Is This Diabetes Superfood A Regular Part Of Your Meals?

A food exists that can help reduce high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and a big waistline - all risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

We often think of this food as a veggie, but avocados are a fruit that has a positive influence on many aspects of our health. Besides being versatile fare that blends well with others, avocados have been called several well-deserved names, such as lipid-lowering, anti-obesity, anti-atherosclerotic, and anti-diabetic.

Six Reasons To Love Avocados

Though avocado is good for everyone, there are attributes of its creamy, mild-flavored flesh that could classify it as a diabetes super-food; here are six of them:

  • Light On Fructose. Though a fruit, avocado fits well into a glucose-management diet. It does not contain high amounts of fructose, and provides plenty of fiber to slow blood sugar absorption.
  • Good Fat. Avocados, and oils made from avocado, are full of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid we get with olive oil. Oleic acid is linked with decreased inflammation—a preventative for many diseases.
  • People who regularly enjoy avocado have more “good” HDL cholesterol than non-avocado eaters, plus avocados are associated with lower triglyceride levels, and less belly fat.
  • Filling and Satisfying. Avocados are extremely satiating. By making them part of a meal we may leave the table feeling more satisfied, and with less desire to snack up to five hours afterward. “It’s almost like they [avocados] have a built-in stop-gap,” says registered dietician Cynthia Sass. “This is yet another example of how not all calories are created equal.”
  • Slimmer Waistlines. Research reveals people who eat more avocados generally weigh less, and have slimmer waistlines that non-avocado eaters, even when the non-eaters’ overall calorie intake is less.
  • Nutrient Rich. Lutein, potassium, zeaxanthin, phytosterols, and both soluble and insoluble fiber are abundant in avocados. These nutrients - plus the healthy fatty acids - have a beneficial effect on blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, and inflammatory stress. Avocados also provide vitamins K, C, E, B5, B6, folate, and niacin.
  • Nutrient Sponge. The healthy fat in avocados makes it easier for our body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, and other antioxidants. Studies show many of these antioxidants help protect our vision.

Eating avocado regularly can also improve the mirror’s reflection by softening our skin, and moisturizing dry, frizzy, or fly-away hair.

Easy Guacamole

It’s easy to incorporate this nubby, pear-shaped fruit into our weekly menu by adding avocado to salsas, fruit chutneys, egg or chicken salads, vegetable, and fruit salads. Dipping cut-up raw veggies into guacamole is another tasty way to enjoy the benefits of avocado:

  • Mash together 4 large, ripe Hass avocados (seeded, and peeled) and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Gently stir in half of a small sweet white onion (minced), and one ripe Roma tomato (seeded and diced). Salt and pepper to taste.

Feel free to customize the dip with chiles, or jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, or seasonings.

Sources: Mercola; Avocado Central
Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand

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