The world’s new favourite fruit, avocados, have surged in popularity within the past few years. Not only do they taste great, they’re also very versatile and can be chopped, blended or mashed into any recipe to give it a nutritious boost. For anyone whose a fan of regular fries, we have an uber-healthy yummy avocado version, high in good fats and nutrients!
What’s So Great About Avocados?
Avocados have a plethora of nutrients and are very high in good fats, all of which can improve heart function and health.
This fat soluble vitamin is important for bone health and helps with blood clotting, a function that is necessary in times when the body needs to heal and repair.
Considered the “broom” of our body, fiber pushes out all the toxins, helps reduce cholesterol and keeps us satiated for a longer period of time.
Avocados contain more potassium per serving compared to bananas, a high potassium fruit. A heart-healthy mineral, potassium has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension and lower the risk of stroke by 24% (4).
Panthotenic acid (Vitamin B5)
This vitamin is important for the maintenance of our energy levels and a deficiency may result in irritability, fatigue, muscle pain and lethargy. Vitamin B5 is also important in helping regulate our cholesterol and insulin levels and reducing our stress.
Avocados Contain Good Fats
Avocado is considered one of the fattiest plant foods available but it’s been shown to be extremely beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats (10 grams in every 100 gram serving of the fruit), making them a heart-healthy fruit.
Good fats include mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, which are typically liquid at room temperature. Now what makes these guys friends of the body is that they have a little kink in their chemical composition that disallows them to stack on top of each other. This means they don’t clog your arteries or contribute to heart disease.
Instead, they increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which helps remove bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein; LDL) from the body, reducing the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats also contain high levels of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 which can help repair the walls of our arteries and improve its elasticity (1).
What About Saturated Fat?
When it comes to saturated fats, a sound recommendation is to consume them in moderation. Most saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature, come from animal sources such as meat and dairy. The logic behind why these fats can be dangerous to our health stems from their chemical structure which is straight, meaning that they can stack on top of each other, potentially clogging our arteries. However, research on saturated fats has produced a multitude of results.
Some studies report no association between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease. Some report that replacing dairy (high in saturated fats) with vegetable sources of fats (high in polyunsaturated fats) may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Lastly, some reports highlight the benefits of saturated fats, particularly in how it impacts our insulin levels. In instances like these where the research is scattered, moderation is the best practice to exercise.
Avocados contain 0% of the bad fats you should avoid: hydrogenated and trans fats
Hydrogenated fats are vegetable oils that are liquid at room temperature but are bombarded with hydrogen particles (hence the term “hydrogenated”) changing the chemical composition from unsaturated to saturated fats that create a solid butter-like texture at room temperature. The problem with hydrogenated oils is that they contain high amounts of trans fats. You can find trans fats in many of the processed foods at the grocery store such as potato chips and certain candies.
Trans fats increase LDL and decrease HDL in the body and promote inflammation. This significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and premature death (5).
As a healthy replacement to fries, this easy recipe lets you enjoy the crispy taste of fries while giving your body an ample amount of heart-friendly nutrients!
Dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegetarian
Yield: makes 2-4 servings
This recipe was created by Talia Chai, registered Holistic Nutritionist and Superstar Chef at The Hearty Soul.
¼ cup coconut flour
1 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
pinch of sea salt and pepper
Drizzle of Olive oil
Add pinch of sea salt, freshly ground and smoked paprika into the almond meal. Whisk egg in a small bowl, set aside.
Cut avocados into wedges.
Bread wedged avocados into coconut flour, drop in eggwash and toss them into seasoned almond meal.
Line a parchment paper on the baking sheet and place the breaded avocado.
Drizzle a little bit of Olive oil and bring to the oven and bake them at 400F for 30 minutes.
Siasos G, Tousoulis D, Oikonomou E, Zaromitidou M, Verveniotis A, Plastiras A, et al. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on endothelial function, arterial wall properties, inflammatory and fibrinolytic status in smokers: A cross over study. Int J Cardiol [Internet]. 2013 Jun [cited 2017 Jul 13];166(2):340–6. Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0167527311019553
de Souza RJ, Mente A, Maroleanu A, Cozma AI, Ha V, Kishibe T, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 Jul 13];351. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h3978/
Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr [Internet]. Taylor & Francis Group ; 2013 Jan [cited 2017 Jul 13];53(7):738–50. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2011.556759
Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ [Internet]. 2013 Apr 3 [cited 2017 Jul 13];346:f1378. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23558164
Remig V, Franklin B, Margolis S, Kostas G, Nece T, Street JC. Trans Fats in America: A Review of Their Use, Consumption, Health Implications, and Regulation. J Am Diet Assoc [Internet]. 2010 Apr [cited 2017 Jul 13];110(4):585–92. Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S000282230902094X