Avocados are a healthy food that you can eat every day, as long as you eat them in moderation and you do not have an allergy or food sensitivity to them. Avocados are technically a fruit, but people eat them as though they are a vegetable. Avocados contain healthy fats and have potential health benefits. There are many ways you can prepare foods and meals that contain avocado. Consult your nutritionist about including avocados in your diet.
One avocado without skin or seed contains 227 calories, 21 grams of fat comprised of approximately 2.9 grams saturated fat, 13.3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and no cholesterol at all. Avocados also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and phytonutrients, a class of antioxidants. This fruit is a good source of potassium, providing 690 milligrams of this essential mineral.
Eating avocados may reduce your risk of heart disease. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve your cholesterol levels, stabilize your heart rhythms and reduce inflammation. Contrary to myth, avocados are not fattening and may actually help you on a weight loss diet. Research published in the journal "Nutrition" in 2005 examined the effects of avocados as part of a calorie restricted diet for weight loss. The scientists discovered that body mass, body mass index and percentage of body fat decreased significantly.
There are a variety of types of avocados. Pinkerton avocados are available during winter and are long and pear shaped. Bacon avocados are oval shape with a light taste and are available from late fall through early spring. Fuerte avocados, the original California avocados, are also available between fall and spring and are pear shaped with creamy, pale green flesh. Haas avocados are available year-round and have pale green flesh with creamy texture. Lamb Haas avocados are available during summer and have a smooth, creamy and nutty taste. Reed avocados are round and also available during the summer and early fall.
You can eat avocado in a variety of ways. Guacamole is a Mexican appetizer made from mashed avocados, onions and spices that you eat with tortilla chips. You can eat avocados in salads, on sandwiches or sliced as part of a side dish. You can also use avocados in salad dressing. You can even make avocado ice cream and eat it for a healthy dessert.
- United States Department of Agriculture; National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; 2010
- Harvard School of Public Health; Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, in with the Good; 2010
- "Nutrition"; Substitution of High Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Avocado for Mixed Dietary Fats During an Energy-Restricted Diet: Effects on Weight Loss, Serum Lipids, Fibrinogen, and Vascular Function; Z. Pieterse, et al.; Jan 2005
- California Avocado Commission; Avocado Varieties; 2011
- Food Network; Avocado Ice Cream; 2011
- Avocado fruit image by Mauro Rodrigues from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.