(Family Features) For those who want to be more health conscious, the idea of eating nutritiously seems simple. However, it can sometimes be confusing to understand what really is “good for you”.
In celebration of National Nutrition Month and Healthy Fats Day in March, Avocados From Mexico shares how avocados—a super good food and a source of good fats and multiple vitamins—make everything better. Avocados From Mexico conducted a survey and found that while 76% of respondents believe fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, less than a third believe they know why it’s important to eat “good fats ‘ to have in their diet.
For starters, according to the survey, nearly half of Americans didn’t know that foods high in good fats, like avocados, can help with weight management. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in avocados may lower the risk of obesity, according to a study published in Nutrients.
“Most people are familiar with the Mediterranean diet, but nearly half (40%) of survey participants were unaware that this dietary pattern does not restrict fat from plant sources like avocados,” said nutrition expert and board-certified dietitian Barbara Ruhs. “These types of unsaturated good fats are also recommended for heart health by the American Heart Association. Eating avocados instead of foods that contain saturated fat is an easy and delicious way to approach a healthy diet.”
Avocados are practically the only fresh fruit with good fats, and they can help people meet both good fats and fruit and vegetable recommendations in the same bite, with about 6 grams of good fats per serving (one-third of a medium-sized avocado). They’re nutrient dense, making avocados a superfood with super benefits. Avocados are also cholesterol and sodium free and have almost 20 vitamins and minerals.
Another finding from the survey is that while people believe fat is essential to a healthy diet, a third of survey respondents believe saturated fats and trans fats are associated with health benefits, indicating confusion about the different types of fats . Many Americans need to balance their total fat intake by reducing their intake of “bad” or saturated fats and increasing their intake of “good” or unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels.
Dietary fat helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed by the body with the help of fat. Avocados provide 6 grams per third of a medium-sized avocado (50 grams) of unsaturated fats, which are known to be essential for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.
Make good fats a part of your next grocery shopping trip with this avocado-inspired Harvest Bowl salad with balsamic vinaigrette, certified by the American Heart Association.
You can find more nutritional values and numbers as well as recipes with the superfood at AvocadosFromMexico.com.
Harvest Bowl Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 Mexican avocado, diced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 avocados from Mexico, diced
- 2 sweet potatoes, roasted and diced
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups of kale
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts leaves, toasted
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, diced
- 2 tablespoons toasted pecans, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons roasted pepitas, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette: In a food processor, process the avocado, avocado oil, shallots, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey and water until smooth. Put aside.
- Prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine avocados, sweet potatoes, quinoa, arugula, kale, Brussels sprouts leaves, apples, pecans, pepitas, and dried cranberries. Pour the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad mix.
- Give salad to cover. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Nutritional information per serving: 390 calories; 16 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 grams of cholesterol; 370 mg sodium; 55 g total carbohydrates; 11 g fiber; 12 grams of sugar; 15g protein.