Avocados are amazing healthy fats, particularly the benefits for cardiovascular disease, weight management, diabetes, and its ability to enhance your body’s absorption of nutrients.
Avocados – A Real ‘Super Food’
Avocados, which are actually classified as a fruit, are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. I eat avocados almost daily. They are a wonderful increase in healthy fat without crazily increasing protein or carbohydrate intake. An avocado is also very high in potassium and will help balance your vitally important potassium to sodium ratio.
According to the California Avocado Commission, a medium Hass avocado contains about 22.5 grams of fat, two-thirds of which is monounsaturated. They’re also very low in fructose, which is yet another boon, and provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:
- Potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana)
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
Avocados are one of the safest fruits you can buy conventionally-grown,and most experts do not believe you need to purchase organic ones. Their thick skin protects the inner fruit from pesticides. Additionally, it has been rated as one of the safest commercial crops in terms of pesticide exposure, so there’s no real need to spend extra money on organic avocados, unless you can afford it.
The Many Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados have a long list of potential health benefits. For example, besides its anti-inflammatory properties, previous research from Japan suggests this powerful fruit may also help protect against liver damage.
Due to its beneficial raw fat content, avocado enables your body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients (such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein) in other foods eaten in conjunction. Other research has found that avocados:
- Contain compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells.
- Can help improve lipid profiles in both healthy individuals and those with non optimized HDL/ total cholesterol levels). In one study, healthy individuals saw a 16 percent decrease of serum total cholesterol level following a one-week long diet high in monounsaturated fat from avocados. In those with elevated cholesterol levels, the avocado diet resulted in a 17 percent decrease of serum total cholesterol, and a 22 percent decrease of both LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, along with an 11 percent increase of the so-called “good” HDL cholesterol.
How to Get More Avocado into Your Diet
While avocado is commonly eaten raw, on salad or alone, with nothing but a dash of sea salt and some ground pepper, for example, there are many other ways to include avocado in your diet. For example, you can use avocado in the following ways:
- Use as a fat replacement in baking. Simply replace the fat called for (such as oil, butter or shortening) with an equal amount of avocado
- Use as a first food for babies, in lieu of processed baby food
- For hundreds of unique recipes that include avocado–from salads to dessert whip and everything in between – check out the California Avocado Commission’s website.
Today, I incorporated my avocado in a light lunch of Grandma’s Hummus and a fresh avocado from the Dallas Farmer’s Market I picked up this morning.