As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
Have you heard? You no longer need to fear fat…because fat is BACK!
That’s right! Dietary fat, the macronutrient that consumers shunned throughout the low-fat and fat-free craze of the 1990s, is making a comeback!
Healthcare professionals used to advocate for a “low-fat” diet as a way to help prevent heart disease. Research about cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, and the Mediterranean Diet has shown that it’s the type of fat we eat that matters more than the amount, specifically showing a diet with an increased intake of olive oil was more protective against CVD than a low-fat diet. So, there’s no need to cut back on your total fat intake, but it is wise to shift your taste buds towards more healthy fats.
How to Find Good Fats
When it comes to dietary fat, there are good kinds (unsaturated fats) and bad kinds (saturated fats). The types of fat we want to minimize are those that are known to raise our LDL (bad) cholesterol levels: the saturated and trans fats. You find saturated fats in animal products like meat and dairy as well as coconut oil and chocolate. Trans fats are found primarily in packaged and processed foods like fried foods, high-fat bakery products, and packaged frozen foods like pizza and breaded chicken nuggets.
The better-for-you fats include the unsaturated fatty acids: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find the unsaturated fats in plant foods like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. California Avocados are a heart-healthy superfood because more than 75% of the fat in avocados comes from the beneficial unsaturated fats.
Having adequate amounts of healthy fats in our diet is helpful because these fats provide us with energy (calories) and can promote health if eaten in the right amounts. California Avocados contain nearly 20 valuable vitamins and minerals – and the fat in avocados actually helps boost absorption of other valuable nutrients by your body… so you can think of avocados as your body’s nutrient booster.
What Does Fat Do for Food?
Fat is responsible for providing satiety – or the feeling of fullness – and eating foods that contain healthy fats is a great way to help stave off hunger! Fat not only provides us with valuable nutrition, but it also works wonders in the foods we eat. Fat is responsible for the pleasing creaminess and “mouthfeel” we experience when we eat fat-containing foods. Fat also contributes important flavors and aromas to food.
Avocados are an incredibly versatile food because their unsaturated fatty acid profile provides the rich, creamy texture that works so well in many different types of cooking applications. You can add avocados to smoothies for a creamy texture or spread on toast for a satisfying breakfast or sandwich addition. Avocado also makes a great fat replacer in baking. You can substitute a beneficial fat from avocado in place of a less healthy fat like the mayonnaise in this recipe for California Avocado Tri-Color Potato Salad.
What Does Fat Do for Our Body?
By shifting fat intake away from saturated fats and replacing them with unsaturated fats, you’re doing your body a major favor. Certain types of unsaturated fatty acids can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. This in turn reduces the risk for heart disease.
You don’t want to cut back too far on fat in foods, because your body needs that fat to function properly. Fat provides padding and insulation. Fat also helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, the fat-soluble vitamins.
One of the healthiest ways to re-frame your fat intake is to cut back on animal foods that tend to be high in saturated fats, and replace them with plant-based sources of unsaturated fats, including avocados. A serving of avocado is one-third of a medium avocado (50 g). This provides 80 calories and is a good source of fiber, making it a great option for a heart-healthy diet.
If you’re looking for some ways to boost your good fat intake, check out these recipes featuring California Avocados, a great source of better-for-you fat: