Avocados, smooth creamy and bright flavor make it’s a popular treat. But many people, maybe including you may choose to avoid it because they’re too fattening and that they raise your blood cholesterol. Let me take a moment to clear up this confusion.
Yes, avocados are high in calories about 110-180 per half, and fat 10-15 grams per half. But just like olive oil, avocados are mostly monounsaturated fat, which does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Avocados can be part of a healthy diet, especially when it takes the place of saturated fat rich foods like butter, sour cream or cheese. In a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, avocados may actually help reduce cholesterol. Additional studies done in the 1990’s found that avocados lowered LDL (the bad cholesterol).
With all the science behind us, it is clear that avocados can be an important and delicious part of your diet. I, of course, love making guacamole, but I like adding it to salads, sandwiches, and eggs . . . really anything! I also prefer the Hass avocado (smaller, purple-black, pebbly skin) over the Florida kind (smooth skin, more watery). But the Florida avocados are actually lower in calories and fat than their Hass counterpart. I have also found that the easiest way to peel or get the flesh out is to . . . cut in half length wise, remove pit, and then get a small eating spoon and run the spoon in between the fruit and the peel. You can pull the entire half out in one smooth and easy motion.
One last piece of information about the avocado. It was actually cultivated in Mexico about 2,500 years ago. It first came to the U.S. in the 19th century. Today (pending the drought) California is the leading avocado, producer.
Don’t be afraid to add avocado to your diet. It has many benefits plus it is delicious.