Posts Tagged ‘eating healthily’


Nom, nom, nom – AND good for you.

By now, we all know that a little bit of healthy fat is good for us. And that butter – as we have always said – is much better for us than polyunsaturated spreads, which turn into deadly trans-fatty acids at body temperature. IE, when you eat them.

But a lot of one fat might be even better – at least, in the case of avocado.

Apparently, eating an entire creamy green fruit every day could significantly lower your cholesterol, say new avocado industry-funded findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers put 45 healthy, overweight adults on an average American diet (read: heavy on the saturated fat and carbs) for two weeks. Then, they switched them to a low fat (24% fat) or one of two moderate fat diets (34% fat) for five weeks. One of the moderate fat diets contained so-called healthy fats like sunflower and canola oil; the other got the majority of its fat from one whole avocado per day.

Each of the new diets improved participants’ LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), likely because all three were significantly lower in saturated fat than the average Western diet. But the avocado eaters fared the best: their LDL cholesterol dropped 13 points, compared to around 8 points for people on the low-fat or avocado-free moderate-fat diets.

You'll be amazed what can be done with avos if you hunt around.

You’ll be amazed what can be done with avos if you hunt around.

Why? Well, all sources of monounsaturated fat – including avocado – contain fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol and boost heart health.

But according to the researchers, the guacamole staple seems to have additional cholesterol-lowering properties, like fibre and plant sterols, plus a type of sugar that might increase satiety. (That’s how “full” you feel, so you stop eating.)

Even so, a medium avocado packs around 320 calories and 30 g of fat – and eating a whole one every single day doesn’t exactly seem realistic. So replacing some less-nutritious foods with half an avocado per day is more doable – and still beneficial.

“Eating that amount has still been shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL levels,” says registered dietician Tina Ruggiero. Try mashed avocado instead of mayo in your sandwich, diced avocado instead of sour cream or cheese on your black bean soup, or half an avocado with lime juice and sea salt instead of a granola bar for an afternoon snack.

Sounds pretty darn delicious to us.

Oh, an interesting little factoid. Over 98% of shoppers squeeze an avocado in the store before buying it. Admit you, you do.

PS We really mean it about butter. Have a look at Why Margarine Will Kill You.

I see Choice magazine in Australia have analysed all the mueslis we eat (hey, that stuff has bits in it – it just has to be healthy, right?) and found out (now who would have guessed it?) that some of them are chock full of fat, and some also offer us alarming amounts of sugar. But never fear, Dear Reader. Your invesitgative reporter du jour has found a way to help you through the aisles.


Muesli – is what you don’t know doing you harm?

If you, like me, are watching both fat and sugar, find out how good or bad your favourite bowl of cardboard is for you at this very useful page:

As a general whinge, how I wish people would make more LOW GI bread and cereals.

They are the very devil to find, and everyone can benefit from eating low GI, let alone the fact that some two million Aussies are diabetic, and God knows what the number is in America and Europe.

I can’t believe that everyone isn’t rushing to plaster “LOW GI!” on all their products or reformulating them to make them so.

I love you.

I love you.

Oi! You lot! Manufacturers! Wise Up!

But big ups and hugs to the buyers at Coles in Australia that now stock a great new potato called Carisma that is Low GI.

Here’s a really useful bunch of Low GI recipes too. proving that eating healthily can be, er, well, bloody hard work frankly but enjoyable too.