Most people are shocked to learn the avocado, also known as alligator pear, actually belongs to the fruit family. Avocados are indeed an amazing superfood for many reasons, and research continually provides us with more and more avocado benefits every year. However, years of being scared away from fat-containing foods have caused many people and healthcare practitioners to overlook avocado benefits. In fact, many healthcare professionals tell their weight-loss clients to stay away from avocados. Today — thanks mostly to on-going research concerning the risks of low-fat diet — we understand that avocados offer important, healthy fats in addition to much-needed antioxidants, multiple trace minerals, and vitamins.
Avocado Benefits – The Scoop about Avocado
Here’s the scoop about avocados: The avocado is genuinely an amazing superfood to add to your daily diet. In fact, there are few, if any other, other superfoods that are chalked-full of essential nutrients. One medium-sized avocado has about 215 total calories. Yes, that’s a boat-load of calories. However, because of the healthy fat, fiber, and phytochemical content, this superfood should help you lose weight, not gain weight.
Even though the recommended minimal serving size is about one-fifth of the whole avocado (approx 30 grams), certain studies suggest that most people consume about one-half an avocado at one time (68 grams). According to the USDA, this serving size provides you with approximately:
- 113 calories
- 4.6 g dietary fiber
- 10 grams fat
- 6 grams carbohydrates
- only 0.2 gram total sugar
- 14 milligrams vitamin K (19 percent DV)
- 60 milligrams folate (15 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams vitamin C (12 percent DV)
- 343 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams pantothenic acid (10 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligram vitamin B6 (9 percent DV)
- 1.3 milligrams vitamin E (7 percent DV)
- 19.5 milligrams magnesium (6 percent DV)
Avocado Oil Fraud – Be Aware
A new 2020 report in the journal Food Control (R)(R) finds that avocado oil purity and quality sold in the U.S.A. is suspicious at best and that standards used to protect buyers and authentic producers are drastically necessary.
A large portion of commercially available avocado oils labeled as “extra virgin” and “refined” is actually adulterated and of poor quality. In fact, 82% were found to be rancid before reaching their stated expiration date. Also, contamination with soybean oil at levels of almost 100% was confirmed in two “extra virgin” and one “refined” sample.
Selina Wang, the co-author of the study, reminds consumers that even high-quality avocado oil can turn rancid over time, which can be detected from its stale odor.
A 2018 Australian study (R) evaluated the correlation between various oils’ smoke points and other chemical characteristics linked to safety.
The scale is of the fraud is horrific. In U.K. and Europe, a supermarket tests every product before it goes on the shelf. This is not the case in the U.S. where price is key to a listing decision.- Gary Hannam, CEO of Olivado
The study found that “smoke point does not predict oil performance when heated.” Avocado oil was one of 10 cooking oils investigated. Paradoxically, they discovered that oils with higher smoke points, such as avocado oil, actually tended to produce higher levels of harmful compounds during heating — including trans fats.
Because of this study, I do not recommend avocado oil for cooking. Avocado oil is best used cold. The best alternatives for cooking with high heat, baking, and frying include lard, grass-fed butter, and organic ghee. Coconut oil is most likely a healthier alternative since it’s known to be quite stable at high-temperature cooking/baking. The Australian study seems supportive of this.
Avocado Benefits for Your Health
- oral cancer defense
- lowered risk for metabolic syndrome
- prostate cancer prevention
- use nick-n-peel method when peeling avocados
- rich source of potassium
- anti-aging properties
- cleanses intestines
- better hormone balance
- helps with bad breath
- nourishes skin
- regulates blood sugar levels
- provides natural fats
- rich in fiber
- rich in folate & glutathione
- high in Vitamin E
- increases nutrient absorption
- lowers the risk of stroke
- high in beta-sitosterol
- may lessen macular degeneration & cataracts
- high in omega-3 fatty acids
- alpha-linolenic acid
- may help prevent osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis
- reduces levels of bad cholesterol
Suggested Ways to Use Avocado
- Fat replacement in baking.
- Great topping for soups, salads or vegetable broth and bone broth.
- Use in the food processor for dessert whips, puddings, smoothies, and other recipes.
- Mash or whip for baby food instead of processed grocery-store baby food.
- Homemade guacamole and salad dressings.
- Use non-toxic skincare products with avocado for anti-aging benefits.
- Peel and eat with a little Himalayan salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar dressing
Creamy Avocado Breakfast Juice Recipe
Yield: 4 cups
1 long English cucumber
2 stalks celery
1 lemon peeled
2 thumbs of fresh ginger
1 firm green pear
10-12 fresh spinach leaves
1/2 crown broccoli
1 ripe avocado
3 drops liquid stevia (optional)
Freshly juice cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, and pear. Pour this juice in a high-speed blender with the spinach, broccoli, and avocado. Blend until creamy and smooth.