Superfood Series: Avocado

Imagine a food that contains 20 nutrients per 1 ounce serving, is good for your heart and has a smooth, creamy mouth feel. It is natural, wholesome and a great addition (in moderation) to any healthful diet. It is avocado!

You have probably heard of the phrases “good fats” and “bad fats” be thrown around during a nutritional conversation among friends. Just to make sure we are all on the same page, bad fats are saturated fats and trans fats, which are found in animal products and some processed foods. Bad fats should be limited to less than 7% of our daily food consumption, while good fats should consist of 20% of our diets.

Good fats are monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are naturally occurring in plant products and fish. Avocados are one source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower your bad cholesterol.

In addition to good fats, avocadoes are rich in potassium and magnesium, which help regulate your blood pressure. Also, avocados contain folate, a vitamin that helps reduce inflammation in your arteries.

The two most common types of avocadoes found in the United States are the Hass avocado and the West Indian avocado1. The Hass avocado has a dark green shell and is rich in “good fats.” The West Indian avocado has a bright green shell and consists of significantly less “good fats” than the Hass avocado.

Avocadoes can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a dip for raw vegetables or a supplement to any salad. However, remember the appropriate portion size is 1 ounce or 1/5 of a medium avocado. Maintain portion control, and eat on towards a healthy heart with avocado!

By Laura Oliver, MS, RD

1“Avocadoes- Overview.” Super Foods Rx. 2006-2012. SuperFoods Partners LLC. <>

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