Senior Health Healthy Reasons to Eat Avocados 2/25/2022 | By Jessica Ball, M.S., RD and Michele Rinck, RDN, EatingWell.com The experts on healthy foods at EatingWell.com present four healthy reasons to eat avocados – besides their delicious versatility – including a weight-loss surprise and benefits to the heart and other essential organs. Avocados are not only delicious, they’re super satisfying and help keep your body healthy too. You might be wondering about if avocados are healthy, especially if you’ve heard they are high in fat. And while they are, it’s the good kind of fat, plus the nutrition facts of an avocado are pretty impressive all-around. But avocados’ nutrition benefits go beyond their calories. Just in case you need even more encouragement to eat your avocados (c’mon, guacamole isn’t reason enough?), here are four healthy reasons avocados are so good for you. 4 healthy reasons to eat avocados 1. Avocados help with weight loss. Despite the fact that they’re higher in calories than most produce, avocados can actually help when it comes to a trimmer waistline. A 2019 study published in Nutrients found that people with normal BMI who had high avocado consumption (more than 1/4 cup of avocado per day) over an 11-year period gained significantly less weight than those who ate less avocado. People who regularly eat avocado (about a half an avocado daily) are more likely to have smaller waists and weigh less, say researchers who analyzed over 17,000 American diets. Another study found that eating half an avocado for lunch helped people feel full for up to five hours after the meal. 2. Avocados keep your heart healthy. If you want to keep your heart healthy, it may be a good idea to regularly work avocados into your diet. A 2015 review paper found that the creamy green food can reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol, two big predictors of heart disease. These heart-healthy benefits are especially effective if avocados are substituted for foods high in saturated fats, like red meat and dairy products. Related: 5 delicious. anti-inflammatory snacks Avocados also do a great job at cleaning out bad cholesterol (LDL) while boosting the good cholesterol (HDL) your body needs, per a 2019 study in the Journal of Nutrition. The next time you’re hankering for a burger, you may want to try topping it with avocado. Researchers found that people who ate half an avocado with their hamburger had less inflammation in their blood vessels compared to people who just ate the burger. Avocados also naturally contain cholesterol blockers that help prevent (bad) LDL cholesterol from being absorbed in your gut. 3. Avocados protect your skin and eyes. Avocados are rich in two carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin – which help block the sun’s harmful UV rays, protecting your eyes and skin. Just one more reason to eat up. Related: Spiced catfish taco with avocados and chipotle crema 4. Avocados boost nutrient absorption. Unsaturated fats help unlock powerful nutrients in leafy green salads. In an Ohio State University study, people who ate a salad with avocado greatly increased their carotenoid absorption compared to those who ate one without avocado. Similar benefits apply to salsa paired with avocado (ahem: guacamole!). So, grab some chips and get dipping! Bottom line Avocados are popular because they taste good, but they’re also really good for you. From keeping your heart healthy to helping with weight loss, they boast a variety of potential health benefits. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com. © 2022 Meredith Corporation. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Read More Jessica Ball, M.S., RD and Michele Rinck, RDN, EatingWell.com Jessica Ball is associate nutrition digital editor at EatingWell.com. She earned her bachelor’s of science degree in dietetics with a minor in food systems and sustainability from Michigan State University, and her master’s of science in dietetics and dietetic internship at the University of Vermont. She covers nutrition news, sustainability, gardening and budget-friendly cooking content for EatingWell.com. Michele Rinck is a chef and registered dietitian nutritionist as well as avid traveler. Related Resources Welcome Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally, hearing aids have become more affordable. Seniors Guide looks at the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids. There is no ... [Read More] 2/25/2022 | By Kari Smith Finding Time to Exercise is Easier Than You Think Finding time to exercise is easier than you think. Read on for some great practical tips on how to fit ... [Read More] 2/25/2022 | By Howard LeWine, M.D.