13 Jan Cholesterol Police: The Avocado
An article recently published in The Journal of the American Heart Association claims that avocados may really have super powers. All the hype about Superfoods is spot on: avocado’s healthy mono-unsaturated fat and fiber content make it a key ingredient in lowering LDL cholesterol and promoting the “good” HDL kind.
Excerpted from Science Daily*,
“Compared to the baseline average American diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — the so called ‘bad cholesterol’ — was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included an avocado. LDL was also lower on the moderate fat diet without the avocado (8.3 mg/dL lower) and the lower fat diet (7.4 mg/dL lower), though the results were not as striking as the avocado diet.”
Yet, this is not an excuse for guacamole, chips and margaritas (of course, a party on occasion is great in moderation!). Chips add tons of bad fats, such as saturated and trans, and excess calories. If you’re eating guac, pair it with freshly cut vegetables or a baked, low-sodium pita or cracker.
Here are some great ways to load up on this green machine:
Spread half an avocado on a multi-grain toast for breakfast
This combo will energize you throughout the day, and the healthy fat and fiber content will keep you satiated until lunch. Add some egg whites for an extra bit of protein.
Add chopped avocado and chicken to salad at lunch
With black beans and low-starch veggies, these pairings make for a hearty, healthy salad.
Eat the Guac, but with crudité
Be careful of portion sizes! Grab the 100-calorie packs for on-the-go, or portion out a serving for yourself at home or at the office. It’s easy to get carried away when faced with a huge bowl of smooth, rich goodness.
Purée avocado in the blender for a quick treat
Blended, avocado works great for hot or cold soup, perhaps with peas, carrots or beets, or a green smoothie with leafy greens, seeds, or coconut water. The blender takes a couple seconds and is extremely versatile!
Use it in desserts
Adding avocado, or beets, to a chocolate mousse will save calories and add heart-healthy fats as a substitute. For instance, Organic Avenue’s chocolate mousse uses avocado to give a decadent feel with healthier ingredients.
Add a few slices to a bagel & lox
Paired with smoked salmon and a bit of low-fat cream cheese (scallion cream cheese is my favorite!), this makes for a great breakfast option. To save a few calories, swap the bagel for a mini bagel or a multi-grain/wheat English muffin.
*Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150107204818.htm, Jan 7, 2015