan Metabolism and Gut-Brain Homeostasis (2021, pubmed.gov)
- Vitamin K and bone health (2001, pubmed.gov)