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The Truth About Avocados

For decades, avocados were known as the “fatty fruit” that people should avoid. However, the more research that was completed, the more people began to realize that avocados are, in fact, good for the body. Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide “good fat”. Most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated fat, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. Also, avocados are a good source of vitamin K, fiber, potassium, folate, and lutein, a carotenoid filled with antioxidant properties.

The table below demonstrates that, although avocados are “fatty”, they are a healthier alternative to the typical spreads used today. Even though they are a “good fat”, they are still high in calories, so remember to enjoy in moderation.

 

  Fresh Avocado Butter, Salted Mayonnaise, with salt
Portion (1-ounce) 2 Tbsp. or 2-3 thin slices 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp
Calories 50 204 109
Total Fat (g) 4.5 23 9.4
Saturated Fat (g) 0.5 14.6 1.4
Cholesterol (mg) 0 61 7
Sodium (mg) 0 164 199

*adapted from whfoods.org

 

The following list contains just a few examples of the many ways to incorporate avocados in your everyday diet.

  • A sandwich spread in place of butter or mayonnaise
  • Sliced on a sandwich, burger, or salad
  • Use as a dip for vegetables (instead of ranch dressing)
  • Blend into a smoothie for a rich, creamy texture
  • Spread on bagel instead of cream cheese
  • Dice up with tomatoes and onion for a nice salsa
  • Blend it up and use as a pasta sauce

** see avocado.org for many recipe ideas **

 

If the avocado is still firm when you buy it, this means it is NOT ripe. Simply place it in a brown paper bag at room temperature. When the avocado is no longer firm and is darker in color, it is ready to enjoy.

 

Resources

  1. Avocados. Available at: http://www.avocado.org/. Accessed August 29, 2011.
  2. The Avocado Advantage. Web MD web site. Available at: http://www. webmd.com/diet/features/avocado-advantage. Accessed August 30, 2011.
  3. Avocados. The Worlds Healthiest Foods web site. Available at: http://www. whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5#nutritionalprofile. Accessed August 30, 2011.

Organic Foods

Additives in Your Food

Wholesome food is a necessity and is integral to a healthy lifestyle; however, many foods being consumed are filled with chemicals and preservatives we know are harmful to an individual’s health. Many additives are used to maintain the look of freshness of the food we purchase, for cosmetic appeal, to increase the shelf life of the food, and to enhance the flavor of the food. The term Food Additive in the USA actually covers over 5000 chemicals added to food products for a variety of reasons including: coloring; flavoring; preserving; thickening; emulsifying; and bleaching. Chemicals are poisonous to our bodies, thereby affecting the chemical systems in our bodies, which in turn create food sensitivities. Chronic symptoms of food sensitivity can result in fatigue, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, cough, insomnia, heartburn, Fibromyalgia, Autism, ADD, and arthritis.

How to Avoid These Harmful Chemicals

Eat Organic. Organic foods are legally regulated by the FDA and grown without the use of additives, preservatives, chemicals, and pesticides.  Unlike conventional food and meat products, organic food is not genetically modified or treated with antibiotics. Above all, to label food as organic producers are required to obtain organic certification.

Where to Buy These Foods

Let attending local farmers’ markets awaken your understanding regarding the importance of local, organic produce and traditional farming in addition to living a healthy lifestyle. Become an avid supporter of farmers’ markets, with reason that the locally grown produce are not grown with the use dangerous chemicals, travel as far distance as larger, industrial farmers’ produce, thus saving fuel expenses and lessening the environmental impact.  Produce is picked at peak maturity, which preserves the nutritional content of the fresh product. Farmers’ markets help cultivators stay in business as well as preserve natural resources.

Be Wise Ranch is local, organic CSA farm in Northern San Diego County www.bewiseranch.com

Local Harvest has nation-wide information regarding grocery stores, CSA, Farmers’ Markets, restaurants, farms, etc… www.localharvest.org

 

 

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