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Can you Eat Too Much Avocado?

The answer from a functional medicine dietitian

Can You Eat Too Much Avocado?

Yesterday, it was mashed avocado slathered on gluten-free toast, a runny egg and a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce. Today’s lunch? Cubed avocado on your spinach salad. So would guacamole with tonight’s tacos be overkill?

Sure, you can’t technically “overdose” on avocado, is there ever too much?

Functional medicine dietitian Ariana Cucuzza, RD, says there’s no one simple answer because no two bodies are the same.

“Obviously, there is good reason for including avocado in your diet because it offers so many benefits,” Cucuzza says. “But like anything good, people do have a tendency to go overboard.

“It is all the rage right now. And with good reason. It has the ability to be sweet or savory. You can throw it in a smoothie for texture or make some guac. But this is one of those instances when there’s no one-size-fits-all for recommendations.”

But some basic guidance

Deciding how many avocados to throw in the grocery basket? You first have to look at what your goals are for your weight, gut health, overall healthy diet — and your body type, activity level and genes, Cucuzza says.

“Usually, I would recommend that ½ to one avocado a day is reasonable,” she says.

She notes that since avocados are a pretty significant source of healthy monounsaturated fat, they make you more satisfied and are harder to overdo because they tend to fill you up. (Of the 20 to 25 total grams of fat in avocados, 15 grams is monounsaturated fat.)

It’s worth noting that avocados aren’t low-cal, with a whole one generally having between 200 and 300 calories, depending on size. But functional medicine experts don’t usually focus on calories alone, Cucuzza explains. “We really look more at increasing whole foods in the diet first,” she says. “We find when patients eat more real food, and less processed food, things tend to fall into place.”

Don’t make it your only healthy fat

Going all gung-ho on avocado? Just be sure not to eat it so much of it that you’re shunning other healthy fats in your diet.

“If you’re getting all of your healthy fat from avocados, you’re not getting all of the benefits from things like olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds,” Cucuzza says. “To maintain an overall healthy diet, variety is key to get everything that your body needs.”

After all, we now know that fat doesn’t make you fat per se. The real culprit of many issues — like metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes — is processed carbohydrates, not the fat we’re consuming, she says.

Singing avocado’s praises

Besides its healthy fats, there’s plenty of other lesser-known reasons to include avocado on your plate.

“Avocados are really high in fiber, which is important for feeling full between meals and for keeping our digestive tract moving and lowering our cholesterol,” Cucuzza says.

It’s also really high in potassium, one of those good electrolytes that’s essential for our heart, muscles and many body processes.

Plus, avocado actually helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. “So eating avocado with a salad or a lot of different vegetables actually helps you to absorb the vitamins from those foods,” she says.

That vitamin E is important for immune function. And overall, avocados are known for supporting brain function and healthy memory thanks to their healthy fats.

Those who should eat avocado more sparingly

If you’re really watching your weight, Cucuzza says, it’s probably wise to stick to about one-half to one whole avocado per day, assuming you are also eating other sources of healthy fats.

Avocados are also a higher FODMAP food, meaning they contain carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed well. So, those following a low-FODMAP diet or those with intestinal bacterial overgrowth will also want to stick to an eighth an avocado serving, although there is no magic amount for everyone.

The bottom line? “Avocado could be part of your daily diet as long as you’re including a variety of colors, textures and kinds of food,” Cucuzza concludes.

For original article, visit https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-you-eat-too-much-avocado/

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Apps/Snacks/Treats Entrees

Avocado Chicken Salad

A variation of my avocado egg salad…with chicken! Think of it as guacamole with protein 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast or tenders, chopped
  • Grape tomatoes, chopped in half or quarters
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime (keeps avocado from browning)
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Mash avocado well in a medium bowl and then add all other ingredients and mix well.
  2. Enjoy!! How easy is that?!
Categories
Entrees

Avocado Egg Salad

So, the picture does NOT do it justice (sorry!) This recipe is one of my go-to’s when I need a quick breakfast, lunch, or snack. All you need is a few ingredients and you’re good to go.

Hint: You don’t want to make too much at a time because the avocado will start to change color. Doesn’t mean its bad, it just doesn’t look very desirable. 

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 hard-boiled eggs (depends on how many people you plan to feed).
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Peel and slice your hard-boiled eggs and set aside
  2. Mash avocados with a fork and add garlic powder, salt, & pepper
  3. Carefully fold in eggs and coat with avocado mixture
  4. Enjoy by itself, in a lettuce wrap, or on toast.
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Entrees Sides Uncategorized

Zoodles with Avocado Pesto

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the Sauce:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup kale (basil or other greens of choice work as well)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spiralize your zucchini and set aside on paper towels so that any excess water is soaked up.
  2. In a food processor, add avocados, kale, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
  4. Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto.
  5. Enjoy!

I served mine with some baked salmon (seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt, & pepper)

Recipe adapted from: http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/zucchini-noodles-with-creamy-avocado-pesto/#_a5y_p=5026238