Are Avocados Healthy?

I was recently talking to a family member who couldn’t believe that I eat avocadoes. “Aren’t those just loaded with fat? How can you eat those?” They said.

The monounsaturated fat in avocadoes provides you with “good fats” that are very difficult to get in the typical American diet. Monounsaturated fats can help protect your heart by lowering LDL (or bad cholesterol) while raising HDL (or good cholesterol). They also contain fiber and the phyonutrient beta-sitosterol, which also can help maintain health cholesterol levels and has been shown to promote eye health.

What about a good source of Vitamin E? Avocadoes have the highest fruit gram-per-gram content of this powerful antioxidant. One recent Japanese study showed that avocadoes also helped support the liver.

So don’t shy away from avocadoes. They do the body good! Here’s one of our all-time favorite recipes!

Recipe: Guacamole

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

2 avocado, mashed
½ cup onion, diced fine
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
Pinch of garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 hot pepper diced (or ½ pepper)

WHAT TO DO:

1. Mix ingredients well in bowl.
2. Garnish with lime wedges.
3. Serve with Mexican steak and eggs, in a sandwich wrap, or with baked tortilla chips.

Some interesting facts you may not know about the avocado:

• Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable

• Avocados are sodium- and cholesterol-free and have five grams of good fat per serving. (monounsaturated)

• The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and green skin.

• California produces about 90% of the nation’s avocado crop with San Diego County being Avocado Capital of the U.S., producing 60% of all the avocados grown in California which grow year-round.

• Hass is the most popular avocado variety, accounting for approximately 95% of the total crop volume.

• One-sixth of a medium avocado has 40 calories and provides beneficial phytochemicals, Vitamin E, potassium, fiber, and lutein which have been promoted to help many chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Since the avocado is the only fruit to contain fat, is it okay for everybody to eat it?

Well, you guessed it! It depends on your Diet Type. Avocados are one of those good-for-you foods, providing you with a fat that contains a lot of added nutrition, so it makes for a good choice, no matter what your Diet Type. However, if you are supposed to be following a lower fat diet, such as the Giraffe and even the Monkey Diet, you will need to limit your portion sizes of avocados. One of our patients recently told us in a consultation, “I can’t eat just 1/6 of an avocado! I’ll waste the rest of it!”

The calorie and fat content of 1/6 of an avocado is equivalent to 1 tsp of butter. Yes, the fat is considered “good fat” in that it is monounsaturated fat. But you still need to count all of the calories and fat. Too much of a good thing can still be “too much.” So if you are inclined to eat an entire avocado, just realize that counts as 6 servings of fat.

By the way, I have found that sprinkling the avocado with a little lemon juice and tightly wrapping it in plastic wrap will keep it fresh in the refrigerator until the next day. But feel free to use the rest of the avocado to make a salad dressing or to use in other dishes or share it with your roommate or significant other.

Here are a couple favorite recipes:

This first recipe is better for Monkeys and Giraffes:

Avocado Salsa

What you’ll need:

1 medium ripe avocado
2 tsp lime juice
dash of salt
1 clove of minced garlic
¼ cup of your favorite salsa

What to do:

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or atop broiled fish or chicken.

This 2nd recipe is better for Bears, Otters, or Lions.

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

What you’ll need:

1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup cream
¼ cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ tsp chili powder

What to do:

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Chill until ready to serve over your favorite salad greens or to dip
with veggies.