Have you discovered avocados recently? In the Latin-American culture avocadoes are a trademark. As far as I can remember I have always eaten avocadoes. However, it hasn’t been until recently that I have discovered the health benefits to this wonderful fruit (Yes, it is a fruit!).
Apparently I’m not the only one who has made this discovery recently. In the last 10 years the U.S. government revised its official nutrition guidelines and now recommends Americans eat more avocados.
What is the craze with avocados? Well, although avocados are seemingly high in fat, at least higher than many whole foods, most of these fats are valuable and have a benefit in the blood serum lowering cholesterol levels. About 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat, but these are monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” fats that researchers contribute to lowering high cholesterol in the blood.
Researchers have also discovered that avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance also shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. In the long run avocados might actually reduce the risks of developing cancer and heart diseases.
Well, while some might argue that avocados are still high in calories, look at this comparison to other spreads and dips and you might get some perspective.
Of course, and as you know, what the USDA ultimately recommends is moderation and a balanced diet. A ½ medium avocado accounts as 1 of 4 fruit servings (recommended for most).
You can find avocados at any grocery store, but if you want to get really fresh ones, I recommend any Mexican grocery store. You might find several varieties but my favorite ones are HASS (I recommend this one for guacamole) which tends to have a nuttier creamy flavor. These have dark rough crocodile-like skin.
Another plus I personally find in avocados is that adding them to my dishes – whether breakfast, lunch or dinner - gives me a sense of fullness, perhaps because of the fat or the protein (2g) content.
If you need some ideas on how to eat them here are some suggestions:
- As a complement to white rice and beans
- Add to your favorite soup (cut up uncooked, add at the end)
- Slice and dip in low-fat ranch dressing
- South-western scrambled eggs with avocado
- On hamburger or favorite sandwich
- In salads
- Tacos or burritos
- Do not cook avocados as they will get bitter
Now, this is not any extensive research I have done on the subject, neither am I a professional, so please take this information as a grain of salt and use what you can use. Always consult your doctor if you have concerns or questions. I’m just here sharing out of my passion for this food.
In my first blog back in April, I encouraged you to make a positive addition to your life rather than taking away the negative because eventually the positive will take over the negative. Why not add more avocados to your life? For more information on avocados visit www.avocado.org.