Monday 21 October 2019

Victoria Beckham's four-a-day avocado habit: the secret to eternal youth, or the ultimate fad diet?

Victoria Beckham eats four avocados a day(Ian West/PA)
Victoria Beckham eats four avocados a day(Ian West/PA)
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

This week, Victoria Beckham revealed the secrets behind her dewy glow - wolfing down four avocados a day.

That’s right - who needs Botox or injectables when you have a tub of guacamole.

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The fashion designer said the fruits, which contain healthy fats and nutrients, are the reason why her complexion looks ship-shape.

Posh is right - avocados are packed full of vitamins and minerals that are great for your skin.

They're full of healthy monosaturated fats, and delicious vitamins B, E, and C.

Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the protein that keeps skin plump and elastic, while Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps protect skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

But eating four of the fruits a day is not advisable for the average Jo and Josephine Soap looking for a glow-up.

READ MORE: Does healthy eating cost more, and how much do experts spend on their weekly shop?

The main reason is the high fat content. An avocado contains around 350 calories, 22 grams of fat and 10 grams of fiber, which is a very respectable 40 percent of your daily fiber goal (for a 2,000-calorie diet).

That means Victoria would be consuming 1,400 calories from avocados alone. Given her diminutive size - you’d imagine that would leave little room for much else.

“I’m extremely surprised to hear that Victoria Beckham is eating four avocados a day,” nutritionist Orla Walsh said. ”She’s so slim and they’re so fatty. It seems unlikely that she’s eating so many of them.” 

Orla Walsh says becoming so dependent on avocados or any other food tends to come at a cost. Typically a reliance on one food will displace other food groups and massively reduce down the variety in your diet.

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Healthy advice: Nutritionist Orla Walsh. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

“Eating lots of avocados is not a compete diet. You need grains, proteins and other vegetables. Too much of anything is not good,” she said.

Orla also said its worth remembering that avocados are not a miracle anti-ageing food that will keep you looking like a 22 year old.

In fact, while they’re full of fats they are low in protein and we all need protein to help build and repair skin cells.

It seems more likely that other factors ensure Victoria has flawless skin; good genetics, staying hydrated, getting a good night's sleep, and implementing a foolproof skin care regime.

Registered dietitian Gillian McConnell and founder of Inside Out Nutrition, Gillian McConnell, thinks a four a day avocado diet is unrealisable for most of us.

"Extremes diets are never the way to go. Relying so heavily on any food - whether it’s burgers or avocados - is just not healthy. You lose a sense of perspective.”

Gillian warned against 'mono diets' - where people become reliant on consuming one food or food group. (Celebrities tend to be prone to them, Ashton Kutcher landed in hospital after following Steve Jobs's fruitarian diet).

The problem seems to be that selective eating eventually becomes restrictive eating.

And restrictive eating can be detrimental to health. In the UK this month, a bit went blind after eating white bread and processed meats for a decade.

While Posh’s Avocado love-in is far, far less extreme - limiting your diet while hero worshipping one food group is never a good idea.

"Variety is the key," Gillian said. "By limiting your diet down, you are limiting the omega oils, nutrients, and vitamins you get from having a varied and balanced diet."

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There’s been a backlash against the world’s favourite fruit of late. Stock Image: Getty Images

"I find it hard to believe she is eating that many avocados. It sounds like a fad to me and fads are never a good template to base your eating habits around."

Nutritionists say it would be better to have half an avocado a day to keep your visage looking fresh, rather than horsing down close to 30 a week.

Plus, Posh's four-a-day diet ensures that meal time will get very predictable (how much avocado toast and guacamole can you eat?)

READ MORE: Could smushed courgette be the next smashed avocado?

“And speaking as a layman - eating that much avocado would be extremely expensive” Orla Walsh said. “It’s a diet most people can’t afford.”

There are also ethical reasons why we should all cut back on avocados. In recent years, there have been growing concerns that Latin American imports are damaging the environment and funding Mexican drug cartels.

Drug cartels have reportedly infiltrated the industry and run extortion rackets, preying on producers.

“Aside from anything else there are plenty of sustainability reasons why you shouldn’t be consuming that many avocados. It’s important t think of the planet,” Orla Walsh said.

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