The wonders of the mighty avocado!

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You may be aware that both Stuart and I are very supportive of including fats in the diet. Dietary fats, as any dietician would agree, are vital to health because they carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, provide other essential nutrients, keep skin and hair healthy, are a part of every cell membrane, and are key to the myelin sheaths around nerves. As such a fat free diet is not recommended. In 2014 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (US) suggested that 20-35% of calories should come from fat, although higher fat diets combined with low carbohydrate intake have been shown to be very effective for sustained weight loss and energy levels.

Controversy exists as to whether saturated fats are indeed as bad for health as previously thought, but to stay on the safe side you might want to focus on consuming mostly unsaturated fats. Good examples are:-

Nuts and seeds

Oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines

Avocados

Olive oil

Eggs contain some saturated fat but more unsaturated fat

Avocados, the only fruit to contain monounsaturated fat, provide more than 25 essential nutrients including fibre, vitamins B, C, K and E, and folic acid. Per gram an avocado provides more potassium than a banana. They are also loaded with helpful phytochemicals, such as lutein, which may help prevent many chronic diseases. They help to increase levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) and lower LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol).

A 100g serving provides around 160 calories, 2 g of protein, and 15 g of mainly monounsaturated fats. It does contain 9g carbs, but 7 of those are fibre, making it a good low carb food.

Personally I love avocados, and have half of one most days during the summer. Use as part of smoothies to up the good fat and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Lisa 🙂

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