Tuesday Tidbits: Do not fear the avocado

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sure, the avocado is higher in calories than most fruits, but we should know by now that low calorie does not necessarily equal healthy. And, yeah, it has a high fat content, but it’s a monounsaturated fat, the fat we should all be trying to get more of in our diets. We need it – for our hearts, our brain, our joints, and even for healthier hair and skin.

The oleic acid in the monounsaturated fats helps to lower cholesterol and has recently been shown to provide significant protection against breast cancer, oral cancer and prostate cancer.

In addition to their healthy fat content, avocados are also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate and copper. The potassium content of an avocado is higher than that of a medium banana – and potassium helps in regulating blood pressure.

And I found this interesting: Adding just a few slices of avocado to your salad will increase your body’s ability to absorb the healthy carotenoids of the other vegetables. Adding it to salsa increases the body’s lycopene and beta-carotene absorption.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here’s a salad that’s about as healthy as they get – loaded with vitamins A, C and K (more than 100% of the RDA for each), 22 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. (I’m having this for lunch today, but I’m mixing the salsa with a little sour cream because I’m bad and prefer a creamier dressing.)

Mexican Cheese Salad
Makes 2 servings

1 head romaine lettuce
1 15-oz can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium avocado, cubed
1 medium tomato, diced
2 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
lime wedges

Chop lettuce and place on salad plate. Sprinkle beans, avocado and tomato over lettuce. Top with cheddar cheese, your favorite salsa and the juice of lime wedges.

Please share your favorite way to eat avocados. I need ideas!

ETA: I just this minute read that you can make a creamy avocado ranch dressing (I guess this is something you can get at Chili's) by mashing an avocado into ranch dressing. Sounds good to me!


Anonymous said...

creamy avocado ranch dressing sounds interesting!! :-)

Housewife Savant said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo indeed.
If I eat 8 ounces of guac can I call it a salad?

I LOVE it when you give me good excuses to eat what I already enjoy.

I like diced avacodo in a breakfast tortilla with a scrambled egg, cheese and salsa.
Maybe a little bit of chicken --or bacon, cuz I'm bad too.

(I cut it like a pizza and dip the bites into sour cream just to prove my badness.)

Gin said...

I love cutting up avocado and putting it in my salad. Here where I live we always have it in an abundance.

Tammy Howard said...

I LOVE avocados! Love, love, love! Thank you for deciding what's for dinner.

Lanie said...

YUM, YUM, YUMMY! We love our avacados!!!

Small House said...

I have never liked avocados until recently. So this is really good info to know.

Liked your last post on shampoo. I have the same trouble with my hair as you. Age, thyroid and curly hair. I might take you up on your coupon. Thanks for offering it.

Left a comment a minute ago, and then my darn computer went crazy. So if you get two from me...sorry.

Have a great day.

Shelley said...

Love avocados! That salad looks great...and I would mix my salsa with a bit of sour cream (or Fage!) as well.

Brandy said...

I don't care for avocados. Why yes I am strange. Thankyouverymuch.

Rachael said...

oh, i love avocado. one of my favorite foods by a mile! my newest favorite way to eat it is mashed up into my husband's guacamole atop a burger with some red onion, tomato + horseradish cheddar!

Kristin said...

My fellow blogger posted a good guac recipe on our blog today! Hi from SITS! I'm on a diet due to having to wear a bridesmaid dress in 5 days but I might actually be able to eat your recipe in honor of Cinco de Mayo. I've been craving Mexican ALL day!

B said...

I love avocado, so I'm glad your talking it up!

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm not a fan of avocados.

My parents don't understand this because they LOVE them.

It just has a strange taste to me. Sort of like feet, but not quite.

Leslie said...

Super! I now have a good reason to eat avocado!

Liz said...

Sounds yummy!

Miz said...

with my spoon :)

Dawn said...

that salad looks fabulously yummy!!

kristisummer said...

I love avocado, but never buy it.

MaryRC said...

Im a simple girl who loves the avocado! I cut it in half and sprinkle "important" course kosher salt on it. and dig straight in! im the only avocado eater in my fam. i just went through 4 last week. I find I get less headaches when I eat them. I figure its better than reaching for a bag of chips.. hhmmmm maybe I should make an avocado run...

Ree said...

slice it up. drizzle a little balsamic vinaigrette over the top (just a bit).


Simple...and oh so delicious.

Selaen said...

I HATE avocado! Just because of the consistency. It's just.. Bleugh.

I love guacamole though! :) Think I might try the ranch dressing as well..


Oz Girl said...

I love avocados! And that creamy ranch dressing idea at the end sounds great. I make very simple guacamole -- I mash the avocado and add 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced. Yeah, I love my garlic too. :)

Patty said...

Avocado is one of my favorite foods!

When the homegrown tomaotes start coming in, we make tomato sandwiches using mashed avocado instead of mayo sometimes.

I serve slices right beside the eggs or weekends or "butter" the toast with avocado.

Add small dices on top of chili instead of(or with!) cheese.

I am really loving your blog!