Guacamole is one of the most popular sides out there, especially in the low-carb community. With its odd texture and green appearance, it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but guacamole makes up for it with its extremely healthy nutrient profile. Not only is it packed with essential vitamins and minerals, but it also tastes great with just about any meal out there!
Whether you're a ketogenic enthusiast or simply looking for healthier foods to eat, guacamole is one of the best, most nutrient-dense foods out there.
There's a reason why guacamole costs extra. As you're about to find out, it's well worth it.
In this article we'll talk about:
- What is guacamole?
- What's in guacamole?
- What is the difference between avocado and guacamole?
- Benefits of guacamole
- Guacamole nutrition facts
- Is guacamole keto-friendly?
- Our favorite keto guacamole recipes
What is Guacamole?
Guacamole is an avocado-based, creamy dip that's most commonly eaten with Mexican delicacies. It's typically offered as a side with chips or as a topping on tacos.
The discovery of guacamole dates back all the way to the 1500s. The Aztecs first created it and when the Spaniards conquered them, they found out about it and brought it home.
What's in Guacamole?
Guacamole is actually extremely simple to make. All you need is avocados, lime juice and salt. Mix these ingredients together in a bowl until it turns into a smooth texture and you have yourself a delicious low carb side!
You can also add diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos for extra flavor. Just like any other flavorful dip, there's no right or wrong way to make it.
There are tons of ways to get creative with this popular party food. Whether you choose to add garlic, seafood or even MCT oil to supercharge your fat burning efforts, the sky's the limit as to how you choose to make guacamole!
If you're following a low carb or ketogenic diet, it's best to start off with the basics.
The most important ingredient is a ripe avocado. After all, that's where all the health-boosting nutrients come from.
Difference Between Avocado and Guacamole
Avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit (not a vegetable) that belongs to the genus Persea in the Lauraceae family.
Avocados are considered a fruit because they fit all the criteria for a berry. After all, they have a fleshy pulp and a seed.
Guacamole, on the other hand, is a dip that uses avocado as its primary ingredient.
It's typically mixed with other ingredients like salt and lime juice and mixed to create the popular party dip we all know and love.
Benefits of Guacamole
Guacamole has gained popularity in recent years and has become a staple in American cuisine for good reason. With the rise in healthy living, more people are turning to "superfoods" like guacamole over processed alternatives like mayonnaise.
Here are 5 health-boosting benefits of guacamole:
1. Loaded with Potassium
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps your body maintain a proper fluid balance. This is crucial for helping nerves function efficiently, muscles to contract properly and to ensure the heart beats consistently.
Just one serving of guacamole contains about 500mg of potassium making it one of the most nutritious low-carb fruits known to man!
Note: Monitoring potassium intake is crucial when you're following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. When carbohydrates are restricted, minerals like potassium is excreted so it's important to maintain healthy levels to avoid the dreaded keto flu.
2. Contains Antioxidants to Improve Overall Health
Avocados are loaded with healthy antioxidants, including zeaxanthin and lutein which has been shown to improve eye health and decrease the risk of cataracts[*]. Garlic, which is another common ingredient in guacamole, is a great source of selenium which has been proven to provide anti-cancer effects[*].
3. Packed with Healthy Fats
A dream for the low-carb, ketogenic enthusiast. Guacamole is high in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to reducing inflammation and helps fight cancer.
4. Helps With Skin Health
The common ingredients that guacamole is comprised of – tomatoes, lime juice, and avocados – contain healthy amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only important for immune function but also for keeping your skin vibrant.
It helps create collagen in the body which is proven to provide elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy[*].
5. Contains Healthy Doses of Fiber
Tomatoes, onions, and avocados contribute to guacamole's healthy amounts of fiber. Fiber is important for maintaining healthy digestion as well as reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood sugar.
6. Helps Decrease Bloating
The ingredient cilantro in most guacamole recipes can help reduce the discomfort and bloating people may experience from eating too many processed carbs or excess amounts of fiber.
7. Associated With Healthy Body Weight
A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients found that overweight and obese people who added avocado to their meals as a substitute for carbohydrates reported feeling fuller for longer periods of time[*].
Yes, that’s right, just the sheer act of replacing carbohydrates with guacamole can help you lose weight without adding any extra calories!
8. Helps You Absorb Nutrients Better
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, absorption of nutrients is just as important as the amount you consume.
Some nutrients must be consumed with fat in order for your body to properly digest them. Vitamins K, E, A and D are fat soluble so it's important to consume them with a healthy fat source.
Not only does guacamole contain healthy amounts of these nutrients, but the healthy fats help your body absorb these nutrients to help it operate like a well-oiled machine.
Guacamole Nutrition Facts
The beauty of guacamole comes from the freedom of creating it with the ingredients of your choice. Most of the vitamins and minerals come from the avocado fruit itself. Here’s what you can expect from your average guacamole recipe[*]:
A half cup serving of guacamole contains 18 grams of total fats, primarily monounsaturated fat.
Unlike other less-healthy fatty sides like vegetable oils that come with mayonnaise, evidence shows that monounsaturated fats have numerous health benefits. They can help with weight loss, decreases inflammation and even reduce the risk of heart disease[*].
A half cup serving of guacamole contains 12 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fiber. As a keto dieter, this is great news because that leaves just 4 grams of net carbs per serving.
A half cup serving of guacamole contains 200 calories. While it may seem like a lot of calories for a side dish, these calories are highly nutrient-dense. Unlike processed foods that contain empty calories, guacamole's caloric value can do wonders for your overall health and body weight.
Perhaps the most nutritious part of guacamole is its healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals. In fact, one serving contains about:
- 570 mg of potassium
- 40 mg of vitamin C
- 350 IU of vitamin A
Along with smaller amounts of niacin, calcium, beta-carotene, and folate. Just one serving contains more nutrients than your standard American diet gets from a whole day of eating!
Is Guacamole Keto-Friendly?
Yes, absolutely. As mentioned above, guacamole is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and minimal carbohydrate content. This makes it a perfect low-carb, high-fat keto snack when served with keto-friendly chips or raw veggies.
Our Favorite Keto Guacamole Recipes
Are you looking for creative and tasty ways to add guacamole into your low carb efforts? Here are a few of our favorite recipes:
- Smashed Guacamole - There's beauty in simplicity. This guacamole recipe contains all the health-boosting essentials with a hint of spice for those looking to add a little zest into their low-carb journey!
- Avocado Crema - Looking for a creamier guacamole recipe? Look no further. Chow Hound's sour cream based guacamole recipe packs a flavorful punch and provides additional fats to keep your energy levels high.
- Creamy Avocado Egg Salad - If you haven’t tried avocado egg salad then it’s time you enjoy egg salad in a whole new way. Packed with healthy fats, it’s the perfect snack as a low-carb or keto enthusiast!
A Great Snack to Support Your Healthy Lifestyle
Guacamole is all the rage right now and for good reason. With the increased interest in healthy living, more people are choosing to snack on nutrient-dense foods rather than processed carbohydrates.
The ample amounts of potassium, vitamin C and healthy fats from guacamole makes it a superfood that deserves a spot in everyone’s pantry, no matter what diet you’re on.
Whether you're looking for a tasty side to complement your ketogenic journey, a snack to help you lose weight, or you're searching for a healthy alternative to processed junk, guacamole is a great way to start taking your healthy lifestyle to the next level!