Get the Skinny: Health Benefits of Avocado + How to Get More In Your Diet

Avocados are everywhere these days, showing up on Instagram feeds and in restaurants, from cocktails to appetizers to desserts. Fortunately it’s also super-nutritious – today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on health benefits of avocado and how to get more into our diets!

 

Nutrition Facts per ½ Avocado: 160 calories, 15 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams monounsaturated fat, 0 sodium, 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, <1 gram sugar, 2 grams protein

 

KEY HEALTH BENEFITS

  • More Potassium than a Banana: Half an avocado has nearly 500 mg potassium, more than one banana

 

  • Loaded with Fiber: Half an avocado has 7 grams fiber – about 25% of daily recommended intake – and with just 8.5 grams of carbs, nearly all of the carbs are fiber-rich carbs

 

  • Rich in Heart-Smart Fats: Oleic acid is the main source of fat – the same type of monounsaturated fat in olive oil – which can help to improve cholesterol and inflammation

 

  • Eye Health: Rich in lutein & zeaxanthin, antioxidants that reduce risk of cataract & macular degeneration

 

SIMPLE WAYS TO INCORPORATE MORE AVOCADO INTO OUR DIETS

  • Butter or cream ingredient swap (details below)
  • Chocolate avocado pudding (recipe below)
  • Avocado cocktails & mocktails (recipe for Seed’s Cilantro Avocado Mockgarita below)
  • Salads, sandwiches, wraps
  • Top soups & omelets
  • Salsa: tomato – or fruit like mango, pineapple, or peaches, with cilantro, lime juice & sea salt
  • Scoop out with a spoon, drizzle with lime juice or balsamic vinegar
  • Avocado toast
  • Guacamole
  • Smoothies

 

Ingredient swap for butter and cream

Butter and cream have zero fiber 100 calories per ounce of cream; 200 calories per ounce of butter.

For rich creamy sauces with a fraction of the calories, use avocado in place of butter or cream for just 45 calories, with the added bonus of two grams of fiber in every ounce.

In baked goods, use mashed avocado in place of half the amount of butter. If a recipe calls for one cup of butter, for example, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of mashed avocado. The savings:  625 calories and 48 grams of saturated fat per half-cup of butter traded out.

 

##

 

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve Confectioner sweetener

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth.  Start with ¼ cup milk and more as needed.  Refrigerate and serve chilled.

 

Per serving: 160 calories, 15 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 90 mg sodium, 11 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 3 grams protein

 

##

Seed | Avocado-Cilantro Mockgarita

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 5 cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 lime
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 ounce apple juice

Instructions:

Muddle avocado and cilantro in the bottom of a glass.  Squeeze in lemon and lime.  Add ice, orange juice, and apple juice.  Mix well and serve.

 

Per serving: 105 calories, 7.5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 13 mg sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 1 gram protein

 

 

 

###

 

Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD