Have an Avocado
Fat is often associated with bad-for-you foods that can quickly sabotage any diet. Most dieters still flock to no-fat diets, opting to eat fat-free or reduced fat items. In fact, International Food Information Council data show that 67% of us try to eat as little fat as possible. However, if you're part of that 67%, it's time to make a change!
Fat provides a highly-concentrated form of energy. One gram of fat gives you nine calories of energy, which is over twice that provided by carbohydrates or protein.
Avocados not only are a great tasting anytime snack, they also avocados contain monounsaturated "good" fats and phytosterols. In addition, they can help Americans meet the dietary goals of the American Heart Association. In addition, According to their Dietary Guidelines, when monounsaturated fats are eaten in moderation and used in place of saturated or trans fats they can have a beneficial effect by helping to reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood.
Plant sterols or phytosterols, are a group of compounds or phytochemicals found in plants. In the 1950's, phytosterols were found to have cholesterol-lowering properties. Plant sterols have a molecular structure similar to cholesterol. This allows them, to compete with dietary cholesterol for absorption in the intestines. The three most commonly occurring phytosterols are sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol.
Avocados contain significant amounts of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat that helps boost "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, HDL) and lower the "bad" kind, low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Avocados are also rich in fiber and a plant chemical called beta-sitosterol, both of which help keep cholesterol in check.
Avocados are also very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce serving:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA
- Folate: 20% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
- Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters.
We also need to be able to absorb them… move them from the digestive tract and into the body, where they can be used. Some nutrients are "fat soluble," meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized.
This includes vitamins A, D, E and K… along with antioxidants like carotenoids.
Adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can significantly increase antioxidant absorption. Not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.
Select and Store
A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it was probably tree ripened and will have better flavor. A firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home and will be less likely to have bruises. The average California Hass avocado weighs between 165-170 grams (about 6 ounces) and has a pebbled dark green or black skin, while the Fuerte avocado has smoother, brighter green skin. Florida avocados, which can be as large as 3 pounds, have less fat and calories, but their taste is not as rich as California varieties.
A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air. Also, for many other great products made with Avocado oils, go to www.BellaVado.com.
There are many options for helping lower your cholesterol. Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce a cholesterol level. However, dietary changes alone rarely lower a cholesterol level enough to change a person's risk of cardiovascular disease from a high-risk category to a lower-risk category. However, any extra reduction in cholesterol due to diet will help.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that includes many important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It's a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the "bad" cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the "good" cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body. You're supporting healthy cholesterol with 100% natural approach!