Eating Green

Avocado is a crown jewel of the healthy eating fad sweeping the country. Once reserved for guacamole, it is now a staple in burgers, smoothies and salads. But avocados are high in fat and, in turn, calories. So what makes them so healthy?

Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, otherwise known as “good” fat when taken in moderation. These fats are staples of the high-fat Mediterranean diet, which confounded nutrition experts in the 1960s who previously believed that all fat was bad. Monounsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is commonly associated with heart disease.

High fat diets have also become popular over the past year with more scrutiny placed on carbohydrates and sugars in negatively affecting health. This has been amplified by preliminary studies showing the ability for a high fat diet to induce remission in cancer patients.

Despite its health claims, avocados are still primarily made up of fat and an increase in their consumption will also increase the number of calories you consume. Instead of adding avocado to things you already eat, try replacing it with foods on your plate. Use avocado instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich or learn that an avocado works incredibly well as a substitute for extra ice cream in your milkshake.