Avocado - The Healthiest (and Tastiest) Fat

September 16, 2016 Providence St. Joseph Health Team

avocado-healthy-fat

Yes, avocados are relatively high in fat and calories (14 grams of fat and 138 calories in half a medium-sized avocado). But they contain monounsaturated fat – the good fat that can help lower “bad” cholesterol. They’re also one of the very best foods that you can eat, packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds.

Read on for more about the health benefits of avocados:

Avocados are loaded with good things

Avocados have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including lutein, which helps protect against the onset of eye disease, and potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

Avocados can help you lose body fat

Half an avocado contains 3.4 grams of fiber, including soluble and insoluble. Your body needs both kinds of fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Plus, soluble fiber slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body, helping you feel full for longer.

Avocados can stabilize your blood sugar

Avocados slow digestion and help keep your blood sugar from spiking after a meal. Try using mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or on bread instead of butter. To keep what’s left over from turning brown, spritz the avocado flesh with cooking spray or coat with lemon juice and wrap in plastic.

Avocados can nurture your unborn baby – and protect your heart

One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake of folate, a vitamin which cuts the risk of birth defects. A high folate intake is also associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease.

Add Avocados to Make Any Meal Healthier and Tastier

Many avocado recipes include it as an ingredient in its raw, uncooked form. There is simply no better way to preserve the health benefits than to enjoy it straight from the tree. For a different twist, try adding avocado to a dish that’s already been cooked, like chicken soup. The avocado warms and mingles well with the soup but retains its concentration of nutrients since it is not cooked.

Here are some other delicious ways to enjoy the incredible spreadable avocado:

  • Use chopped avocados as a garnish for any salad and many soups, like black bean soup.
  • Add avocado to your favorite tofu-based dressing recipe to give it extra richness and a beautiful green color.
  • Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime-juice and seasonings for a zesty version of traditional guacamole.
  • For an exceptional and filling main-course salad, combine sliced avocado with tomato, quinoa, chicken and mixed seasonal greens.
  • For a less salty change of pace from the traditional diner sandwich, top avocado slices with tomato and lettuce to create an ALT instead of a BLT. 

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

 

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