Mini rant alert! A polite rant with no f-bombs, but a rant none the less. I am so gosh darned sick to death of hearing people call avocados fattening!!! I actually overheard someone talking to themselves one time asking, “Do I want guacamole or do I want to be skinny?” Really?? While I have no scientific proof to back this up, I can tell you that absolutely no one has become overweight by just eating avocados.
I want you to repeat after me… “Fat from real food is friend, not foe.” All together now…
The avocado is one of nature’s most scrumptious and nutritious foods. They are yummy in guacamole, as a salad topping, or as a snack with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I can seriously say avocados turn a plain dish into a spectacular one.
Avocados pack a whole bunch of nutrients in one fist-sized fruit. Let’s take a closer look at this delicious fruit. One avocado contains:
- 20% of your recommended daily value (DV) of Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Pantothenic Acid
- Over 9 grams of fiber (37% of DV)
- 30% of the DV of Folate (sometimes called Folic Acid)
- 36% of the DV of Vitamin K
- Less than a half a gram of sugar
- While it contains 21 grams of fat, 63% is monounsaturated. And remember, fat from real food will not make you fat!
Impressive list right?
The thing about real foods is that they all contain what we nutritionists call co-factors. Co-factors are those nutrients needed to properly digest and utilize food for fuel. For example, we need B vitamins to properly process carbohydrates into energy, which means that B vitamins are a “co-factor” for carbohydrate digestion.
Real food contains these co-factors naturally in the forms our bodies easily assimilate and absorb. It doesn’t always work this way with processed food. Food manufacturers will “fortify” foods like bread, cereal, and pasta with vitamins and minerals so the nutritional panel will look good. However, they use cheap forms of these vitamins and minerals. and these very forms need to be converted in our bodies to their usable or absorbable forms. Quite a large number of people don’t produce the enzymes needed in sufficient quantities, to make these conversions. Whereas with real food, the work is already done for your body. Another win for real food!
Let’s talk about the fat. We’re taught fat causes all kinds of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Fat also contributes to weight gain right? No it doesn’t!! Remember my mantra above – fat from real food will not make you fat. Sometimes I wish we could change the name of the macronutrient called “fat.” It’s a horrible name and it’s been much maligned. Fat gets its name because when broken down in the body it becomes a substance called fatty acids which your body can use for energy.
Fat is a wonderful macronutrient because it is extremely satiating. Satiety is the physiological and psychological experience of “fullness” that comes after eating and/or drinking. Satiation leaves you more satisfied with your food resulting in reduced hunger. Therefore, people who eat more healthy fat from real food in their diet usually consume fewer calories in the long run. Remember how I said that your body can use these fatty acids for energy. Think of the energy from fat like a slow burning log on a fire. It lasts a long time. While the energy from carbohydrates is more like kindling – just a spark and then “poof,” it’s gone. Have you ever eaten a high carb breakfast such as pancakes where a few hours later you can feel as though you can barely keep your eyes open while your stomach is growling? The aforementioned spark has gone and what you’ve just experienced is a carb crash.
Can avocados ever be unhealthy or fattening? Well, yes, if you eat 10 of them in one sitting! At some point, calories do matter – meaning that if you eat too many, you could gain weight. Eating a heaping bowl of guacamole with a bag of GMO corn chips doesn’t help you maintain healthy body composition or overall health. What you accompany your avocados with is also very important. Try some jicama or carrots with your guac instead of the aforementioned GMO corn chips. You’ll get all of the tastiness of guacamole without the empty processed calories.
You can see that avocados are chockfull of important nutrients and are highly satiating. We also know now that they won’t make you ‘fat!’ Hopefully I’ve convinced you to buy a bag of avocados and add them to your diet today. You better believe that the big sacks of organic avocados from Costco are calling your name.
Once you’re fully stocked with this nutritious fruit, check out these recipes for unique ways to utilize and showcase the fabulous avocado. One of the many perks of being a blogger is that you have a bunch of food bloggers as friends and in result, tons of delicious avocado recipes! Try them and let me know how you like them. What’s your favorite way to eat avocados?
Secret Ingredient Guacamole from The Nourishing Home
Smoked Salmon Egg Stuffed Avocados from Grok Grub
Paleo and Healthy Avocado Deviled Eggs from Oh Snap! Let’s Eat
Avocado Hummus from Peace+Love+Low-Carb
Paleo Reina Pepiada from The Curious Coconut
Avocado nutrient data available here-
Fun Avocado Facts –