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Glorious Avocado

Glorious Avocado

Glorious Avocado

One of my favorite foods is the avocado. This delicious orb is actually a fruit although many incorrectly categorize it as a vegetable. Nonetheless, it is packed full of nutrients, fat, and fiber. See the recipes at the bottom.

The “avo” is easy to travel with for business or pleasure.  I would frequently pack an avocado and a can of sardines as my lunch in order to avoid hospital cafeteria food. Pack it on car trips or airline flights.

There are many varieties of avocado. The Hass is most common though the Reed has been popping up more recently. The Reed is much larger than the Hass and has a creamy taste. Avocado is easy to “hide” in recipes including making a pudding out of it. Add a little raw cacao and honey and the kids will never know what they just ate. Avocados also make an excellent first food for babies as it does not require any chewing to eat when ripe.

The nutritional breakdown of this food reads like a multivitamin.

Great source of vitamins C,E, and K and the B vitamins with plenty of magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The avocado is loaded with healthy fat and even 2 grams of protein.

There is a whopping 7 grams of fiber in the average sized avo!

The avocado is actually mostly water by volume. The second biggest component is our friend fat. The monounsaturated fat oleic acid comprises the majority. Oleic acid is found in olive oil but also present in animal meat.

Oleic acid has been found to lower LDL, raise HDL, and decrease blood pressure. In fact, one study reported a 22% reduction in LDL and 11% increase in HDL with avocado use. This may be from the high content of beta-sitosterols.

Another study demonstrated avocado consumption can decrease oxidized LDL (the nasty kind) while increasing non-oxidized levels. This is likely due to the fact avocado is high in vitamins C and E, nutrients proven to slow atherosclerosis.

The fat in the avocado also helps with absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

There is also evidence this food prevents cancer.

When you tell patients to avoid grain, one of the first things they inquire about is how they will move their bowels. Well the avocado is loaded with fiber around 10 grams. In addition, it is high in magnesium and a much better source of potassium than a banana, which is high in sugar. The sugar content of an avocado is very close to zero and has no impact on blood sugar. Of course, antioxidants and phytochemicals are present in this food which also decrease cardiovascular risk and are natural anti-inflammatories.

What makes the avocado really unique is that many healthy phytochemicals are fat soluble and only absorbed with fat. This is the problem with fat free dressing on a salad which has been shown to limit uptake of these vital nutrients. Weight loss and improved blood sugar control are seen. Finally the B vitamins in the avocado help to lower homocysteine.


Cucumber Avocado Soup

Spiced Chicken Salad with Mango and Avocado

Guacamole Deviled Eggs



Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May; 53(7): 738–750.

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