Who doesn’t love guacamole? This dip is a staple for so many occasions and meals in our daily lives. Interestingly, the history of guacamole dates back to the Aztecs, who loved flavoring their food with a certain kind of avocado sauce that’s strikingly similar to modern-day guacamole.
But, as much as we might love it, is guacamole healthy?
Health Benefits of Guacamole
Not only is it delicious, but guacamole has a wealth of health benefits (most of which come from avocados, the main ingredient).
These little green fruits are low in sugar and rich in monounsaturated fats, which are an important component of bolstering the structure of our brain, cell membranes, and other internal structures.
Additionally, avocados have shown to improve cholesterol levels. They also provide us with a source of extra healthy fiber and protein.
If that wasn’t enough, the health benefits associated with guacamole also dip into vitamins and minerals – avocado is a great source of about 20 different types. For instance, avocados supply us with a solid amount of folate, which is a B-vitamin that boosts DNA and cell health. The vitamin K in avocados also marks an important factor in our bone, brain, and heart health.
To make guacamole, avocados are simply mashed up and combined with salt and lime juice. Many recipes call for additional ingredients like onions, cilantro, tomato, garlic, or even jalapeños if you like a spicy kick. Some sweeter recipes call for dates, figs, or diced pineapples.
Overall, guacamole should be made of whole foods. There shouldn’t be any unhealthy ingredients (unless you’re purchasing a cheap version from the store that contains preservatives, refined sugar, excess sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients). We always recommend making your own because it’s easy, cheaper, and healthier.
Guacamole is versatile – that’s one of the great things about it. You can easily add a variety of different ingredients to make your own signature recipe.
Calories in Guacamole
One of the great things about guacamole is that there are a substantially lower amount of calories in guacamole compared with other dips (i.e. ranch, hummus, sour cream, etc.). Additionally, many guacamole recipes only contain whole, natural ingredients—not manufactured or processed foods with a high amount of added sugar and sodium.
Regardless, it’s so delicious that it can be easy to go overboard, so it’s important to track how much of it you’re eating (especially if you’re trying to lose weight). Since it contains a good amount of fiber, it’s harder to overeat guacamole compared with many other dips and foods, but definitely not impossible.
The only potential danger of guacamole is that many recipes contain lots of sodium. But, if you’re trying to cut back on sodium, there are plenty of flavorful salt substitutes you might want to test in your homemade recipes.
Tips for Healthier Guacamole
Making your own guacamole is always the healthiest way to enjoy this snack. Store-bought blends of guacamole often include excess sugar, sodium, or other processed ingredients that you can avoid if you make your own using fresh ingredients.
Luckily, it’s beyond easy to make and will taste much better when made fresh. You simply mash up avocados and add your salt and lime juice, plus any other ingredients you’d like.
It’s also important to consider what you’re eating guacamole with. It’s often eaten with chips, which are typically high in calories and salt with little nutritional benefits.
If you want to use it as a dip, try replacing chips with vegetables like carrots or jicama chips. You can also add guacamole to some healthy tacos, salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc.
Takeaway: Is Guacamole Healthy?
Overall, guacamole is definitely a great snack and the health benefits of guacamole are significant. It’s delicious on salads, to use as a stand-alone dip, or to add on sandwiches. Just remember to watch your portions!