By Sara Lucero
Avocados are the “IT” food right now! Avocado toast, grilled avocados, avocado oil and the old favorite, guacamole, are taking over searches and social sites – and for good reason. These nutritious green gems are packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and flavor and can be a delicious addition to your healthy diet for weight loss.
You heard us right. These calorie and fat-packed fruits are one of the newest darlings of weight loss and health gurus and for good reason!
If you’re interested in adding avocado to your diet, here are 5 things you need to know:
- Avocados are nutrient-dense foods – While we often discuss calories, fat and carbohydrates in relation to weight management and weight loss, it’s also important to consider the effect of vitamins and minerals. Most experts agree that the best way to get essential nutrients is through food. They also agree that these vitamins and minerals in recommended daily amounts help keep the various systems within our bodies functioning optimally. That includes the metabolism and many of the hormones involved in hunger. Not only do avocados themselves include a variety of vitamins and minerals, but they can also help you better absorb essential vitamins from other foods, thanks to their high healthy fat content.
- Avocados are loaded with healthy fat – These healthy fats can be a smart choice for weight loss and management. While avocados are higher in calories because of this high monounsaturated fat content, avocados can help increase satiety and curb cravings when paired with healthful ingredients like lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains. As fat and low-fat diets have come under the microscope over recent years, science has found that we are hard-wired to enjoy fat with our food.
- Avocado oil can be a healthy choice for cooking – Avocado oil is giving olive oil a run for its money these days and for good reason. This flavorful and buttery oil is similar to olive oil in both its high levels of monounsaturated fat and high heat tolerance – with the added benefit of being a little more shelf stable. Use this oil to cook waistline-friendly foods like veggies and lean protein for an easy and diet-friendly meal.
- Avocados aren’t just for weight loss – Avocados have been linked to so many health benefits in recent years that it’s hard to keep up. Talk about a superfood! Among the potential benefits of this “decadent” food are improved cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory properties, lower cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels.
- A little avocado goes a long way – If you didn’t already catch it, avocados are high in fat and calories. While they are a nutritious addition to your diet and can help you reach your weight goals in a very tasty way, it’s important to keep a close eye on portion sizes. One 80-calorie serving of avocado is actually one-third of a medium avocado… not the whole fruit.
Don’t let the avocado shortage get you down. Do add avocado to your meals during the week to take advantage of all the health benefits of this unique fruit.