If you know me at all, you'll know how obsessed I am with these little green packages of joy.
I eat them every single day - and I know i'm not the only one.
So whats all the fuss about?
Aren't they high in fat?
Doesn't fat make you fat?
YES they are high in fat - which happens to be a way higher source of energy than carbohydrates or protein - more than double! In fact, the reason I love avocados so much is because they are such a beautiful source of fat. The highest being the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. Monounsaturated fats have been heavily researched and shown to decrease breast cancer risk, reduce LDL cholesterol, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis, and to bust the weight gain myth - actually aid in weight loss and reduce belly fat. Avocado consumption has been associated with a lower body weight, lower BMI, and smaller waist circumference. The odds for developing metabolic syndrome was 50% lower in those consuming avocados compared to those who did not.
So to answer your question - NO, avocados can actually help you LOSE fat - while at the same time giving your body multiple other health benefits.
Having said that, anything in excess will throw you out of balance, but incorporating 1/2 - 1 avocado a day is enough to get the benefits without taking it over board.
Now that we've busted the "fat makes you fat" myth, here's a few other reasons I love these little green powerhouses.
1. BLOOD SUGAR
Avocados are actually a fruit - and all fruits contain sugar - avocados being the lowest with around 1g per fruit. Because of their low sugar content, high fat content, and high fibre content, they are extremely useful in blood sugar regulation. They ensure a steady release of energy rather than spiking your blood sugar and crashing later - making them an ideal food for diabetics, those with metabolic syndrome, CVD, and anyone trying to prevent the development of these imbalances.
When we consume fats, a hormone called cholecystokinin ( CCK ) gets released from cells in our small intestine. This hormone triggers the process of fat digestion to begin - as well as acts as a hunger suppressant - sending a signal to your brain that tells it your satisfied. Avocados also contain over 10 grams of both soluble and insoluble fibre - helping you feel full and aid in weight management.
Avocados contain compounds called phytosterols or plant sterols that have a special relationship with hormones in the body, especially estrogen and progesterone - two hormones responsible for regulating ovulation and menstruation in females. These sterols have been shown to block estrogen absorption and promote progesterone production in women. Most women of todays society are estrogen dominant and progesterone deficient. Estrogen dominance has been shown to be linked to specific cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and breasts.
MINERALS - Avocados contain double the amount of potassium as a banana! Potassium is also an electrolyte - helping with muscle contraction, heart health, blood pressure management, and hydration.
VITAMINS - You can't look at that green colour and not think these babies aren't packed with vitamins! Along with bringing in your fat soluble vitamins (A,E,K) the fats that avocados contain actually aids their absorption - AND the absorption of these vitamins in any other foods in that meal. Think skin, hair, nails, and eye health! They also contain high levels of Folate (B9) - which is essential in pregnancy for fetal development and especially important to obtain BEFORE getting pregnant!
PHYTONUTRIENTS - Along with the phytosterols discussed earlier, avocados also contain a wide range of carotenoids (types of antioxidants) such as chrysanthamaxanthin, neoxanthin, transneoxanthin, neochrome, and several forms of lutein. If you're looking for the highest concentration of these - don't leave behind the dark green flesh closest to the peel! And please, don't eat the pit..
Because of their high soluble and insoluble fibre content, avocados help promote regular bowel movements and aid in cleansing the digestive system. The soluble fibre binds to excess cholesterol, estrogens, and toxins to be removed via the colon. This fibre also offers something called PREBIOTICS - food for your good bacteria (PROBIOTICS) to thrive!
BRING IT TO THE TABLE..
- Spread on toast.. Every morning for the rest of your life
- Mix with salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin for an easy guacamole
- Avocado chocolate mousse.. Recipe coming soon!
- Cut in half.. sprinkle salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast and dip your favourite crackers for the perfect afternoon snack