"avocado nutrition"

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

There’s no doubt that the popularity of plant-based diets is on the rise. It seems everywhere you turn these days people are trying to eat more plant foods. According to a 2016 nationwide poll by the Vegetarian Resource Group, 3.3% of American adults identify as either vegetarian or vegan [1]. And in the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, vegetarian diets are recommended as one of three healthful dietary patterns [2]. If you’re looking to hop on the plant-based bandwagon, here are some helpful tips for powering your plant-based diet with California Avocados.  

Benefits of Eating a Vegetarian Diet

Are vegetarian diets more healthful than those that rely on animal foods? Yes and no. Like all dietary patterns, there are good and not-so-great ways to shape your plate. A vegetarian diet packed with cheese pizza and French fries doesn’t fit the bill when it comes to wholesome eating!

In general, increasing fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts and seeds intake can help you naturally replace unhealthful saturated fats (found in animal foods) with the more heart healthy unsaturated fats. As one of the few fruits with fat, avocados contain mostly unsaturated fatty acids – the heart healthy “good” fats that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend we eat instead of saturated fats [3].

When you turn your palate towards plants, not only does the nutrient profile of your plate improve, but your overall health may as well. Some research findings suggest that vegetarian and vegan diets are associated with a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity [4].

How to Put More Plants on Your Plate

Not ready to make the jump to a full vegetarian diet? You can still enjoy the benefits of eating plant foods more regularly. Try eating one meatless meal per week. Combine plant-based proteins and whole grains with nutrient dense, delicious produce like California Avocados. 

Here are a few nutritious, plant-based recipes that feature California Avocados and are packed with flavor.

Gluten Free Avocado Bean-LT


California Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bake


Seven Layer Avocado Salad in a Mason Jar


As you make the move towards more plant-based foods in your diet, a good rule of thumb is to follow the Dietary Guidelines Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern suggestion of eating 1 ½ – 2 cups equivalent fruits per day (based on a diet of 1,400 – 2,000 calories). A serving size of avocado is 1/3 of an avocado (which is about 3 tablespoons). 

Click here for more great vegetarian recipes featuring California Avocados

Katie Ferraro

Katie Ferraro, MPH, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator specializing in child and family nutrition. She is a media spokesperson and an assistant clinical professor of nutrition at the University of San Diego and the University of California, San Francisco. Katie is the author of a number of nutrition books, the mom of seven small children, and a firm believer that good food fuels strong families!

Katie is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the California Avocado Commission. Their content on the California Avocado Commission website and/or blog are part of their partnership with our organization..

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