Substituting Avocados for Other Fats May Improve Heart Health
The avocado has come a long way from just game day guacamole (though there’s nothing wrong with that!). From avocado roses and toasts to pestos and puddings, avocados have found their place in entrees, desserts and snacks. Though higher in calories than most fruits (a serving, which is 30 grams or one-fifth of an avocado, comes in at 50 calories) most of those calories come from monounsaturated fats, the “good” fat that’s linked to heart health. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology adds to the evidence.
Researchers compiled results of ten unique studies that looked at how substituting avocados in place of unhealthy fats affected participants’ health. Overall, swapping in avocados led to drops in total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides—all factors that can lower risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. In fact, these changes were comparable to the effects of some medications (though we don’t advise changing your regimen without consulting your physician).
True, the people in these studies were eating a lot of avocados—anywhere from half an avocado to one and a half avocados every day—but they weren’t just eating more avocado. They were swapping out unhealthy fats and using avocado as a replacement. Try these simple swaps to potentially reap the benefits:
Avocado-based guacamole is sure to have a spot on your football party spread but there are plenty of ways to add avocado to your football-themed feast. Spicy Sweet Potato and Banana Chili in Tortilla Bowls topped with diced avocado is perfect for the occasion.
- Use avocado on sandwiches and in tuna salad in place of mayonnaise.
- Mix avocado into salads instead of creamy dressings.
- Spread avocado on whole wheat bagels in place of cream cheese.
- Incorporate avocado into baked goods instead of using butter.
- Add avocado to smoothies instead of using milk.
BONUS: Here are some other tasty ideas for Nutritious Game Day Eats!
Published January 1, 2017