health benefits and are a versatile ingredient when cooking, said
CNN nutrition contributor Lisa Drayer.
She uses the fatty fruit in soups, dips and even chocolate truffles. Depending on how you bake with it, avocados can be a very good fat substitute that won’t make your desserts taste like avocado, she noted.
They are chock-full of nutrients and can be a beneficial addition to a balanced diet. Here are five ways avocados are good for your health:
1. Avocados are high in omega-3
They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Often called LDL cholesterol, it is known as the “bad cholesterol,” Drayer said, while high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the “good cholesterol.”
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with high levels of this cholesterol have an increased risk of having a stroke or being diagnosed with heart disease, the CDC website noted.
2. They are a great source of potassium
according to the US Department of Agriculture. In comparison, a banana has
358 milligrams (0.01 ounces) of potassium per 100 grams.
US National Library of Medicine.
American Heart Association. High levels of sodium can increase blood pressure,
the CDC said, and potassium allows more sodium to leave the body through our urine. This in turn lowers our blood pressure, the American Heart Association said.
3. They’re packed with monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats are fat molecules with one unsaturated carbon bond, Drayer said. In simple terms, it’s an unsaturated fat that works to lower LDL cholesterol without affecting the good HDL cholesterol, she added.
according to the Mayo Clinic. This reduces blood flow through the arteries, which can cause blood clots and other medical complications.
4. They are also high in fiber
according to the USDA.
the Mayo Clinic said. This makes avocados a great choice for people who are watching their weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.
5. Avocados are rich in folate
according to the USDA.
Folate is a B vitamin that is important for proper brain function and healthy pregnancies, Drayer said.
400 micrograms (0.000014 ounces) of folate per day. Pregnant women should increase their intake to 600 micrograms (0.000021 ounces) per day, according to the agency..
according to the CDC. Around half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, the article said, which is why it’s important for all women of childbearing age to have enough folate as part of their regular diet.
The bottom line
Avocados are a great source of nutrients, and they can help lower LDL cholesterol. Plus, they can keep you satisfied longer.
Like other high-fat foods, avocados are calorically dense, meaning there are a lot of calories per gram. A serving of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of avocado clocks in at 160 calories, according to the USDA.
As long as you are conscious of your avocado intake because they are high in calories, they are a great addition to your diet, Drayer said.