There is much talk in the diet, nutrition and fitness worlds about good fats and bad fats. Monounsaturated and and polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats, while tran-fats and saturated fats are considered bad fats. This has much to do with good cholesterol which is known as one’s HDL, versus bad cholesterol, or LDL, which is primarily affected by the “bad” fats.
According to the American Heart Association, “Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats appear to not raise LDL cholesterol; some studies suggest they might even help lower LDL cholesterol slightly when eaten as part of a low-saturated and trans-fat diet.”
But did you actually know that some fats are actually considered fruits? Let's take the avocado, for example. This fabulous versatile food is packed with monounsaturated fat, an excellent source of good calories and energy. Adding a quarter of an avocado to a meal adds flavors and nutrients and contains only 57 calories, 1 gram of protein, 2.25 grams of fiber and 5.5 grams of mostly “good” fat.
In fact according to Avocado.org, “ Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a 'nutrient booster' by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.”
The fruit touts 13 of the body’s essential vitamins. The organization providing statistics on avocados said they are rich in, “A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate).”
Here are some of my personal recipes and favorite ways to enjoy avocados:
3 ripe avocados
1 small can green chilis
1 Roma tomato, seeded & finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
½ small onion, chopped
Juice of one lime
Remove pit and peel from avocados, and prepare tomato. Put onions, tomato, garlic, lime juice and chilis in processor to mix. Place onion mixture and avocados into a small mixing bowl and mix with a fork until desired consistency is reached. I like mine with some chunks of avocado left for some texture.
LIME AVOCADO SALAD DRESSING
• ½ of avocado
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• ¼ cup of Greek or plain yogurt
• salt and pepper to taste
AVOCADO CHICKEN WRAPS
• 6 oz. of cooked chicken breast, sliced
• ¼ of avocado, sliced
• 2 tbsp. of Greek yogurt
• 1 small whole-wheat tortilla
Mix chicken and avocado with yogurt. Place in tortilla and fold up. Serve with small side salad and balsamic vinegar.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Alison Stanton