Guacamole, a staple in Mexican cuisine, can contribute to a balanced diet. Since it’s made with healthy vegetables — including avocados, tomatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers — it contributes to your overall veggie intake, helping you consume the recommended 2.5 cups of veggies daily for women or 3 cups for men, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Guacamole also serves as a source of essential nutrients, and its nutrient content makes it a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation.
Guacamole boosts your fat intake, thanks to avocado’s lipid content. Each half-cup of pureed avocado adds almost 17 grams of fat to your guacamole, with fat making up 68 percent of the calories in avocado. Almost all the fat in avocado is unsaturated fat — a type of fat that lowers harmful blood cholesterol, which can in turn lower your risk of heart disease, according to Colorado State University. Choosing guacamole as a source of fat in your diet over, for example, pre-packaged sauces or spreads that contain saturated fat, positively affects your health.
Avocados serve as excellent sources of vitamin E. Adding a half-cup of pureed avocado to your guacamole adds 2.4 milligrams of vitamin E to your meal — 13 percent of your recommended daily intake, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin E helps support your metabolism and aids in immune function. It also acts as an antioxidant, which means that it protects your cells from toxic and disease-causing free radicals.
Guacamole also helps you reach your daily recommended intake of folate, or vitamin B-9, due to its avocado and tomato content. Making your guacamole with a half-cup of pureed avocado and a quarter-cup of diced tomato boosts your folate intake by approximately 100 micrograms, providing 25 percent of your daily folate requirements, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Folate helps you make healthy red blood cells, allows your cells to metabolize amino acids and aids in brain function.
Considerations and Serving Tips
While avocado certainly contributes to a healthy diet and offers health benefits, you should consume it in moderation. A half-cup of guacamole contains approximately 260 calories — a significant chunk of your daily caloric intake in a relatively small serving. Make sure you practice portion control when you eat guacamole to avoid eating too many calories.
Enjoy healthier guacamole and tortilla chips by making your own low-fat chips — simply cut a tortilla into triangles and then bake until golden brown. Alternatively, just pair your guacamole with vegetables for an even healthier snack. Use guacamole in place of mayonnaise to make sandwiches, or add a tablespoon of guacamole to your salad for creamy flavor.