Healthy Fats: Benefits of Avocados
Although avocados taste like a fruit, they are a vegetable. Avocados have a fairly high fat content, but they are good for our figure and our health. Stay healthier by knowing what varieties there are, and what you should consider when purchasing avocados. EAT SMARTER will tell you what you need to know.
Avocados are diverse powerhouses with wonderfully mild flavor. They contain many important vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids that keep us going longer, and even make you slimmer. Avocados taste great with Carpaccio, on a salad, on pizza or pasta. Let yourself be inspired by our simple avocado recipes.
By the way: Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They fall on the ground or are picked when they are ripe.
Are All Avocados The Same?
Avocados are not that simple! In avocados there are significant differences in shape, color and taste. Most avocados are from North and Central America, South Africa, Israel, Mexico and Southern Spain.
The most common varieties are "Fuerte" and "Hass". The Association of South African Avocado Farmers (SAAGA) explain the difference: The "Fuerte" avocados are pear-shaped with smooth green skin. These avocados are distinguished by their mild-creamy taste. Black spots on the shell indicate that the fruit is already spoiled. As a tip for storage of these avocados, SAAGA advises to keep them slightly cool (not colder than 5 °C), because they tend to mature on the shelf very quickly.
The "Hass" avocados on the other hand are round and egg-shaped, their shell dyed black, thick and uneven. They are rather small (140-350 g/5-12oz) and they have a full-bodied, nutty taste. An extra tip from SAAGA: Eat these avocados during ripening from green to black. When the fruit is ripe, they are slightly under pressure. However, if they are wrinkled then they are already overripe. Other famous avocado varieties are: Edranol, Ryan, Pinkerton, Reed and Bacon and Ettinger.
Why do avocados keep you slim and healthy?
Avocados have a reputation for being fat calorie bombs. The fats of the avocados are actually quite healthy: There is, in fact plenty of healthy, unsaturated fatty acids. We found that there is about 23 grams/1 oz. of fat per 100 grams/4 oz. of avocado and about 200-250 calories (for half an avocado). Experts even say that many unsaturated fatty acids found in avocados can help the body with fat loss. The enzyme lipase plays a big factor in this. Lipase controls the fat burning during digestion and in adipose tissue. It is intended to prevent the storage of fat and thus speed up the breakdown of fat in the body. Additionally, avocados contain the vital vitamins A and E and plenty of phytochemicals. Vitamin A supports the formation of blood, can strengthen our skin and our eyes. Also bones and teeth need vitamin A.
The proper storage of avocados is not difficult: The quickest way to arrive at delicious fruits ready for consumption is when you put the avocados with an apple in a paper bag. The apple gives off ethylene gas, which promotes the maturity and ensures a fast edible avocado. It then takes two to ten days until the fruit is fully ripe. Place the avocados in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator only if they are already ripe. About an hour before consumption, they should be taken out of the cooler.
If you want to eat only half an avocado, leave the core in the second half and sprinkle them with a little lemon juice. This way the fruit will last longer and you will avoid unsightly brown spots.
Delicious Recipes with Avocado
Avocados taste well only raw, but here their diversity is virtually unlimited. Why not try our delicious smoothie with avocado or our shrimp on avocado cream. More great recipes are available in our avocado recipe gallery.