It’s not uncommon for people to shy away from foods like avocadoes. And it’s not because they don’t like the taste of them. Instead, it’s because they’re worried that the fat and calorie content of avocadoes will make them gain weight. However, that isn’t necessarily the case.
There’s plenty of research that show diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids—the kind of fat found in avocadoes—can help protect against abdominal fat accumulation. Better yet, eating just half of an avocado with lunch has been shown to increase satiety, reduce hunger, improve insulin response and lower blood sugar.
But this green fruit is good for a lot more than your waistline. Eating avocadoes on a regular basis may also…
Slow down aging. Research suggests the high antioxidant capacity of avocadoes may have DNA protective effects. This could help defend against aging and age-related complications. The antioxidants and fats in avocadoes are also associated with fewer wrinkles and better skin elasticity, to help keep you looking younger, longer.
Improve heart health. In people with high cholesterol, avocado-enriched diets have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides when compared to diets without avocado. At the same time, it helps increase good HDL cholesterol.
Protect your joints. As we age, the cartilage in our joints starts to deteriorate. This often leads to osteoarthritis. The primary carotenoids in avocadoes—lutein and zeaxanthin—are associated with a lower risk of cartilage defects.
Safeguard your eyesight. The same carotenoids that protect your joints can also help keep your eyes safe from damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin act as “internal sunglasses” by absorbing harmful rays from the sun that damage your macula.
You can eat avocados alone, add them to meals or include them as an ingredient in recipes. Here are a few tips…
- Add a serving to a salad, soup or sandwich
- Serve homemade guacamole as a dip for whole grain chips, crackers or vegetables
- Include avocados with breakfast by adding to an omelet, blending into a smoothie or spreading on whole grain toast
SOURCE: Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50.