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Avocados are full of healthy fats that lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack

Avocados are full of healthy fats that lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack


The Nutrient Booster

 

There’s more to avocados than being the stars of guacamole, that ever-popular Mexican dip. Native to northern Mexico and Central America, avocados were consumed by the Aztecs for thousands of years before the Europeans found them upon arrival in the Americas. It turns out the Aztecs were on to something — despite being relatively high in fat and calories (a medium fruit has about 250 calories and 23 grams of fat), avocados are one of the world’s most potent superfruits.


Yes, we said fruit! Technically a berry, the avocado contains the highest percentage of protein — about four grams — of any fruit, as well as the most fat. However, this monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, actually makes your body healthy, reducing bad cholesterol levels in the blood and thereby lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke. While most fats are stored as body fats, monounsaturated fat is more likely to be burned for energy.


Often referred to as the “nutrient booster,” oleic acid also helps your body increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. In a study, one cup of avocado added to a simple salad composed of romaine lettuce, spinach and carrots, increased the absorption of carotenoids by 200-400 percent! And let’s not forget the other nutrients packed into an avocado: vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber. A medium-sized avocado contains ten grams of fiber, including both insoluble and soluble fibers. The former keeps you regular, while the latter helps control your appetite by making you feel full.


Choosing the perfect avocado can be difficult. A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft, but should have no dark sunken spots. A firmer, less ripe avocado can easily be ripened at home in a fruit basket at room temperature or in a brown paper bag. There is no need to splurge on organic avocados either. The thick, tough skin prevents the fruit from absorbing pesticides, making avocados one of the most chemical-free foods. So whether you’re whipping up some guacamole with the popular Hass variety or adding half a fruit to a smoothie, avocados make a great-tasting, healthy and easy-to-incorporate addition to any diet.


Related Content:

 

More Health Foods and Drinks

 

Top 10 Romantic Foods

 

Top 10 Superfoods

 

Find recipes, nutrition facts and more on California Avocado

 

Avocado breakfast recipes on Huffington Post

 



7 Comments »

  1. now i need to eat more avocados

    Comment by amparo — August 16, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  2. In my mind it is one reason NOT to eat “avacados”. 250 calories for one medium size fruit is outrageous.

    Comment by Kay — January 16, 2015 @ 7:10 am

  3. Avocados are one of the most healthy foods you can consume. I try to eat a half of one every day. I am 83 years old, on no medications for anything, cholestrol is great, blood pressure 162/ 70, no heart problems, weight 123 @ 5’3″ which is about a pound more than when I graduated from high school. I also eat other healthy foods, lots of protein and vegetables especially broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans, lentils, beans, peas & potatoes, both white and sweet, eggs, bananas, kiwi and pears. Citrus are not my favorite fruits. I drink milk, eat greek yogart and ice cream. If you’re worried about weight stay away from bread and pastries and oh yes, have oatmeal with raisens for breakfast(the old fashioned kind, not the quick). Good luck whoevever reads this but NEVER eat fast foods or foods with nitrates ie bacon, bologna, etc.

    Comment by Beth Gordon — February 9, 2015 @ 12:13 am

  4. I eat 1/2 avocado almost every morning. I toast a fiber or lite muffin and chop up the avocado and put it on the muffin with some sea salt, some pepper and sometimes some hot pepper flakes. It starts my day and I am not hungry for most of the rest of the day until dinner time. I eat a very light lunch of some cheese and grapes and maybe a few pretzels.

    Comment by Carmela — February 26, 2015 @ 9:42 pm

  5. Wee in Barbados eat avocados and cucumber wee have a lot of avocados tree that y wee live to over 100 years our more

    Comment by mark prescod — March 29, 2015 @ 9:40 am

  6. For those worried about the fats and calories in avocados: Get with the program. Calorie counting is as outdated as cholesterol causing heart disease. Fat gain is caused by wrong carbohydrates like wheat and refined sugar, which also happen to cause inflammation and heart disease. I’m a natural bodybuilder and have “dieted” down to 5% body fat, eating an avo every day! The health benefits are amazing. I rate this as one of the best foods God ever created. Its alkaline, raw, contains Vit E in it’s natural form, contains unadulterated oleic acid, minerals and taste amazing. Avocados are also great for maintaining healthy testosterone levels in men due to the high oleic acid and vitamin E content!

    Comment by Casper — May 23, 2015 @ 5:57 am

  7. Thanks for this important advice about avocados, I will definitely try

    Comment by Get peace of mind — July 5, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

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