Holy Guacamole!

Posted by Luisa de Luca on

ATTENTION AVOCADO LOVERS! THIS IS A MUST READ! Do you simply love avocado? Could you eat it every day? If you're like many people and have a love affair with this humble fruit, you may feel guilty about eating it. All the calories and fat! You might think, "If I keep eating this, it will make me fat!" But wait -- we have great news for you! Read on. The humble avocado isn't really as fattening as you might think. In fact, it could actually help you lose weight! Avocados have become a wildly popular food for the health-conscious younger generation. They qualify - with good reason -- as a genuine superfood. They don't look like much, and they're sometimes called "alligator pears" because they are shaped like a pear and have green, lumpy skin like alligators. But avocados contain oodles of nutrients.
Avocados Could Help You Lose Weight! Improved weight management is a health benefit of avocado consumption that you will probably find particularly interesting. Their high-fat, low-sugar content is the reason for this effect. According to research published in the Nutrition Journal, eating just one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satiate you if you're overweight, and could prevent snacking later1. Study participants who ate half an avocado with lunch reported being 40% less hungry three hours later, and 28% less hungry five hours later compared to those who did not eat avocado. They reported feeling 26% more satiated than participants who didn't eat avocado. Fat is far more satiating than carbs, so it makes sense that you get a feeling of satisfaction from eating an avocado. Perhaps if you have cut down on carbs and feel ravenous, it may be indicate that you haven't replaced them with sufficient fat. Super Nutrition Roughly twenty different vitamins and minerals and minerals come with an avocado. Since it's better to get your nutrients from real food than from pills, you might think of them as your vitamin pill. They have an impressive nutrient profile, including these nutrients contained in just one single serving:2 Vitamins Vitamin A -- 4% DV, Vitamin C -25% DV, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) - 16% DV, Vitamin K - 39% DV, Riboflavin - 11%, Niacin - 13% DV, Vitamin B6 -19% DV, Folate - 30% DV, Pantothenic Acid - 21% DV Minerals Potassium Magnesium Manganese Copper Iron Zinc Phosphorous All these nutrients promote vibrant health and are often lacking in the American diet. Consider this is a major nutritional bonanza if you're trying to stay healthy and feel good. Take potassium for example. This is a nutrient that's lacking in many people's diets3. People turn to bananas whenever they feel like they're not getting adequate potassium, but avocados are even higher in potassium than bananas! More good news: avocados contain zero cholesterol, zero sodium and are low in saturated fat. This means they don't have the "bad" fat that is such a problem for your heart and waistline. A Closer look at the fat Avocados are a high fat food. Most of its calories are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. But they don't contain bad fat, which matter a lot. Most of their fat is oleic acid,4 a monounsaturated fatty acid that is the most abundant fat in olive oil. This is the fat believed to be responsible for some of its benefits, including reduced inflammation. This is a big deal for just about everybody. Also, the fats in avocado are also resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a safe choice for cooking. Bring on the Fiber Fiber is abundant in avocados. It is absolutely necessary for proper functioning of your body's elimination systems and helps mitigate hunger. In order to be at your best, it is indispensable. Insoluble fiber promotes weight loss, can reduce blood sugar spikes, and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases.5,6 Soluble fiber is known to feed friendly gut bacteria in the intestine which are important for the optimal function of our body's immune system. A 3.5 ounce serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount. About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble.7 Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels Heart disease is all too common and can negatively impact quality of life. In fact, it is often fatal. Several indicators are linked to increased risk, including cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure. The effect of avocado consumption on these risk factors has been studied in human trials. These studies have shown that avocados can:
  • Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly
  • Reduce blood triglycerides
  • Lower LDL cholesterol
  • Increase HDL (the "good") cholesterol8
People Who Eat Avocados are Generally Healthier One study looked at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados. They analyzed data from 17,567 participants in the NHANES survey in the U.S.9 Their findings confirm that avocado eaters are much healthier than people who eat no avocados. They had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.10 Avocado eaters weighed less, had a lower BMI, and had less belly fat. They also had higher HDL, or "good", cholesterol. Higher Nutrient Absorption Total vitamin and mineral content in an avocado, while important, is not the only benefit avocados provide. Absorbing nutrients is sometimes overlooked and if nutrients are not fully absorbed, it makes them less valuable. Some nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K and certain antioxidants are fat soluble and must be combined with fat in order to be better utilized. So it follows that because of their high fat content, avocados increase the nutrient value of other foods by making their nutrients more bioavailable. We should remember to always include a healthy fat source along with vegetables or many beneficial plant nutrients could be wasted. Avocados Can Help Your Eyes11 The nutrients Lutein and Zeaxanthin are critically important for eye health. Studies show that these nutrients are closely related to reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration in the elderly. Because of this, eating avocados should benefit eye health as you age, throughout your life. Conclusion All in all, avocados are an awesome food! Enjoy them every day if you like! They are a guilt-free indulgence loaded with nutrients and will be another step along your way to radiant health. They can help you lose weight, protect your heart and eyes, and supply system-supporting fiber. This is just about as good as it gets! 1 Nutrition Journal November 27, 2013, 12:155 2 SelfNutritionData, avocado raw all varieties. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2 3 USDA Food Surveys Research Group Dietary Data Brief No. 10 The average potassium intake of September 2012 4 Dreher ML Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013. 5 Nutritional Epidemiology, Higher Intake of Fruit, but Not Vegetables or Fiber, at Baseline Is Associated with Lower Risk of Becoming Overweight or Obese in Middle-Aged and Older Women of Normal BMI at Baseline. Susanne Rautiainen, Lu Wang, I-Min Lee, JoAnn E Manson,Julie E Buring, and Howard D Sesso 6 Dietary fiber intake and risk of first stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis, DE Threapleton, DC Greenwood, CE Evans, CL Cleghorn, C Nykjaer, C Woodhead, JE Cade, CP Gale, and VJ Burley. 7 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2 8 USDA National Nutrient Database 9 http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/80400530/pdf/DBrief/10_potassium_intake_0910.pdf 10 Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008 Victor L Fulgoni, Mark Dreher, Adrienne J DavenportNutrition Journal 2013, 12:1 (2 January 2013) 11 A Posteriori-Derived Dietary Patterns and Retinal Vessel Caliber in an Elderly Population, Claire T. McEvoy, Christopher R. Cardwell, Usha Chakravarthy, Ruth E. Hogg, Michelle C. McKinley, Ian S. Young, Astrid E. Fletcher, and Jayne V. Woodside

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