#36 7 Reasons Avocado Should be on Your Bariatric Plate
HOST: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Susan Mitchell
This food is sugar, sodium and cholesterol free. It’s a good choice for your bariatric plate. Any guesses? OK, Think about guacamole. What comes to mind? You got it. Avocado. Say what? You‘ve heard you shouldn’t eat it because of the fat? I’ve got a lot of good news to share in just a minute.
Hi, I’m registered dietitian nutritionist Dr. Susan Mitchell. You’re listening to the Beyond Bariatric Surgery podcast episode number 36. If you’ve been a listener then you know this podcast is all about you…making your transformation and your journey the best it can be. Because your success is my number one focus, the podcast is getting a new name that fits this focus better. I’m excited to share this news with you first. You’re so supportive to me and I want to host a podcast that fits your journey and champions your success. In the coming weeks the Beyond Bariatric Surgery podcast will transition to it’s new name: Bariatric Surgery Success. The podcast will provide the tools you need for your transformation. I’ll continue to cover all types of topics as I do now on nutrition and health and I’ll also bring in guests to address bariatric issues outside my specialty. I would love to hear from you about the tools you need, questions you have, and topics you want to know more about. You can contact me easily from the homepage of our website, https://BreakingDownNutrition.com You’ll see ‘contact us’ at the top of the page. I want to hear what’s on your mind.
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Back to that avocado we love so much in guacamole or just sliced up and added to any dish.
In it’s natural state right off the tree, avocado is all that…sugar free, sodium free, cholesterol free and a source of good fat. Plus an avocado contains at least 20 different vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, folate, vitamin E, copper, iron and zinc. It’s a who’s who of nutrition.
Wait a minute, you just heard me say that it’s cholesterol free but yet it’s high in fat. What gives? Let me clear up this confusion as the avocado is a rather unique fruit. Cholesterol is only found in animal products and this is a fruit so it’s naturally cholesterol free. Think about most fruit. What macro is it mainly made of? Yes, carbohydrate. But avocado is different. A fruit yes, high in carbs, no. Instead it’s high in healthy fats called monounsaturated. This fat helps keep you feeling full or what’s called your satiety value so this fat can help curb hunger and help prevent weight regain.
Avocado benefits also your bone health: one of those 20 vitamin and minerals that make up this superstar is vitamin K. It’s typically left out of the ‘how to keep bones healthy’ conversation that mainly focuses on vitamin D and calcium. Essential for bone health, vitamin K can help increase the amount of the mineral calcium that is absorbed by the body. Did you know that only one quarter of an avocado provides you about 12% of the vitamin K you need every day? But don’t miss this…if you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin, don’t start eating large amounts of avocado quickly because of the vitamin K content. It needs to be a gradual increase and if you’re having your INR or PT levels monitored, it doesn’t hurt to let your health professional know you’ve added avocado to your diet IF you are consuming it regularly. They need to be aware of vitamin K rich foods that might alter a test.
Avocados also contain natural compounds called phytosterols. Why should you care? Because they help lower LDL cholesterol, the lousy type you don’t want elevated. What a tasty way to get this benefit. Remember we said that the better-for-you fat is called monounsaturated? It also has a positive effect on cholesterol and heart health. The majority of the monounsaturated fat in avocado is what’s called oleic acid and guess what, it’s also the major component of olive oil. It’s a two for one benefit. And an extra bonus of the monounsaturated fat content is that it helps your body use beneficial antioxidants such as beta-carotene.
Here’s a little cooking tip: avocado oil has a high smoke point so can take high heat in cooking such as when you stir fry.
One more benefit worth chatting about. If I say potassium, what comes to mind…banana? You know it to be a good source of potassium right? A large banana averages 480 milligrams of potassium. Avocado probably isn’t top of mind as a potassium source but should be as a single avocado averages 975 milligrams. So it certainly ranks right up there with bananas for adding potassium to your daily diet.
As you can hear, avocado is one of those rare fruits with a nutritional profile worth sitting up and paying attention to. Sugar, sodium and cholesterol free. Over 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium and vitamin K plus healthy fat and phytosterols that fights again lousy cholesterol levels. And one slice or 15 grams of avocado is only about 25 calories or 105 kilojoules kJ. Since most information online uses calories with a small c, we’ll assume here for our purposes that calories with a small c and calories with a large C are the same (even though technically they are not). This super star fruit definitely needs a place at the table. Enjoy your week.
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