You’re strolling down the aisles of your grocery store in search of foods to enjoy while following a calorie controlled diet as a replacement for other fats. That’s when you see it: a pyramid of perfectly-stacked Avocados from Mexico. It’s tempting to pick one up and put it in your cart, or better yet, snag a whole bag of them, but you step away. You seem to remember a friend telling you that avocados are chock-full of calories and fat.
While you might think of avocados as a high-calorie, high-fat food, they’re a nutritional powerhouse. Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds that can enhance the nutrient quality of your diet. Even better, when you eat avocado, the fiber helps you.
Avocados are a nutrient-dense food that can be enjoyed while following a calorie-controlled diet as a replacement for other fats. Read on!
Avocados contain 8% of your daily recommended value of fiber. Fiber is a macronutrient, specifically a type of complex carbohydrate. Other macronutrients include fats, proteins, simple carbohydrates, and water. Most carbs — both simple sugars and complex starches— provide burnable energy for the body, but fiber has a different function. In fact, it pulls double duty. Insoluble fiber helps move food through the digestive system, while soluble fiber attracts water and slows digestion. This slow movement is what allows you to extract energy and nutrients from your food, making you feel satisfied for a longer time after you eat avocado.
Sugar is bad news for those struggling with their weight, getting stuck in a cycle of sugar highs and the subsequent lows that lead to even more sweet-tooth cravings. Sound familiar?
Avocados contain less than 1g of suger per serving; moreover, they have the least amount of sugar per serving than any other fresh fruit.
What avocado lacks in sugar, it makes up for in fat, but here’s the thing: that fat is good fat.
You’ve probably heard a lot in the news about trans fats and saturated fats. Those are the bad fats, and you want to limit them. But there are other fats: poly- and mono-unsaturated, avocados contain 4.5 g of fat per 1 ounce serving. They’re the good fats, and having them is actually important. They give you energy and help your body absorb essential nutrients from foods eaten with them.
Finally, avocados have a rich and creamy texture, making them an excellent replacement for other foods that are much higher in saturated fats. So don’t step away from that pyramid of avocados! Grab a whole bag of them and enjoy them in your meals! Spread avocado on toast, whip it up in smoothies, use it for the base of your dips and dressings, and reap the satiating benefits.