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Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Dietary Guidelines) were published on January 31, 2011 and include a number of recommendations to help promote the health of Americans. Regularly enjoying California avocados can help you more easily meet a number of the recommendations.

Make Half of Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables:

Eating California Avocados every day can help Americans meet their recommended daily servings of fruits.
Americans are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables because they contain a variety of essential nutrients, are associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases and, when prepared without added fats or sugars, are relatively low in calories

Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods:

California Avocados are naturally nutrient-dense containing the following key nutrients/Daily Values* per 30g/1 oz serving DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS, 2010(one fifth of a medium avocado) making them a good nutrient choice:

Vitamin K: 6.30 mcg / 8% DV
Folate: 27.00 mcg / 6% DV
Vitamin B6: 0.086 mg / 4% DV
Vitamin C: 2.60 mg / 4% DV
Vitamin E: 0.590 IU / 4% DV
Potassium: 152.00 mg / 4% DV
Fiber: 2.00 g / 8% DV
*Daily Value (DV) is based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children four or more years of age.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing nutrient-dense foods from each food group as the best approach to meeting nutrient needs within calorie recommendations. The Dietary Guidelines defines nutrient-dense foods and beverages as those that “provide vitamins, minerals, and other substances that may have positive effects with relatively few calories.”

Eat more nutrient-dense foods that provide potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D.

These are nutrients of public health concern because Americans don’t consume adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk or milk products, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Nutrient-dense California Avocados help you meet the Dietary Guidelines daily for fruit intake and provide potassium and fiber, two of the recommended nutrients.

Improve the quality of your diet by eating more of the "good" fats:

Eating California Avocados can help improve the quality of your diet due to the added benefit of the "good" fats, like those found in avocados. The Dietary Guidelines state that replacing some saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fatty acids lowers both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) blood cholesterol levels.

Studies show replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, while staying within calorie needs, is more effective in reducing the risk of heart disease than simply lowering total fat intake.

Americans are encouraged to replace foods containing saturated fats with those that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Avocados contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • 75% of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated fat, making California Avocados a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat.

Research supports the importance of improving the fat quality of the diet by choosing better fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are associated with improved blood lipids.

  • Avocados provide “good” fats, 0.5g polyunsaturated and 3g monounsaturated per 1 oz. serving.
  • 63 percent of a California Avocado’s fat content comes from monounsaturated fats.

Increase intake of fruits and vegetables  as they are (without added fats or sugars):

Fruit and vegetables are major contributors of a number of nutrients that are under consumed in the United States, including folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C and K.Quick Wrap for Kids

  • One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients including vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, fiber, iron, potassium, and 81 micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin (combined) and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene. 
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are natural antioxidants that may help maintain eye health as we get older. 
  • Phytonutrients are thought to help prevent many chronic diseases.

Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, “moderate intake of at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.” Enjoy California Avocados for breakfast, lunch or dinner and increase your fruit intake while improving the quality of your diet. For recipes and menu ideas, visit our avocado recipes database.

Additionally, the Dietary Guidelines states that “some fruits and vegetables may be protective against certain types of cancer.” 

Fruit and vegetables are also relatively low in calories. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines “most vegetables and fruits, when prepared without added fats or sugars, are relatively low in calories. Eating them instead of higher calorie foods can help adults and children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”

Review the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 - PDF 2.9MB.

Fruits & Veggies — More Matters®

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans now recommend that Americans double the amount of fruits and vegetables they currently eat. The Produce for Better Health Foundation offers the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® health initiative, a program that offers expert cooking advice, nutrition information and shopping tips.

Eating a colorful variety of fruits and veggies provides wider range of valuable nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and potassium. California Avocados are part of The Produce for Better Health Foundation's Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® health initiative in the green fruit category. This program offers expert cooking advice, nutrition information and shopping tips.

The natural antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will help keep your body working at its best, so consuming a diet that meets your daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to give your body a strong defense against disease. Fruits and vegetables are protective to health as they’re helpful at reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and some cancers. They’re also low in calories, which helps prevent obesity … a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

California Avocados and MyPlate

One of the best things you can do when working toward a healthy diet is to put more fruits and vegetables on your plate. As a matter of fact, the USDA and Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) recommend that you fill “half your plate” with fruits and vegetables. Fresh, fruits and vegetables provide you with essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber. California Avocados, which are in season from the spring through the summer, are a great ingredient to include in nutritious meals that you need to put together quickly. They add a delicious, creamy flavor to dishes, require very little prep work and contribute “good fats,” along with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to one’s diet.

On June 2nd First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled an exciting new food icon, “MyPlate,” to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate promotes filling “half your plate with fruits and vegetables” and is a replacement for the Food Pyramid. This science-based, government recommendation to make half your plate fruits and vegetables is a significant and positive step in the battle to fight obesity and related health issues in America and should increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

MyPlate Makeover Challenge

In an effort to help consumers reach the half your plate with fruits and vegetables goal, PBH has developed the  “MyPlate Makeover Challenge,” to make half your plate fruits & veggies. Enter the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters MyPlate Makeover Challenge and show how you are making your family healthier by following the new USDA Dietary Guidelines.  You will automatically be entered to win a free $100 grocery gift card and receive a coupon or fruit and vegetable related. Check out the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website for complete details. Or, participate in the conversation by offering advice, tips, and comments to consumers about their plates and encourage friend and co-workers to do the same!

Featured Recipes

Below are featured California Avocado recipes that meet the Fruits & Veggies - More Matters guidelines.