by Christine Hunt
What research is now finding is that low fat is actually contributing to our growing waistlines and larger numbers on the scales. The low fat craze of the last few decades has practically removed it from our diets entirely and replaced it with sugar and carbohydrates that add fat to our bodies. As a result our bodies have lost their ability to burn fat.
To reverse this trend eating more foods that contain good fats is now on the menu and avocados should be high on the list because they are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and contain 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Here are five of the many benefits of Avocados.
Seventy seven percent of the calories in this green wonder food are from fat. Not just any fat but oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked to reducing inflammation and avocado oil can tolerate heat which makes it a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
They are nutrient dense which means that avocados provide vitamins, minerals and other substances that may have positive health effects with relatively few calories, among other benefits. Per 3.5 ounce serving they provide 7 grams of fiber, 75% of which is soluble which helps to keep the intestines clean.
Vitamins and minerals they contain per 3.5 oz. serving are:
- Vitamin K:26% of the RDA.
- Folate:20% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C:17% of the RDA.
- Potassium:14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5:14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6:13% of the RDA.
- Vitamin E:10% of the RDA.
Then they contain small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat.
Vitamins A,D,E, and K, along with antioxidants like carotenoids are fat soluble meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized by the body. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15 times. This goes a long way toward reducing inflammation found in people with cancer and autoimmune diseases, like arthritis and diabetes.
So, not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you eat; an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies. Without it a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.
Including fat in your diet may help you lose weight. It increases satiety because fats remain in the stomach longer than other foods making you less prone to hunger pangs soon after meals.
In a study where one group of people ate a meal containing avocado and the other a similar meal without it, those eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next five hours.
If this holds true, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and enable you to stick to a healthy diet longer term.
Avocados can help improve your skin tone and appearance because they aid moisture level retention to make your skin look and feel soft and healthy. Other benefits include protecting skin from wrinkles and other visible signs of aging with their antioxidant carotenoids. Vitamin E helps guard against aging from sun exposure and vitamin C is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Start including avocado in your salads, and use avocado oil in cooking and in salad dressings. Add slices of them as a side dish or decorative condiment to breakfasts, lunches and dinner. Spread guacamole on sandwiches. Avocados go with everything so, think of ways you can incorporate them to your meals throughout the week.
To your health!
Here are links to other articles that you may find helpful in including more greens into your daily diet.
The Color Green: What It Means To Your Health
Easy Recipes and Ways to Include Greens in Your Diet.
Get Your Garden Growing: 10 Ways to Grow Greens In Small Spaces
Did you know that you need fat in your diet?
How do you plan to add avocados to your meals?
Please share your questions and comments below.
Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.
Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.
Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone. So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.