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California Avocados are a Diabetes-friendly Food

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados.

If you think you’ve been hearing a lot about diabetes lately, it’s because prevalence of this dangerous disease is on the rise. According to the American Diabetes Association, over 30 million people of all ages – nearly 10% of the American population – had diabetes in 2015 and more than a quarter of the U.S. adult population (84.1 million) had prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when a person has blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  

With so many people living with diagnosed and undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes, it’s important to know what can be done to help lower the risk of both conditions. With diet now linked as a major factor to diabetes, eating a healthy diet, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly all play a significant role in the overall management of diabetes. For people with prediabetes, losing 5-7% of body weight and regular physical activity can help prevent the progression to diabetes

California Avocados as Part of a Modern Diabetes Diet

So what foods should you eat if you have or are at risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes? For starters, it’s wise to avoid less healthy sources of carbohydrate, like those with added sugar, including the ones we find in sodas and other sweetened beverages as well as refined grains, such as white bread and rice. Eating well and being physically active most days of the week can help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight, and prevent or delay a diabetes problem. 

But rather than just focus on what to cut OUT, it helps to understand what foods you can ADD to your diet if you have or are at risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes. Foods that contain unsaturated fats – like California Avocados, nuts and seeds and heart-healthy fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel – help promote satiety (the feeling of fullness) and can aid in stabilizing blood sugar levels, since they take longer for the body to digest.

One study found that avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome in adults. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors – including elevated blood sugars – that put individuals at risk for developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

How to Add Avocados to a Diabetes Diet

The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, including foods with heart-healthy fats, such as California Avocados. A serving size of avocado is 1/3 (50 g) of a medium avocado, has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. 

One serving of California Avocado is a good source of fiber. Fiber is another important nutrient that may help prevent the spike in blood glucose levels that follow a meal or snack.  

California Avocados Throughout the Day

Eating consistent, frequent meals spread throughout the day can help stabilize blood sugar levels. California Avocados are incredibly versatile in that they can be a nutritious and delicious addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as between meal snacks.

Here are a few tips for incorporating California Avocados throughout the day:

Breakfast
This California Avocado Bulgur & Egg Bowl recipe makes a hearty breakfast option with less than 15 grams carbohydrates. 

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Lunch/Dinner
At lunch and dinner meals, aim for a Mediterranean-style monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)-rich eating pattern that may benefit glycemic control. MUFAs are typically found in avocado, nuts and nut butters, fatty fish, and oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as canola and olive oil. These three recipes, California Avocado Salmon Bean Salad, Chicken Albondigas Soup and this California Tuna Salad Wrap have less than 60 grams carbohydrates. 

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Snacks
Snacks between meals can help promote steady blood sugar levels. Try this Butternut Squash Avocado Muffin recipe or this California Avocado Kiwi Relish recipe for some great snack ideas with less than 30 grams carbohydrates.

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