I started loving avocados only about 5 years ago. Before then I tried eating one but didn’t like the texture and found it tasteless. But as I learned more about the fantastic health benefits of the avocado I really wanted to like this thing and so tried again and the real delicious awesomeness of the avocado was found when I sprinkled one with salt. HOLY TOLEDO my life hence forth has never been the same….a tad dramatic? Sprinkled with salt for the first time, I stood there in my kitchen alone eating an entire avocado and so my love affair began. It was just me and the avocado. Sadly I had only the one avocado at the time so it was only 5 minutes of taste bud bliss.
Eating fat and losing fat…
One of the best nutritional benefits of the avocado is its fat content. It has good healthy fat, the kind of fat that won’t make you fat; fat that will actually help you lose weight.
You need healthy fat to help keep weight off. Healthy fats include saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Fats keep you full longer and feeling satiated longer.
Your body also needs fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K). These vitamins are key in helping your cells function properly which promotes weight loss.
Stop depriving your body of healthy fats! Where weight loss is concerned reducing sugars, grains and beans in your diet and replacing with healthy fats is key.
The fat and cholesterol…
Contrary to popular belief there is no link between consuming healthy fat and cardiovascular disease. A study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Institute confirmed that a high-fat, low-carb diet had no negative effects on vascular health. The study also showed that a high-fat, low-carb diet produced faster weight loss when compared to a low-fat, high-carb diet.
Consuming avocado fat also helps Lower LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), the “bad” cholesterol.
As a cooking oil…
As a cooking oil avocado oil has 2 things going for it: contains mostly monounsaturated fat (approx. 70%) and the oil has a high smoking point.
Monounsaturated fat has just one double carbon bond which makes it more stable when it is heated than polyunsaturated fat which can have many double carbon bonds. When oils are heated beyond their smoking point they oxidize forming free radicals which are damaging to the body.
Avocado oil has a very high smoking point at 270°C/520°F so it will not oxidize when heated up to that temperature. Only use cold pressed avocado oil. Cold pressed avocado oil is not a partially hydrogenated oil so it does not contain unhealthy trans fats, unlike most vegetable oils which are sadly touted as safe for cooking. Cold pressed avocado oil is one of the best cooking oils around.
Cooking oils oxidize when they are heated beyond their smoking point.
Oil oxidation creates free radicals.
Oils that are partially hydrogenated contain trans fats.
Virgin Coconut Oil is another safe cooking oil. It contains mostly saturated fat and has a high smoking point at 177°C/350°F. This is good for mid temperature cooking.
FAT’S NOT THE ONLY THING AVOCADOS CAN BOAST ABOUT
Avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods we can get our hands on. One-half of a Hass avocado (approx. 68g) contains:
- Vitamin A- 43 µg:
- Important for eyesight, growth and tissue healing, and healthy skin.
- Is an antioxidant and supports proper functioning of cells and cell differentiation and supports a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin E – 1.3 mg:
- An antioxidant powerhouse protecting the body against free-radicals: protects eyes, skin, liver, breasts, and testes against oxidative damage
- Supports the adrenal hormones
- Can improve endurance by helping muscle cells to function with less oxygen
- Sufficient levels of Vitamin E are needed to absorb Vitamin A
- Vitamin K1 – 14 µg:
- Required for normal blood clotting
- Vitamin C – 6 mg:
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Required for collagen formation and maintenance (collagen is what forms connective tissue which is in bones, skin, teeth, joints, ligaments, etc.)
- Supports the adrenal function by stimulating the production of norepinephrine and epinephrine (stress hormones)
- Vitamin B6 – .2 mg
- Metabolizes amino-acids
- Supports the nervous system
- Helps to transport oxygen throughout the body
- Aids in the production of antibodies
- Helps to maintain magnesium levels in cells. Magnesium is required for cell energy to support all bodily functions.
- Folate (Folic Acid)- 60 mg:
- Helps to form red blood cells
- Along with Vitamin B12 and C folate helps to metabolize proteins
- Essential during pregnancy
- Supports the nervous system and proper brain functioning
- Choline – 10 mg:
- Improves memory, important for detoxification, helps the fats of cell membranes to maintain cell integrity, therefore supporting cells to function properly
- Helps to emulsify fats and cholesterol
- Potassium – 345 mg:
- An electrolyte – regulates water balance, blood pressure, aids in conducting nerve impulses
- Helps to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates
- Magnesium – 19.5 mg
- Promotes relaxation
- Helps to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates
- Helps release cellular energy to support all bodily functions
- Lutein – 185 µg
- Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant
- Protects eye health
*µg = microgram, mg – milligram
How many avocados should you eat?
The recommended amount is a 1/2 to 1 avocado per day. I eat at least a 1/2 almost every day not only for its health benefits but also just because it tastes so damn good!
My favourite ways to eat avocados…
Gives a smoothie a rich creamy texture, avocado and toast with grape tomatoes and sometimes a little kimchi, in any salad, by itself…standing in my kitchen alone, as a side to any meal, as guacamole.
Avocados are a nutritional goldmine and they are delicious. Contains healthy fat that can help you lose weight. Is excellent as a cooking oil that has a high smoking point; avocado oil is one of the best oils to use for frying. Avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals that support many aspects of a healthy body.
Live Healthy…Be Happy!
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