“A” is for Avocado

For the longest time I felt avocados were high in calories so they should be avoided except for special occasions that called for guacamole. I was correct in thinking they are packed with calories but the nutritional benefits that are part of the little green package means avocados are meant for so much more than something to put an a chip.

An avocado is a fruit. There are many types that vary in shape and colour. The one I am familiar with is the Hass avocado. Apparently it is also known as an Alligator Pear because it is shaped like a pear and it’s skin is similar to that of an alligator. That’s another bit of trivia you can file away for a rainy day! All of that aside, avocados are incredibly nutritious. Here’s an overview:

  • They contain significant amounts of vitamin K, Folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E and small amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3. 

  • Avocados are high in fat but it is good fat. The majority of the fat is a monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid. Oleic acid’s health benefits include the reduction of inflammation. 

  • An avocado can contain approximately half of the daily fibre requirement of the average person.  

One medium avocado contains 250 – 300 calories. That’s why, while they are an amazing food choice, they should be eaten sparingly. As good as guacamole is, it’s easy to overeat it. It’s like peanut butter that way. It goes down quickly and the calories add up like crazy. One tablespoon is approximately 25 calories. Let’s face it, guacamole is rarely eaten solely with carrot sticks! There are ton of calories in the guacamole and chip combination. So, what do we do about that? We make choices, that’s what! 

Avocados are a superior food choice. In consuming one a day there will have to be the sacrifice of other foods in order to stay within your daily caloric requirements. The two foods that can be replaced are butter and cheese. This may take some getting used to but most of us can handle a little less of both of those. 

Avocado toast has become incredibly popular over the past couple years. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s as simple as making toast and putting mashed up avocado on it. If you want to be fancy, you can add lime and cilantro to the avocado mix. What I have tried is substituting slices of avocado for cheese in salads. The thing about avocados is they leave you feeling fuller longer. That’s thanks to fat and fibre contained in each fruit. 

Guess what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow?

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