Avocado has soared in popularity over the past few decades. The U.S. consumed 436 million pounds of the green fruit in 1985. Compare that to the more than 2.4 billion pounds eaten in the U.S. in 2018. Other than being trendy, the avocado gets an 'A' for nutritional benefits.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.
"An avocado is technically a fruit, and it's a nutritious fruit," says Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist. She says avocados are getting their moment in the limelight because they taste good and have health benefits.
"Avocados are healthy, despite being a little higher in fat. The type of fat matters."
They contain mostly good fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, plus a small amount of saturated fat.
"The saturated fat is the one that we're most concerned about in terms of heart disease risk," says Zeratsky.
An avocado is also a good source of vitamins A and E, and it contains fiber.
"Having some fiber may help lower cholesterol."
Zeratsky says to use an avocado in smoothies, salads and toppings for a sandwich, but keep portion size in mind.
"A whole avocado has about 250 calories. If that fits into your daily calorie allowance, then you might be able to have a whole avocado."
If your ready to give avocados a try, explore these recipes: