The assumption is that if you eat fat, of any type, it will make you fat. In my opinion, fats should have never been called fats in the first place -- they should have been called lipids, a name that’s a little easier to swallow. Our major nutrients, then, should have been referred to as carbohydrates, protein and lipids.
But since the name of this nutrient is not changing anytime soon, it’s important to learn about the role fats play in helping us to create balanced diets. Not all fats are created equal, however. Be careful about the types of fats you choose and if you’re trying to lose weight, you may even need to eat less of the good ones.
According to the American Heart Association, when eaten in moderation and in place of saturated or trans fats, “good” fats – mono and polyunsaturated – like those found in California Avocados, nuts, and certain oils may help to lower cholesterol levels. Avocados also act as “nutrient boosters,” allowing the body to absorb essential fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K. And for us foodies… fats also provide a creamy consistency and a rich flavor.
One of my favorite ways to add good fats to my family’s menu and simultaneously provide plenty of flavor as well as peace of mind, is to cook and bake with California Avocados.
Let’s take a closer look at why you should be adding avocado to your plate:
- Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. That’s a food that multitasks!
- 75 percent of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), making them a great swap for foods high in saturated fat. Try some in the company of sliced turkey, arugula, sliced tomatoes and whole grain bread.
- If you enjoy baking, here’s a tip that will help makeover some of your favorite recipes: subbing avocado for butter or shortening, like in this recipe for Avocado Zucchini Bread, can reduce the calories in a baked good. As a comparison, 2 tablespoons of avocado = 50 calories, while 2 tablespoons of butter = 204 calories.
- Did you know that in California Avocado, the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit closest to the peel? To get to the nutrient-rich fruit directly under the peel, one should nick and peel the skin from the fruit.
- Avocados can be a meal chameleon – they can play a role in any meal whether it’s breakfast (with eggs), lunch (on a sandwich), dinner (atop a salad) or as a snack or spread (guacamole dip).
- Because avocados have a mild flavor, they invite the addition of seasonings and spices. Mash an avocado along with smoky paprika, turmeric or curry to jazz up your favorite ethnic dishes. Taste as you mash so you get the exact flavor profile you are looking for!
California Avocados are easy to store with these tips, simple to prepare and you can effortlessly find them in a supermarket near you – just look for “California” on the label from Spring through Fall – during the California Avocado season. How do you like to eat an avocado? Please share your favorite recipes with us.