The avocado is frequently called the butter pear for good reason. A ripe avocado is smooth, silky and as satisfying as butter. It also has a reputation for being almost as bad for you as butter is.
I do not know how many times I have heard “I can’t believe you eat avocados; they are so high in calories (or fat)!” Actually, when avocados are in season which is in the winter here in Pennsylvania, I probably eat a half of one a day. A perfectly ripe avocado is better than butter! One whole avocado is 165 calories. Does anyone eat a whole avocado? On occasion I may eat one whole half of an avocado in one sitting, but most often I have about a quarter of one at a time.
The avocado is a fruit which actually is a berry from a tree that is native to the Caribbean, Mexico, South and Central America. Most avocados eaten in the US now are grown in Florida and California.
Avocado Nutritional Information
The nutritional advantage to eating avocados far out weights the calories and fat. Your body needs fats to stay healthy and avocados have the fats that we should be seeking out. When you look at the nutritional information, avocados have the good, monounsaturated fats in them. The total fat content of a WHOLE avocado is 14.66 grams. Butter has 11-12 grams per tablespoon. What makes avocados so good for you though is that 9.80 grams of the fat is monounsaturated fat and 2 grams are polyunsaturated. This leaves less than 1.75 grams of saturated fat. Butter is almost totally reversed with three-quarters of the fat being saturated fats. In addition to the good fats, other nutrients found in avocados include substantial amounts of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus , potassium, iron, and a wide variety of B vitamins.
Avocados Health Benefits
Avocados may be high in fat compared to other berries, or vegetables as we think of them, but they are the good fats! Studies have shown that a diet high in avocado will reduce blood serum cholesterol levels. Some studies have gone so far as to report a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels in 7-10 day tests. The same studies have also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.*
The relatively low carb addition to your diet is also a good fiber source. Stop giving avocados the bad rap. Make avocados a part of your healthy diet program and dd them to your meal plans. Enjoy the pleasures of a rich good-for-you food.
Eat Avocados For Your Health
It is easy to incorporate avocados into your everyday diet and improve your health. You do not have to eat a whole one. Just incorporate them into a wide variety of dishes in almost any meal.
- Spread them on your toast
- Add them to salad
- Cut one in half and fill the hole with a low fat salad dressing and just eat it
- Chop and toss with prepared salsa and serve over fish or chicken
- Sprinkle it over cream or bisque soups (I love it chopped into tomato soup.)
- Make guacamole
- Stir into your stir-fry
Avocados ripen after picking so buy one that is slightly soft and then allow it to ripen at room temperature until it is soft when pressed with the flat of your thumb. It is almost like picking a ripe peach.
Recipe For Easy Avocado Guacamole
We frequently buy guacamole in the prepared section of the grocery store, but it is easy to make. Just peel and cube the avocados, then mash with the following ingredients and allow to sit for an hour or so before serving with tortillas, celery or any dipper.
2 ripe avocados
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
*National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
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