The potential use of avocado as a fiber source was evaluated. The total dietary fiber content of fresh avocado fruit of the Ettinger variety was 5.2 g/100 g. Approximately 75% was insoluble, and 25% soluble. The water-holding capacity of dry defatted avocado pulp was similar to that of cellulose, and trypsin inhibitors were not detected. The dietary and metabolic consequences of the avocado pulp were studied in male rats fed normal and hypercholesterolemic diets. Rats consumed semipurified diets containing either avocado pulp as the dietary fiber source or cellulose (control) with or without 10 g/kg cholesterol and 5 g/kg cholic acid. Food consumption and body weight gain were lower in rats fed avocado compared with those fed cellulose. Relative cecum weight was higher in avocado-fed rats. Plasma and hepatic cholesterol levels did not differ in rats fed diets without cholesterol, but plasma cholesterol was greater in avocado-fed than in cellulose-fed rats that consumed cholesterol. Regardless of dietary cholesterol, hepatic total fat levels, as evaluated histologically, but not directly, were lower in avocado-fed rats. These data suggest the presence of an appetite depressant in avocado and that avocado pulp interferes with hepatic fat metabolism.