(Family Features) For those seeking to be more health-conscious, the idea of eating nutritiously seems simple. However, understanding what’s truly “good for you” can sometimes be confusing.
In honor of National Nutrition Month and Healthy Fats Day in March, Avocados From Mexico is sharing how avocados – a super good food and source of good fats and several vitamins – make everything better. Avocados From Mexico conducted a survey and found that while 76% of respondents believe fat is an essential component of a healthy diet, less than one-third are confident they know why it’s important to have “good fats” in their diets.
For starters, according to the survey, nearly half of Americans didn’t realize foods with good fats, like avocados, can help with weight management. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados can lower the risk of becoming overweight, according to research published in “Nutrients.”
“Most people are aware of the Mediterranean Diet, but nearly half (40%) of survey respondents didn’t realize that this eating pattern does not limit fat coming from plantsources like avocados,” said nutrition expert and registered dietitianBarbara Ruhs. “These types of unsaturated good fats are also recommended by the American Heart Association for heart health. Eating avocados in place of foods containing saturated fat is an easy and delicious way to approach healthy eating.”
Virtually the only fresh fruit with good fats, avocados can help people meet both good fat and fruit and vegetable recommendations in the same bite with approximately 6 grams of good fats per serving (one-third of a medium avocado). They are nutrient-dense, making avocados a superfood with super benefits. Avocados are also free of cholesterol and sodium and have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
Another finding from the survey is that while people believe fat is essential to a healthy diet, one-third of survey respondents believe saturated and trans fats are associated with health benefits, indicating confusion about the various types of fats. Many Americans need to balance their overall fat intake by reducing “bad” or saturated fat intake and increasing “good” or unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fat intake. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help reduce 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 fats. Per one-third of a medium avocado (50 grams), avocados contribute 6 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 trip to the grocery store with this avocado-inspired Harvest Bowl Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette certified by the American Heart Association.
To find more nutritional facts and figures, along with recipes featuring the superfood, visit AvocadosFromMexico.com.
Harvest Bowl Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 Avocado From Mexico, diced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 Avocados From Mexico, diced
- 2 sweet potatoes, roasted and diced
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups kale
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts petals, roasted
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, diced
- 2 tablespoons roasted pecans, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons roasted pepitas, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- To make balsamic vinaigrette: In food processor, process avocado, avocado oil, shallots, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey and water to smooth consistency. Set aside.
- To make salad: In large bowl, combine avocados, sweet potatoes, quinoa, arugula, kale, Brussels sprouts petals, apples, pecans, pepitas and dried cranberries. Pour balsamic vinaigrette over salad mixture.
- Toss salad to coat. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Nutritional information per serving: 390 calories; 16 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g cholesterol; 370 mg sodium; 55 g total carbohydrates; 11 g dietary fiber; 12 g sugar; 15 g protein.