Amazing Avocados

It’s a fruit! It’s a fat! It’s a superfood!

It’s not sweet, but avocado is technically considered a fruit because it develops from a flower and contains the seed. Nutritionally speaking, it is counted in the “fat” group, due to it’s low sugar and high fat content.  Avocados are nutrient all-stars because they contain nearly 20 vitamins and other nutrients in every serving – giving you a multitude of health benefits!

Don’t let the “fat” thing scare you.  It’s true, avocados are high in fat, but it’s mostly monounsaturated fat – which can help lower cholesterol, especially the “bad” LDL kind.  That means it can improve your heart health!  Fat also provides satiety – including some fat in your meal can make you feel more satisfied and actually help your waistline.  

Still not convinced?  Check out this article: “Want to Get Lean? Eat Fat!”

The fiber in avocados also helps you feel full longer. (1) In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three to five hours.

Avocados also contain the following amazing nutrients:

  • B vitamins – which help support a healthy immune system and nervous system
  • Vitamin C – which helps fight infection and support a healthy immune system
  • Vitamin E – which helps prevent plaque build up in your arteries
  • Lutein – which is good for your eyes/vision
  • Potassium – which helps control water balance, prevent muscle cramps and control blood pressure
  • Phytonutrients – including glutathione, oleic acid and carotenoids – that provide antioxidant protection against cell damage and help your body fight cancer

If an avocado had a nutrition label, it would look like this:

nutritionfacts-sidebar2


If you are watching calories, try replacing less healthy items with avocado:

  • Mash it up and use it in place of mayonnaise
  • Slice it up on a sandwich or salad and skip the cheese
  • Puree it for a creamy, healthy dressing or sauce

Check out these great websites for more ideas for including avocado into a healthy diet:

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Avocados
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-avocados

Healthy Recipes with Avocado  
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_recipes_with_avocado
http://www.mayoclinic.org/search/search-results?q=avocado%20recipes

 

Reference

  1. Wien M et. al. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults.  Nutrition Journal2013;12:155.

 

Jen Kim, RDN

About Jen Kim, RDN

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). She completed her Bachelor's of Science degree at the University of Illinois, and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from San Diego State University. Jennifer also has a Certification in Adult Weight Management. She has worked in hospitals as a Clinical Dietitian, done obesity research and worked as a Corporate Dietitian for a national weight loss company. Jennifer is passionate about helping people live healthier lives. She believes in a balanced approach to nutrition - where all foods can fit - centered around a natural, plant-based diet. Jen lives in San Diego with her husband and two boys - where she enjoys playing soccer and tennis, hiking, playing on the beach, playing board games and shooting pool.