The health benefits of avocado
Whether it’s used in a salad or mashed into a tasty guacamole dish, avocados offer many health benefits.
Hass avocados, the most common commercial avocado, contain a variety of essential nutrients. Avocados are nutrient-dense foods, meaning they contain a large amount of nutrients compared to the amount of calories per serving. Studies have found that an avocado a day helps maintain good cholesterol and offer benefits for those with type 2 diabetes, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One avocado contains 322 calories and 29 grams of fat, but most of these fat grams come from heart-healthy fats. It has 750 milligrams of potassium and 10 grams of fiber.
“Avocado is a good pick for so many reasons,” says Dotty Berzy, a nutritionist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “You are supposed to have 30 to 35 grams of fiber a day, so an avocado gets you a third of the way.”
Berzy recommends that instead of putting butter or margarine on toast, think about spreading some avocado.
“Everyone loves a little guacamole in their diet,” she says. “It is nutritious with a great taste.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers these facts about avocados:
- They are a great source of monounsaturated fat, which helps support healthy cholesterol levels.
- Avocados are fruits, not vegetables.
- Avocados contain no cholesterol.
- Avocados provide our bodies with almost 20 vitamins that keep us healthy.
- In order to properly cut an avocado, you should follow these steps:
- Wash the fruit
- Cut it length-wise
- Twist the two halves
- Pull apart and scoop the seed out with a spoon
- A single avocado tree may produce up to 400 avocados in one year.
- Avocados grow best in tropical or subtropical climates.
- Avocados do not ripen until they have fallen off the tree or have been picked.
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