Here Are The Health Benefits of Avocado – Direct From The California Avocado Commission
We recently had a chance to speak with Jan DeLyser from the California Avocado Commission. Recently, much has been said about the Keto diet and needing good fats. Keto requires you to take in larger amounts of fats and restrict your carbohydrate intake, considerably. The avocado is a huge part of the keto diet whether in it’s natural form or if you decide to use avocado oil in your salads and meals.
It seems that the more we delve into this miracle fruit- and yes, avocado is a fruit- we love it even more. The avocado is very versatile, it’s chock full of vitamins and minerals and it contains healthy fats that are vital to our diet – Keto or otherwise.
Here are the questions we asked:
- The Keto Diet has exploded- (similar to Atkins)- Could you explain some of the health benefits of the amazing avocado and how it can benefit those that need to find healthy fats?
Answer: Avocados fit in a wide variety of popular diets including Keto, Atkins and other low-carb diets, the Mediterranean Diet, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan. Here are some highlights of avocado nutrition information:
- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommend eating less nutrient-poor foods, and limiting the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars and sodium consumed.Avocados are a naturally sugar-free and sodium-free fruit and are a source of “good” fats (over 75 percent of the fat in avocado is unsaturated).
- California Avocados are a heart-healthy superfood and provide “good” fats to one’s diet.
- One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice.
- California Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E.
- What varieties of Avocado do the growers in California grow?
Answer: The Hass avocado variety represents the bulk of U.S. avocado sales year-round. Did you know that the Hass avocado is a California native? Rudolph Hass discovered the “Mother Hass” tree in La Habra Heights, California in the mid-1920’s. Today it is the main variety grown in California. There also are hundreds of other varieties grown in California but most are not produced commercially. A few other varieties do make it to retail stores and farmers markets, including Reeds, GEMs and the Lamb Hass variety, generally harvested in the later part of the season in California.
- Is there a best way to prepare an avocado that you think could be an easy entry into avocadoes for those that might not be familiar with how to eat one?
Answer: It used to be that guacamole was the entry dish for avocados, but nowadays dishes like avocado toast are very popular and even easier to prepare. Avocado toast can be made thousands of different ways, but all that’s needed is a slice of your favorite toasted bread, some mashed or sliced avocado and perhaps a sprinkle of salt. Ever try a California burger, California Roll or California Caesar salad? Usually if it says “California” in the name of the dish there’s avocado in it. For people who are not familiar with how to eat an avocado, it can be as simple as adding some slices, cubes or mashed avocado to a favorite salad or sandwich and enjoy!
- Uh Oh, my avocado has some brown spots- it isn’t rotten, but it looks bad. Is it safe to eat?
Answer: Generally, the California Avocado Commission recommends cutting out any brown spots for optimal appearance and flavor.
- How do I choose the perfect avocado at the store. Do you squeeze it? Throw it in the air? Bite it? 😊
Answer: Ripe avocados yield to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Don’t poke avocados or squeeze them hard as this can cause bruising. If the avocados in store are firm you can let them ripen on your kitchen counter at home. To accelerate ripening place in a paper bag with an apple or kiwifruit. Once avocados are ripe you can slow down further ripening by placing in the refrigerator. Check out this video::
- I heard avocados have good fat and omegas? What are these and how can they benefit my health?
Answer: Fresh California Avocados are a heart-healthy fruit. They provide naturally good fats, are low in saturated fat, and are cholesterol-, sodium- and trans fat-free.
Also, consuming foods rich in fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. One serving of avocado contains 11% of the DV for fiber.
Contrary to some beliefs, avocados are not a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Where can our readers find California Avocados?
Most of this season’s California avocado crop will be harvested by the end of August with some light volume available into September. California avocado season varies every year based on crop size, weather and market conditions. Your readers can use our store locator to check for availability near them.