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Why Avocados Are A Staple In My Kitchen

Posted Aug 29 2012 1:11am

I might openly gasp if you tell me you don't like avocados or aguacate. Growing up, my mom used to put a nice thick slice on our plate to eat with our dinner. I never knew back then how good it was for me, I just knew it tasted really good. Flash forward to today, and avocados are still a staple in my kitchen. I try to incorporate it during most meals, and I even make a great mask for my hair out of any leftovers.

So what is all the fuss about "good" vs "bad" fats? Some things are obviously not good for you (hint: deep fried Twinkies), but some other choices might not be so clear. What do you then? Here's what not to do. Don't attempt to cut all fat from your diet in order to lose weight. That's just setting yourself up for binging and failure. Plus, we all need a little fat in our lives. It's part of a balanced diet, and fat is also the most concentrated source of calories that provide us with the energy to get through the day. Where we get in trouble, is how much we ingest everyday since all fats are not created equally. Some general guidelines to use when figuring out how much fat should be in your daily diet, depends on your activity level, sex, pre-existing medical conditions and total daily calorie intake. The American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee recommends limiting your total fat intake to less than 25-35 percent of your daily calories. They also advise that you should limit your saturated fats consumption to less than 7 percent, and trans fats to less that 1 percent of your daily calories.

Need another reason why "bad" fats are so bad for you? Saturated and trans fats raise your cholesterol, clog your arteries and increase your risk for developing heart disease and diabetes. Here are some examples of things we probably love to eat - but should be mindful to limit going forward.

Bad Fats:

  • Fatty meat.
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Cookies/Cakes/Doughnuts
  • Fries (le sigh!!!)
Good fats are the unsaturated ones, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These help to lower your cholesterol and risk for heart disease. You may have even heard of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are polyunsaturated and found in "fatty" fish like salmon and catfish. It's always best to eat these too in moderation, and substitute them for bad fats whenever possible.

Good Fats:
  • **Avocados**
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Salmon/Catfish
  • Flaxseeds

While you may have shyed away from avocados in the past thinking they were fattening, they're actually so good for you! Here are some other things you may not know about avocados.
  • Avocados are a fruit, and not a vegetable.
  • Half of a medium sized avocado has about 160 calories and 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.
  • Have the highest protein content of any fruit.
  • Contain more potassium than bananas.
The easiest way I make sure I'm having a nutritious breakfast when I'm running around early in the morning, is by juicing or making shakes and smoothies. I tweeked a recipe I saw online so that it tastes better (at least to me), and is of course, easy to make.

Helen's Healthy Aguacate Smoothie
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 handful crushed ice
  • 1 cup almond milk or add the contents of 1 Greek yogurt container
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 handful of your favorite berry or pineapple

Blend well until you get a smooth consistency. You should have enough for 2 servings. What recipes do you use avocados for? Let me know in the comments. Visit the Avocados from Mexico site for more ideas and recipes. You can also find recipes in English and Spanish  on their fan pages.

Buen provecho,
xoxo Helen

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Neutrogena. As always, all opinions are my own.

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