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Avocados: Good or Bad?

 The Good, the Bad & the Unsaturated

Here’s the good news: according to the American Heart Association both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (which are both unsaturated) fats may help improve your blood cholesterol when used in place of saturated and trans fats.

Translation: eating foods that are rich in unsaturated fats – such as salmon, walnuts, and avocados – may lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Not only do avocados contain high levels of the good fats our bodies need, but they are also a great source of lutein, which has been linked to improved brain health in older adults and improved cognitive function in young children. In fact, avocados took center stage in a recent study and the results showed clear benefits to the “brain health” of the older adults who ate an avocado a day. Now, that’s something to think about!

Of course, avocados aren’t a stand-alone miracle food but they do pack a nutritional punch.
For instance:

  • Avocados contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals per serving.
  • They are chock-full of fiber, folate, and antioxidants.
  • A single serving (about 1/5 of a medium avocado) contains only 50 calories.
  • Contains no cholesterol.

The bottom line is that avocados are a powerful source of vitamins and minerals and contain high levels of unsaturated fats. And, if you are trying to lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke, or just want to improve your diet by adding more fruits and vegetables… including foods like avocados in your meal plan might not be a bad place to start.

Sources: American Heart Association, Fruits & Veggies More Matters, CDC