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Don’t be afraid to add fat to your diet.

avocado

 

Adding more fat to your diet, sounds scary right? Especially for individuals trying to shed some pounds.

This post is going to focus on avocados, and will summarize some research published in Nutrition Journal this January.

The study tracked avocado intake in 17,567 individuals who participated in a large scale study focusing on health and nutritional status across the United States. Key results from the study noted individuals who consumed avocados regularly also had higher intake of vegetables, fruits and quality fats. They also showed higher amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins E, K, magnesium, potassium and vitamin K.  And finally their risk for metabolic syndrome was 50% lower then those who did not consume avocados.

The avocado is a fruit which contains about 80% water and dietary fiber. Unlike other fruits, avocados are low in sugar and contain 15% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).   MUFA’s help to increase the bioavailability of carotenoids (the compound are largely responsible for the red, yellow, and orange color of fruits and vegetables, and are also found in many dark green vegetables).  Avocados also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals such as lutein, phenolic antioxidants, and phytosterols associated with numerous potential health benefits.

Additional research studies have linked avocado consumption as a benefit to cardiovascular health.

Ashley’s Homemade Guacamole

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados
1-2 limes
3 cloves of garlic

Directions

1. Cut and peel avocado (directions below)

2. Peel garlic and grate or use garlic press

3. Halve limes and squeeze juice to avocado mixture.

4. Mash all ingredients together with a fork

5. Serve with your favorite GMO free corn chip, or crackers

The a research study showed that in avocados, the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado closest to the peel. With this in mind here are some tips on how to best peel an avocado.

1. First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed.
2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed.
3. Remove the seed.
4. Cut each half, lengthwise.
5. Next, using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece.

Additional ingredients to jazz up your guacamole include fresh chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, black olives for a twist.

Ways to add avocados into your daily meals include:

  • Add to a salad as additionaltopping
  • Use mashed in place of mayonnaise with tuna or egg salad
  • Mix in with a green smoothie to make a creamy dairy free smoothie

Reference

Victor L Fulgoni, Mark Dreher, Adrienne J Davenport Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3545982/

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