Originally posted on lorisreadingcorner.com
Wouldn’t it be nice if money literally did grow on trees? Can you imagine picking twenty dollar bills from the trees in your backyard? That would be awesome! I could daydream about it all day long. But sadly, that’s not the case. So let’s get that thought out of our heads and turn our attention to something green that does grow on trees. I’m talking about the avocado.
I haven’t run across many people who don’t like avocados. Are you a lover or a hater of this heart healthy fruit? (Yes, it’s a fruit, more specifically a berry.) My nearest and dearest, my sweet hubby, is firmly in the yucky camp. He hates them. He won’t eat it diced, sliced or even mashed into guacamole, with peas or without. (I don’t know if you’ve heard about the recent peas vs. no peas guacamole debate. For the record, I’m a no pea vote). But I love avocados and eat them often.
I mostly put avocados in salads and on sandwich bread instead of mayo. I’m not a big eater of guacamole primarily because of the calorie content. While guacamole is good for us, it’s high in calories. A big reason for that is the avocado. It’s caloric.
When I teach portion control as I do in many classes and speaking engagements (focusing on weight management, cholesterol control, prediabetes, and diabetes among other things), the biggest surprise and the loudest gasps from the audience come when I show them the serving size of the avocado. What is it? It’s about one-eighth of large avocado or two level tablespoons. I know, it’s tough to swallow (pun intended). As I write this, a tear is running down my face.
There are different sizes of avocado, small, medium and large. So, the smaller it is, the serving size represents a larger percentage of the whole fruit. But, it’s still not a lot. Most calorie tracking websites say one-fifth of a medium avocado is a serving size. That’s about 50 calories. Caloriecount.com says that a medium avocado has 232 calories. So eating the whole thing can add a lot to your daily calorie intake.
But a lot of nutrition is packed into that small serving size punch. Avocado has a lot of vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamins C and E, folate and other B vitamins and lutein. They’re also low in sugar. And while they’re high in fat, it monounsaturated, which is a good fat. It helps lower our bad cholesterol. So their good for our eyes, hearts, can help prevent cancer, infections and more. Plus, avocados contain fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar, keep us regular and make us full, which can help with weight loss.
So avocados are good for us. But can we have too much of a good thing? We sure can. And the avocado belongs in this group. So the next time you slice or mash one, remember moderation is key.
Sources: Calories in Avocado. (n.d.). Retrieved from caloriecount.com, Zelman, K.M. (2014, June 19). All about avocados. Retrieved from webmd.com.