Avocados: The Skinny on Fat

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Avocados are a miracle food. How is it possible for a fruit to be so buttery, so hearty and nutritious? In addition to tasting UH-MAZING in everything, avocados are a good source of such nutrients as fiber, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folate, and vitamins B-6, E and K. They aid in digestion, help regulate blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and support proper cell function. And they’re not just a nutritious addition to your diet; they provide a ton of benefits for beauty care, too! Avocados make for nourishing skin and hair treatments. So here’s to you, Avocado. May you always be by my side.

The Fat’s Phat

Avocado gets a bad rap for its high fat content. And it’s true: one cup of the creamy fruit contains 21 grams of fat! With 75-80% of its calories coming from fat, avocado is one of the fattiest plant foods on the planet. But the avocado’s naysayers don’t realize that all that fat is what makes it so healthy!

All fats are not created equal. The majority of fat in an avocado is oleic acid, a vital nutrient. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat, a “good fat” that benefits heart health. The fat in avocados has been shown to significantly lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, both known to cause heart disease. The healthy fats in avocados also increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol) by up to 11%, to improve our blood health and reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Avocados are virtually the only fruit that contains this healthy monounsaturated fat.

In addition to its high percentage of monounsaturates, avocado provides a unique group of fats called phytosterols. Phytosterols, naturally occurring in plant sources like nuts and vegetable oils, have anti-inflammatory properties that promote cardiovascular health, as well as brain function, joint health, and general wellness.

The fat in avocados also serves a very important purpose in our overall nutrient intake. Many nutrients we get through whole foods go unused because our bodies cannot effectively absorb them on their own. Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K and antioxidants like carotenoids, which are all found in healthy plant foods like leafy greens, carrots and sweet potatoes, are fat soluble and contain very little fat themselves. This means they need to be combined with fats in order to be utilized properly. So consuming avocado with your vegetables will enable effective vitamin and mineral absorption so you get the most out of your healthy diet.

Avocado is a healthy food that offers many benefits. But it is high in calories and fat, so eat it in moderation.

Food

Avocado’s unique properties make it a really versatile ingredient in all sorts of recipes, classic and unexpected. Of course, there’s always guacamole and avo toast. And yeah, it makes a great addition to salads and sandwiches. But avocado can be used for so much more. It’s wonderfully nutritious, and it’s great morning, noon, and night. You can use it in your breakfast smoothies and Raw, baked, frozen, grilled, pureed, chilled, mashed. You can do anything with avocado, if you just get a little creative.

Desserts: Avocado makes great bases for all sorts of desserts. You can make avocado popsicles and ice cream, you can use it in your baking for brownies and cakes and quick breads. You can make rich chocolate mousse and pudding. You can even turn it into a delicious smoothie or milk shake.

Healthy Substitutions: You can use avocado in place of mayo for creaminess and moisture, or you can make an avocado mayo. You can also substitute butter for mashed avocado in your baking for fewer calories, healthier fats, and more nutrients. Plus, avocado yields a softer, moister baked good.

Beauty

Use avocado in your beauty regimen for healthy skin and hair. You can use it as a facial cleanser or make a facial mask for every type of skin. Lay some slices of avocado under your eyes to reduce puffiness. Use the peel of your avocado as a humectant and oil-rich facial moisturizer. Mix an avocado with a little lemon juice and slather all over for moisturizing body cream treatment before you shower. Fight signs of aging like dry skin and wrinkles by combining some avocado and honey for a restorative face mask. Get silky, shiny locks by applying a mask of avocado, egg yolk and olive oil to your hair. Massage some mashed avocado into your roots to revitalize a dry and itchy scalp. Avocado is a truly luxurious health and beauty treatment.

Avocado is a gift to mankind. Savor its subtle sweetness. Revel in its sinful, buttery caress. Cherish its nourishing care. Love avocado the way it deserves to be loved.

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