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AVOCADOS

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I find that many of my clients who love avocados try not to eat them because of the high fat content. I tell these clients that adding small cubes of this healthy green fruit adds high flavor and nutrition and should most definitely be enjoyed. If you are adding avocados to a salad or sandwich then you should be mindful of the other fats you are having in your meal. For instance, for my family I make an avocado, tomato, cilantro, green onion salad and use fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper as the dressing. There is no olive oil, croutons, olives, or cheese that you will often see as an addition to salads. If you love avocado on your sandwiches, do not add a lot of cheese, mayo or salad dressing.

So remember now, avocados can be greatly enjoyed as a part of recipes for salads, sandwiches and in soups and shakes. For quick serving, you can add it in tofu as a dressing or make it as a substitute for mayonnaise in sandwiches, or as toppings for spicy dishes.

As you will notice from the nutrition facts below, avocados have a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit but it is mostly heart healthy monounsaturated fat. You will see avocadoes used as an important staple in the diets of the different cultures where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy, etc.) is limited.

A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled. This way maybe you won’t feel like you have to eat the whole avocado in one meal. I always have limes or lemons available to prevent the browning effect of many foods such a bean dips and even fruit salads.

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Avocado, raw (edible parts)
Nutritional value (3.5 oz)
Energy 160 kcal
Carbohydrates 8.53g
Sugars 0.66g
Dietary fiber 6.7g
Fat 14.66g
Saturated Fat 2.13g
Mono-unsaturated Fat 9.80g
polyunsaturated 1.82g
Protein 2g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.067mg (5%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.130mg (9%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 1.738mg (12%)
Pantothenic acid (Vit. B5)

1.389mg (28%)
Vitamin B6 0.257mg (20%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 81mg (20%)
Vitamin C 10mg (17%)
Calcium 12mg (1%)
Iron 0.55mg (4%)
Magnesium 29mg (8%)
Phosphorus 52mg (7%)
Potassium 485mg (10%)
Zinc 0.64mg (6%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Health Benefits of Avocados

Avocado Health Benefit #1

  • Anti-inflammatory Benefits. Recent studies show undeniably a link between avocado intake and arthritis. Phystosterols in avocados prevent inflammation in connective tissue thus preventing the risk of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Avocado Health Benefit #2

  • Promotes Cardio-Vascular Health. Monounsaturated fats found in avocados are great for your heart. Aside from monounsaturated fats, studies show that people who eat food rich in folate (like avocado) are less-likely to develop heart and other cardio-vascular diseases as well as stroke. Other minerals found in avocados such as phytochemicals and fibers also keep cholesterol in check.
  • Avocado Health Benefit #3

  • Weight Control. Regular avocado consumption greatly contributes to weight control. Its high fat content reduces overeating by making you feel full for a considerable number of hours.
  • Avocado Health Benefit #4

  • Prevents Cancer. Studies show that anti-oxidants found in avocados helps fight oral cancer. Compounds found in avocado have been shown to signal cancer cells to ‘self-destruct’ and allows regular healthy cells to grow normally.
  • Avocado Health Benefit #5

  • Regulates Blood Sugar. Because of the absence of carbohydrates and low sugar content, small slices of avocados are recommended for those who have blood sugar problems.
  • So, I hope I have enlightened you today to realize that the avocado can become your friend. All you have to do is substitute it in your meal for the other fats that you always add to your dishes.