7/27/11

Avocado: good fat or bad?


The avocado is one of those puzzling foods that makes people wonder…am I a fruit or a veggie? Well, to set the record straight, the avocado is definitely a fruit. It is a fruit that boasts many health benefits, and can become a new addition to anyone’s diet. To start, the avocado came from an evergreen tree know as the Persea Americana that can grow up to 65 feet in height. It can be found in varieties from 8 ounces to 3 pounds. With this wide range of selection, it is hard to go wrong with this bountiful fruit!

Nutrients found in the avocado include phytosterols, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Although the avocado has been thought of as high in fat, studies show this type of unsaturated fat is actually good for you. This fat is also what gives the avocado its rich and creamy texture. The flavor of the avocado is mild and even a little smooth, making it a great addition to many dishes and not be too empowering (I personally love adding it to smoothies to give a thicker consistency). This is the same fat found in olives and olive oil and helps in the absorption of the other nutrients in the body. Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats offer heart health properties.

Now that I have told you all the “technical” nutrients contained in the avocado, you may ask yourself “How do I eat more?” As I said earlier, I actually like to add avocadoes to my fruit smoothies. This adds that thickness that makes smoothies seem like milkshakes. I also LOVE guacamole, and I love Mexican food. I always end up eating some form of Mexican food, it seems. Try making avocado and black bean tacos, or use avocadoes as sandwich toppings. Introduce the avocado into your diet and come up with your own amazing recipes.

Berry Cado Smoothie:
by Melanie Sherrard, TWU Dietetic Intern

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