Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was blog surfing this morning and come across this post from one of the mommy bloggers I follow at My 3 Adorable Kids. It made me chuckle because Makenzie loves her some avocados. Some days I think she may even turn into one!

Love me some Avacadoes!

Who Loves Avocados!! I do! (yeah so does Makenzie!)
I eat at least 1 avocado a day, not only are they healthy but they taste so
good on almost anything!

It's true that avocados are high in fat -- one reason they've earned the nickname "butter pear." A medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, as much as a quarter-pound burger. That's why diet experts have long urged Americans to go easy on avocados in favor of less fatty fruits and vegetables. But now nutritionists are taking another look. They're finding that most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated -- the "good" kind that actually lowers cholesterol levels. Thanks to this new understanding, the U.S. government recently revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados.

The avocado's image first took on some polish with a 1996 study by researchers at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social in Mexico (Archives of Medical Research, Winter 1996) that looked at the health benefits of daily avocado consumption. The 45 volunteers who ate avocados every day for a week experienced an average 17% drop in total blood cholesterol. Their cholesterol ratio also changed in a healthy way: Their levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or "bad fat") and triglycerides, both associated with heart disease, went down. Their HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or "good fat") levels, which tend to lower the risk of heart disease, climbed.

Researchers have also discovered that avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. In a review article published in the December 1999 issue of the American Journal of Medicine, researchers pointed out that beta-sitosterol was shown to reduce cholesterol in 16 human studies.

Sneaking monounsaturated fats into your own daily diet may allow you to enjoy similar health benefits, says Melanie Polk, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. Used creatively, she says, avocados can add variety -- and good nutrition -- to your diet. Instead of spreading butter or cream cheese on your bread or bagel, use some mashed avocado instead. Replace that mayo you'd usually put on a sandwich with avocado slices. You'll not only save calories, you'll be cutting out saturated fat and increasing your daily intake of monounsaturated fat as well.

But before you pile avocados onto every dish, remember that when it comes to calories, avocados have lots of them -- because of all that fat. Fat of any type has double the calories of the same amount of carbohydrates, says Polk. "Avocados add great variety to a well balanced, low-fat diet, but you have to eat them in moderation."

A recommended serving size is 2 tablespoons, or roughly one-sixth of a medium-sized avocado. Each serving provides 5 grams of fat and 55 calories. Still, compared with butter or mayonnaise -- which each pack 22 fat grams and 200 calories in a 2-tablespoon serving -- they don't seem so bad.

If you decide to incorporate more avocados into your diet, look for them at your local farmer's market or grocery store. If they are hard, place them in a paper sack for a day or two until they ripen and dent when gently squeezed, then use them right away. The green flesh will quickly turn an unappealing shade of brown when exposed to air. To prevent this, place plastic wrap as tightly against the avocado flesh as possible, or sprinkle the cut fruit with a little lemon juice and refrigerate.

Despite their popularity and health benefits, there are still plenty of people who haven't tried avocados, especially those living outside California and Texas. Those two states alone consume as many avocados as the rest of the country combined. Wow these people are missing out!

Have you ever had an avocado? What do you put your avocado on?


Nicole said...

best memorie about avocado: avocado mousse with scrimps!
I ate that at a hotel in Ireland waterford and never eat the same since!!
I must say I can't eat a lot of it I quickly feel sick too rich!

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