Avocados: A Heart-healthy Summer TreatLast updated: Jun 01, 2011
Reviewed by Susan Canonico, RD
With the onset of summer and extra outdoor activities, everyone can benefit from delicious, healthy, and convenient food options that require little preparation. Avocados offer an easy, nutrient-dense treat that can be served without heating up your stove or oven!
In addition to being a colorful, fresh addition to your meals, avocados can help:
- Lower your cholesterol
- Increase your vitamin K levels
- Promote healthy cell, tissue, and organ development and function
- Protect your tissues from free radicals
- Lower your risk for certain eye diseases
- Keep your muscles healthy
- Boost your immune system
Avocados contain many of the 13 essential vitamins your body needs, including folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, C, E, and K. They also are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are an excellent, heart-healthy replacement for saturated fats. When they are eaten in moderation and in place of saturated and trans fats, mono- and polyunsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Avocados contain no sugar, sodium, or cholesterol.
For a 1-ounce serving of avocado, you will get approximately:
- 0.5 grams of saturated fat
- 0 grams of trans fat
- 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 3 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 140 milligrams of potassium
- 3 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 gram of fiber
- 1 gram of protein
- 50 calories
Avocados are delicious simply sliced and served with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Add a little salt and pepper and a few basil leaves for a handsome presentation. For more flavor, you can dribble extra-virgin olive oil over the top of the slices. Be sure to calculate the nutrition information and calories for the cheese and olive oil when serving this dish.
Click here for a tasty, quick guacamole recipe to liven up your summer meals!
If you'd like to know more about the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy,
ask one of our nutritionists!
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