Nutrition news

Nutrition with Jane McClenaghan: Are Avocados Really That Great?

This week’s headlines saying “eating avocado twice a week can help keep your heart healthy” got me thinking.

We are always on the lookout for foods that can help us be healthier, and in recent years avocado has found its place as a so-called superfood in the diet of any healthy person who self-respect, but is it really as good as all that?

Nutritional science is difficult to get a straight answer. As human beings, we are all unique creatures. Our genetics, our exercise habits, our stress levels, our daily routine, and the food we eat all have a huge impact on our health.

The study in question is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their food consumption every four years.

One of the questions specifically asked how much avocado they consumed on a regular basis. The researchers used it to assess the effects of avocados on the risk of coronary heart disease.

The conclusion was that eating more avocados was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women, and research suggests that replacing certain high-fat foods with avocado may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. cardiac disease.

But what about all the other risk factors – smoking, physical inactivity, stress? Eating an avocado will not make up for the mistakes of our unhealthy habits. One could argue that people who eat avocados are more likely to have healthier diets overall, but if that’s the case, then how do we know avocado is the miracle food?

Hoping that your avocado habit is the secret to good health and longevity is not an answer. We all need a balance of different types of food in our diet. A rich and varied diet, made up of as many different plant foods as possible, is one way to improve your nutrition, rather than focusing on just one individual food as good or bad, it is much more helpful to look at your diet as a whole. .

  • Do you eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day? Remember, it’s not just about variety, it’s also about quantity. Seven a day means seven handfuls, not just seven different varieties.
  • Are you eating healthy fats every day? Think olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, fatty fish.
  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • Do you prefer whole grains to white, refined grains?
  • Do you include protein every time you eat?
  • Do you eat legumes every week? Try the chickpea curry, lentil soup, three bean salad, hummus, puy lentil bolognese.
  • Do you eat foods that grow locally and are in season?

NOT TO TALK ABOUT FOOD MILES…

Your lawyer has taken an epic trip across the world to end up with a poached egg on your toast. Most avocados are imported into the UK from Central and South America.

By the time your Mexican avocado is smashed on your toast, it’s traveled an incredible 5,555 miles, according to sustainablefoodtrust.org.

So how much nutrition is really contributing to your diet? It is picked before it has had time to mature naturally, stored in a controlled environment and has traveled for some time before arriving on your plate. All this affects its nutritional value.

Yes, avocados have a healthy balance of good fats, minerals, and fiber, but no one food will make us as healthy as possible. Get your dose of healthy fat from nuts and seeds, fatty fish. Increase your mineral intake by adding a few more vegetables to your daily diet and boost your fiber intake by adding a few more legumes to your cooking.