Why eat avocados

avocado-16041_1280Avocados have got a bit of a bad reputation, particular among those who are trying to lose weight. The reason for this is that they are renowned for being high in fat. However, there is so much more to this amazing fruit and it’s not the villain you might suspect it to be. You can even enjoy avocado on a diet! So why eat avocados? When compared to many other fruits and vegetables, avocados are quite high in fat. One ounce of avocado has 4.5g of fat, where as one ounce of salmon contains 2g and chicken breast contains just 1g. Put another way, one medium sized avocado contains around 250 calories and about 23 grams of fat! However, don’t let that stop you enjoying avocados as the health benefits are fantastic!

The first thing to remember about avocados is that most of the fat they contain are healthy monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats which are really good for our bodies. These are the types which may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease our risk of heart disease.

Avocado is also packed with protein and potassium (more potassium than bananas), which can help keep blood pressure under control. It is also very high in vitamin E and C which can help the skin and also in vitamin B6 and folic acid, which can help against heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which may help in rheumatoid arthritis.

And if eaten sparingly, it could even help your weight loss cause. There is some suggestion that avocado can reduce hunger pangs helping you stick to your diet plan and unlike many other fruits, it is not high in sugars. Also its fibre and monounsaturated fats actually help to regulate blood sugar levels and help speed up your metabolic rate, helping you to burn calories.

The important thing to remember with avocados it that, unlike other fruits where one whole fruit equates to a serving, with avocado, one serving is about a quarter or even a fifth of the fruit! That would equate to around 50 calories per serving.

So the key here is ‘just a little’ – try just a piece when tummies begin to rumble, or add a couple of slices to your salad.

Next week we are going to see if the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is really true.

Blog, NutritionClaire Edwards