A Grocery Habit to Adopt from Millennials

Oh, those millennials. According to an abundance of news headlines, Gen Y’ers are self-centered, entitled splurgers who lack restraint and only live for today. They are often criticized for spending rather than saving and not knowing the value of a dollar. And in 2017, there was no better evidence of this than stories about millennials’ avocado-toast obsession, which went viral when an Australian millionaire said that the generation’s insatiable taste for the snack meant they’d never have enough money to buy homes.

It was a clever sound bite that gained plenty of internet traction, especially when paired with news of new avocado-centric restaurants and cafés offering avocado lattés. Critics denounced avocados as treats: a garnish or side dish for special occasions; a food that these Gen Y’ers shouldn’t be splurging on.

But despite popular opinion, millennials aren’t actually any less thrifty than their parents and grandparents. Their love for avocados, on the other hand, is accurate — but considering that avocados are heart-healthy and contribute nearly 20 vitamins and minerals per 50g serving, they’re not a bad snack to splurge on. While many factors affect heart disease, eating fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” And with money-saving tips — like preserving guacamole by covering it with a thin layer of milk and refrigerating — millennials have found plenty of ways to stay cost-conscious.

Here are a few reasons to put nutrient-dense avocados on your grocery list:

  1. Avocados have naturally good fats. Why naturally good fats? Because the body needs some dietary fat in moderation to help with absorption of nutrients. Good fats do not raise LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Healthy avocados contain 6 g of naturally good fat per 50 g serving, one-third of a medium avocado.
  2. Avocados, like other whole fruits and vegetables, are a good source of fiber, which helps digestion. In one serving of avocado (approximately one-third of the fruit), you’ll get 11 percent of your daily fiber. Looking for uses beyond avocado toast? Check out this video about the many ways to eat avocados.
  3. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend eating a variety of nutritious foods from all food groups. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help one control their weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Avocados are a healthy nutrient-rich food that can help boost fruit intake.
  4. Nutrient-dense foods like avocado are rare. Avocados offer a unique blend of fiber and fat and are sugar- and sodium-free. Pop one in your bag and take it on the go — when you’re hungry, you can eat it right out of the skin with a spoon. To really show the naysayers how thrifty you can be, preserve an uneaten avocado-half by coating it with lime or olive oil, covering it with some plastic wrap, and placing it in the fridge.
By Barbara Ruhs, MD, RDN May 08, 2018

An avid avocado-eater and guacamole-lover, Barb is the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for Avocados From Mexico and former sports nutritionist for Harvard University. Her philosophy on food is simple: Enjoy what you eat, prepare food with love, and add avocados to everything! 

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