Why Avocados Are a Healthy — and Delicious — Addition to Your Diet
Avocados are jam-packed with nutrients and vitamins and can make a delicious, nutritious addition to your diet.
Millennials get flak for being the avocado toast generation. But they’re definitely on to something. Avocados are as nutritious as they are delicious and they come with some great health benefits.
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Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, says, “Avocados are a great addition to a healthy diet.” Jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, here are some good reasons to give these wrinkly green fruits a second look and add them to your regular rotation.
There are hundreds of avocado varieties, ranging from big to small, wrinkly to smooth. What they have in common: a big round pit, creamy green flesh and a whole lot of nutrients crammed into a handy pear-shaped package.
Whether you’re adding a slice to a salad or sandwich or using them as an ingredient in a more complicated recipe, avocados have a lot going for them, health-wise, Zumpano says. Here are some of the many nutrients and vitamins packed into just a single avocado.
A perfectly ripe avocado is slightly firm but not rock-hard. Can’t wait to eat it, but it’s not ripe? Store it in a paper bag on the counter until it gives a little when you squeeze it. Once it’s ripe, you can store it in the fridge for a day or two to keep it from going soft too quickly. (Or just dive right in, since a ripe-but-not-too-ripe avocado is a time-limited treasure.)
But don’t go overboard. Avocados are packed with nutrients, but they’re not exactly low in calories. A 50-gram portion — about a third of a medium-sized avocado — has about 75 calories. An entire large avocado can add upward of 400 calories to your daily diet.
Like most things, says Zumpano, moderation is key. “As long as you’re paying attention to portion sizes, avocados are great foods to include in your diet,” she says.
The avocado is an all-ages treat, says Zumpano. Lots of babies love it mashed with banana. For an older palate, there are almost endless ways to use it. Some ideas to get you started:
You can also use the smooth, creamy fruit to replace the less-healthy fats in your diet, Zumpano says. Here are some additional ways you can add avocado to your diet.
“If you use avocado to replace other fats, you can enjoy the flavor and nutrients and also cut down on saturated fats,” she says.