The Many Health Benefits of Avocado By Dr. Joseph Mercola
You probably know that avocados are an excellent source of healthful fats, but this whole food may also have other unique health benefits. To learn more, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is supporting clinical research to investigate various health effects of avocado consumption, particularly its benefits for cardiovascular disease, weight management, diabetes, and its ability to enhance your body’s absorption of nutrients.
David Heber, MD, PhD, and his colleagues found in their research that avocados benefit vascular function and heart health.
Avocados – A Real ‘Super Food’
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burnt for energy. Personally, I eat a whole avocado virtually every day, which I usually put in my salad. This increases my healthy fat and calorie intake without seriously increasing my protein or carbohydrate intake. (See Nutrition Facts Panel below.) It is also very high in potassium and will help balance your vitally important potassium to sodium ratio.
As I’ve mentioned before, eliminating grain carbs is one of the best ways to support your health and maintain your weight, but when you cut down on carbs, you need to increase your intake of healthy fats. Avocados are an excellent source, along with organic raw butter and coconut oil, just to name a few.
There’s also evidence suggesting that limiting your intake of protein can be helpful for long-term good health and the prevention of cancer. At the very least, most people are consuming far too much poor-quality protein, such as beef and animal products from livestock raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Here again, if you cut down on protein, you need to replace lost calories with healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, butter and nuts.
Overall, most people would do well to get upwards of 50-70 percent fat in their diet (along with high amounts of vegetable carbs, moderate-to-low amounts of high-quality protein, and very little, if any, carbs). According to the California Avocado Commission, a medium Hass avocado contains about 22.5 grams of fat, two-thirds of which is monounsaturated. They’re also very low in fructose, which is yet another boon, and provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:
- Potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana)
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
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