or years we only used avocados to make guacamole…I always had that voice in my head telling me how fattening they were, and fat was bad, right? Man was I missing out! If you’re caught in the “fat is bad” mindset, then repeat after me, “fat is our friend!”
Good fat, that is!
There was some merit to all the low-fat hype in the 70’s and 80’s (like the nasty heat-processed, heavily refined oils that were already rancid sitting on the grocery store shelves), but not when it comes to the naturally occurring, unprocessed healthy fats in our dairy, meats and veggies (fruits?), this is the good stuff.
But seriously people, can we all agree that avocados and tomatoes should be veggies? I digress…
Here are my top five reasons to buy, eat and enjoy avocados sans guilt:
1. They’re delicious: Not really a reason? I think it is, but have it your way…
1. On the Clean 15 List: Avocados are at the top of the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list, meaning you don’t have to shell out a fortune for organic avocados! Yipee!
2. Healthy fats: The flesh of an avocado contains up to 30% oil (depending on weight). This is more fat than any other fruit, but the good news is it’s mostly monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). MUFAs have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and improve heart health! MUFAs also provide nutrients that help develop and maintain your body’s cells, which is very important when sick or fighting chronic illness.
3. Reduce the risk of heart disease: Similar to olive oil, the fatty acid profile of the fat in an avocado is very high in oleic acid. Remember, some avocados are made up of 30% fat, the breakdown of the fat looks like this:
- 76% monounsaturates (oleic and palmitoleic acids)
- 12% polyunsaturates (linoleic and linolenic acids)
- 12% saturates (palmitic and stearic acids)
It’s these mono and polyunsaturated fats that improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease by managing blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind).
4. Eat Fat, Lose Fat: A strange phenomenon that is hard to wrap ones brain around (I’m still trying!), but the truth is, so-called “healthy fats” like vegetable and canola oils are one of the largest culprits behind our poor health. These highly refined and damaged oils were sold as healthier alternatives and backed by the health industry in the 70’s and 80’s.
Besides, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating monounsaturated fats (the healthy fats) increases satiety to help keep you feeling full for longer, which will decrease the desire for snacking and consuming excess calories.
5. Enjoy some ridiculously delicious recipes: Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this creamy, rich and delicious fruit…
- Avocado cookies (obviously)
- Sweet potato bites
- Summer Salad
- Guacamole – olay!
- Diced up and served with fried eggs and sourdough bread
- Sliced up with a dash of salt!
- And of course, avocado oil*.
Avocado oil has a mild taste and is a great alternative if you don’t care for the taste of coconut or olive oil. Avocado oil has an extremely high smoke point of 500℉ and is perfect for sauteing, searing, salad dressings or making homemade mayo!
*It’s extremely important to source high quality avocado oil. You want to look for a product that’s been cold-pressed and naturally refined using a low-heat process. This protects the nutrients and fatty acids, keeping the health benefits of the oil intact.
For years, avocado oil was only used as a raw material (mainly by the cosmetic industry). They would start with poor quality avocados, put them through a harsh extraction process, and often use chemical solvents before bleaching and deodorizing the oil to be packaged up and sold to consumers. It should go without saying, but never consume cosmetic grade avocado oil!