In case you need an extra reason to pay extra for that guacamole at Chipotle, we’ve got good news. Avocados have amazing health benefits! According to information published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day can help lower cholesterol.
Research was conducted regarding what happened when saturated fatty acids found in a typical American diet were replaced by the unsaturated fatty acids in avocados, according to Science Daily. The study’s senior author Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., explains:
This was a controlled feeding study, but that is not the real-world — so it is a proof-of-concept investigation. We need to focus on getting people to eat a heart-healthy diet that includes avocados and other nutrient-rich food sources of better fats.
As far as where to find those healthier fats, guacamole may not always be the answer. She points out that people often eat guac with corn chips, which contain a lot of sodium. She offers alternative ideas:
In the United States avocados are not a mainstream food yet, and they can be expensive, especially at certain times of the year. Also, most people do not really know how to incorporate them in their diet except for making guacamole. But guacamole is typically eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and sodium. Avocados, however, can also be eaten with salads, vegetables, sandwiches, lean protein foods (like chicken or fish) or even whole.
For even more avocado inspiration, check out Greatist’s list of 39 Deliciously Unexpected Healthy Avocado Recipes. Here are a few highlights:
- Avocado and egg breakfast pizza — Yum! A perfect way to start the day.
- Avocado watermelon salad — Refreshing and nutritious
- Stovetop avocado mac & cheese — It tastes as great as it sounds.
- Fudgy avocado brownies with avocado frosting — Who knew avocados could double as dessert?
For more about nutrition and healthy eating, check out the “Are You Being Snacked to Death?” and “Sugar Shocker” stories from Choices! Choices is a teen health, well-being, and life skills magazine published by Scholastic.