Food & NutritionIssue 14 • June 2013

The Fat Fruit

Can you name a fruit that is green, high in fiber, contains 20 vitamins and minerals, and is packed with healthy fats? If you guessed avocados then you deserve some homemade guacamole.

✓ Avocados contain monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, the good fats. These fats are also known as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. There is evidence that both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats help lower the LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol and increase the HDL or good-cholesterol, and furthermore help prevent cardiovascular disease. Studies have also shown that these types of ‘good fats’ help reduce abdominal fat, decrease the risk of breast cancer, and decrease inflammation.

✓ 1 oz of an avocado contains 8% of your daily fiber intake. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, reduces blood cholesterol levels, aids in controlling weight and blood pressure, and helps prevent diverticulosis and colon cancer.

✓ Avocados are low in sugar and contain less than 1 g of sugar per 1-oz. serving.

✓ Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by helping the body to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein, from foods that are eaten with the fruit. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein protect the body from damaging molecules called free radicals. These free radicals damage cells through the process known as oxidation, which can eventually lead to a number of chronic illnesses.

✓ Looking to add nutrition to your spreads and dips! Try using avocados. 1 oz serving of fresh avocados contains no cholesterol, 0.5 gm saturated fats, and no sodium. Avocados are also great on toast and in sandwiches

Laura Rellihan

Laura Rellihan

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