NDSU Extension Service - Benson County

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Avocados: The Good Kind of Fat

By Kimberly Braulick, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

Avocados, an increasingly popular fruit (that is often thought to be a vegetable), contains more fat that any most other fruits and vegetables.  This should not scare you away from this delicious food though, because thankfully, it is the good kind of fat.

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat which have been proven to be healthy for your heart.  Avocados also have a very small amount of saturated fat, and are cholesterol and sodium free.  One fourth cup of avocado is about 96 calories, so it is important to stick with an adequate portion size for this nutrient packed fruit.  If you happen to have some left over, put lime juice over it to preserve the color.  Avocados oxidize rather quickly, and will turn brown if it is not eaten right away. 

The most common way to eat avocados is in guacamole, but they can be added to just about anything else from skillets to scrambled eggs, to lasagna.  It is a great way to add color, flavor, and nutrients to almost any dish.  It pairs well with a variety of other vegetables because of its subtle flavor.

Here is a recipe for a vegetable bean wrap, another great way to incorporate avocados into your diet.  This recipe is packed ingredients from the fruit, vegetable, and protein group.  Enjoy!

Vegetable Bean Wrap

Ingredients:

  • 2 green or red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 can black beans, 50% less salt (15 ounce, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 mango (chopped)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 avocado (peeled and diced)
  • 4 flour tortillas, fat free (10 inch)

 

Directions:

In a nonstick pan, sauté bell peppers and onion for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add beans, stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes.  Next, in a small bowl, combine mangos, lime juice, cilantro, and avocado. Reserve 1/2 mixture for topping.  Fill warmed tortillas with 1/4 bean mixture and 1/4 mango mixture.  Finally, fold the ends of the tortillas over. Roll up to make wraps. Top veggie bean wraps with remaining mango mixture.

Makes 4 servings.  480 calories per serving, 13 grams of fat, 87 grams carbohydrates, 720 mg sodium, 13 grams of protein, and 15 grams of dietary fiber.

Sources:

  • Prairie Fare: Grow a Taste for Avocado, NDSU Extension Service, Julie Garden-Robinson
  • Heart Healthy Avocados, Michigan State University, Imelda Galdamez
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