Avocado fat like olive oil is pure, nourishing food.
Let us start with a short tour of the fats, because they get bad press.
They make us fat, right, so we should cut as many as possible out? That is wrong; a big mistake.
Sixty percent of the brain is fat, and all nerves are coated in a myelin sheath. Cut out all the oils in your diet and you will die, literally.
Limit the essential fatty acids and you will get very sick.
Motor neuron disease for example is associated with a food combination that is high in carbohydrate but very low in fat.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 25th August, 2020.
Saturated fats in the main come from animal sources such as red meat, butter, cream and eggs. Cholesterol is a saturated fat, but note that it is mainly the low density lipoprotein that is bad for us; and in fact only one fraction of them. The high density cholesterol is associated with protection against heart and blood vessel disease. Your dietary goal should be to have high blood HDL.
The hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain are made from cholesterol. You cannot live without it; it is definitely not all bad.
Avocado fat is rich in the queen of oils, the mono-unsaturated oil called oleic acid.
Cholesterol is also high in coconut oil, and we will look at that in another page. Suffice it to say, it is controversial; high in saturated fat, but not bad for your health?
There is a strong case to be made for doing all our high temperature frying with saturated fats; butter and coconut oil, and those high in monounsaturated fatty acids, for example, from the olive and avocado.
Only the latter will not give you high temperatures.
Olive and avocado fat have a high stability when heated which makes them perfect for frying and baking. They are excellent for the barbecue too since most common vegetable oils such as sunflower are high in polyunsaturates which tend to oxidize on hot surfaces and the open flames used in outdoor cooking.
Monounsaturates are far more stable.
Unsaturated fats come from fish, seed and fruit oils. They are nourishing, but there are a few very large question marks.
Unsaturated fats come in two types; both are good.
Oleic acid is the main ingredient in myelin, the fat that forms the lining of your nerves.
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)
Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
But I: Seed oils are solvent extracted at high temperatures and because polys are heat labile they are easily oxidised, producing free radicals that start tumours in cells. Never use sunflower or canola oil for high temperature frying and baking, for example.
If you can find cold-pressed seed oils, then by all means enjoy them, but still not in high temperature cooking.
But II: The ratio of polys / monos in your diet should not be too high. In Mediterranean islands like Crete, where olive oil (read MONOS) consumption is very high, people have very low rates of heart disease. It is true, they eat more fish, fruit and veg, but even after taking that into account, plus the lower levels of stress, it is strongly agreed amongst food scientists that olive oil (read MONOs) is the reason why the Greek islanders are so healthy. (Keys Seven Country study.) So, avos too; they are both from fruit trees.
General Rule: Polyunsaturates are good, in fact essential in the diet, but keep your purchases of Canola and sunflower oil to a minimum, and NEVER use them for frying.
Canola is controversial for many reasons; scientists are undecided whether it is good for us or not. Google it.
frying use butter and perhaps coconut oil and (it is wasteful, perhaps) olive
oil. Keep your blood fat levels down by eating healthy amounts of those
FOODS THAT LOWER CHOLESTEROL.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA)
There are two fatty acids that we cannot live without. Deny yourself and you will be stunted and die; literally. Their names are Linoleic and Alpha Linolenic acid. Both are Polys and both are found in adequate amounts in avocados, olives and sunflower oil.
For more information, type essential fatty acids into Google and go to Wikipedia; it is complex biochemistry.
But you can relax on that score.
On an average diet, even if you are food junkie, we get plenty of most essential fats. What is in short supply is the alpha linolenic acid, a vital omega 3 oil that the body can convert to the other two, DHA and EPA.
So, how much omega-3 is there in avocado fat?
I hope you noticed that sunflower oil, olives and most margarines all have zero omega-3; it is the anti-inflammatory fat that is absolutely vital.
The richest source is fish oil and the best vegetable source is flax seed. Scroll down for more information. But avocados are also rich in one omega-3, alpha linolenic acid.
A cup of avocado weighing 150g contains 0.18g of omega 3 fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid. That is less than 10 percent of the omega 3 in a tablespoon of flaxseeds, but it all helps.
Olive oil has other strongly anti inflammatory properties, but not from omega 3.
Fats are essential in the diet, but we need to eat more of the healthy ones; from the olive and avocado, cold-pressed oils (if you can find them), and fish and flaxseed for their omega-3.
Where possible enjoy the whole food rather than the extracted oils.
Olive oil is the possible exception as it is not solvent extracted; still the whole fruit is wonderful with the fibre and all the phytosterols.
Use the site search function above to find links to these topics.
And less of the LDL cholesterol-rich animal fats in red meat, dairy products and eggs. (Not cut them all out, just less of them.)
The richest, cheapest source of healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids is the avocado. In the whole avo it is extremely healthy but, yes, the calories are a problem if you pig out.
Compare the value of avocado fat with sesame oil benefits too; the fatty acids in seeds are quite different to those from a fruit.
An average Hass weighs about 8oz, so after removal of the skin and the pit, the flesh of half an avocado might be a little less than 100g (say about 3.5oz):
Avocado fat = ± 0.6oz (17g)
Avocado calories = ± 177. (cf 100ml milk has 156 cals)
Avocado protein = ± 2g (a 100ml glass of milk contains 3g)
Avocado cholesterol = 0 (100ml milk 10mg)
More details at
At our page on avocado benefits you will find much more information about this wonderful fruit.
Oleic acid, the mono which is high in the olive and avocado fat has been shown to have an anti-tumour effect. (BCR 2010, 12:211).
It is also the fatty acid that forms the myelin sheath around the neurons; hence my interest as a DC. Demyelinating diseases like MS coupled with a deficiency of a oleic acid affect nerve conduction.
One of the things that I love about
"she who must be obeyed's" innovative and delicious cooking is her
willingness to try something new. Last night she made an old
favourite, a very Popeye spinach soup. And slipped in half an avo
without telling us. Nobody could believe just how good it tasted. I will twist her arm for the recipe. Yes, it raised the calories, but again nutritious fat. Stuff your brains and nerves thrive on.
Spinach has copious amounts of anti-tumour substances called phytosterols. Avocados too, are one of the richest sources of beta-sitosterol (0.5%) which is associated with many of the benefits of wellness, including the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, a nasty problem of older men.
Avocado contains 76mg of beta-sitosterol per 100g of raw edible avo, or 132mg in a typical 173g Hass. (K Duester J Am Dietetic Assoc).
Citrus, the next richest source of fruit beta-sitosterol contains only 1/4 of that in an avocado.
Avocado is richer than Saw Palmetto (more than double) the usual source for Beta-Sitosterol in capsules. Even better is maize, so enjoy your corn on the cob too.
Olive oil has about half the amount of beta-sitosterol of avocado fat.
The pharmaceutical industry loves to find natural substances, put them in a tablet, and sell them to you at 1000 times the cost. Do not buy beta-sitosterol, just eat avocados, maize and use olive oil. And do not wait until you have BPH; an ounce of prevention is definitely better than a pound of cure.
This Mexican avocado soup is another way we enjoy this wonderful fruit from Central America.
There is anecdotal evidence that eating more protein and fat for breakfast lessens the desire for a 10am snack; the medical term is satiety. Traditionally, folk would have an egg, or cheese but these are high in cholesterol.
Half an avocado for breakfast, and either a chickpea dish like hummus, or a bean or lentil dish, rich in vegetable protein, with added olive oil would fit the bill. AUTHENTIC HUMMUS RECIPE; make it in only 4 minutes.
One particular cure for mid-morning hunger, and do admit it is a bit crazy, but I guarantee that it will work for you is eggs Hilton; try it. From a can lima and broad beans are not very exciting but I recommend you start growing them; the mix of legumes and an egg on toast, using avocado fat instead of butter will satisfy you all day. They provide satiety.
New research reveals that the low starch ketogenic diets are indeed healthy, but only if you replace the calories with protein and fat of plant origin; if you exchange it with more meat, chicken or butter then it actually reduces your life expectancy; that means more avocados and olive oil, and plenty of legumes.(1)
Some companies are experimenting with producing extra virgin oil from second grade avocados, cold pressed like that from the olive, but it is still rather expensive. It is easier to eat half an avocado. I am going to start experimenting with using avocado for a smoothie for breakfast.
There is interesting research coming out, and enthusiasm for the Banting diet; it is refined and simple carbohydrate that stimulates the hunger centre in the brain. Folk on low carb food have more energy and less hunger pangs; and lose weight more successfully.
I would suggest that it is the refined starches like sugar and cornflakes in particular that set up these cravings for more. Have you ever refused a second helping of cheese cake?
There is quite strong research suggesting that you should obtain your vitamin E from natural whole foods, cold pressed fats and freshly ground grains rather than taking it in capsule form. A whole avocado fat contains more than a quarter of the required daily amount.
For example, taking alpha tocopherol, the most common form of vitamin E in capsules, inhibits the absorption of the gamma form that gives 5 times protection against prostate tumours.
Little is known about six additional isotopes of vitamin E, but it seems likely they are all important, and taking large quantities of one form would inhibit the absorption of others.
Recent research suggests that taking pure alpha vitamin E may actually increase the risk of prostate metastatic disease.
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However, that is only one problem for pill-poppers. It is well known, and researched, that it is the gamma vitamin E that gives protection against prostate tumours.
But in nature, like in avocado fat, there is a mixture of the alpha and gamma forms of vitamin E, and the other six too, giving the known protection, over and above the beta-sitosterol.
you are taking vitamin E capsules, make sure it is not pure
alpha tocopherol. Rather eat an avocado a day; it is the healthy fat which is cheaper, safer and more
effective with no known side effects.
Avocado fat along with the olive comes from a fruit tree.
There is intense interest currently in the scientific world about a carotenoid called lutein. It has a yellow colour due to its property of absorbing the high energy blue light that may damage the eye. It is very rich in avocados.
The research is centering around the affect of lutein supplementation in the diet; better still, eat more avocado. Early signs are promising that the carotenoid is beneficial in preventing macular degeneration and retinitis pigementosa.
Lutein is only absorbed in the presence of fat in the intestine; it is yet another reason why high carbohydrate, low fat diets are proving so dangerous. Oddly, it is refined starch and sugar that makes us obese, not fat; unless you really pig out. Our dogs certainly put on weight in the avo season, but then if you eat five to ten a day, what would you expect?
Beware though; the food industry adds lutein to chicken feed to trick you into thinking the eggs are healthier and free range. Feed the chickens avocados by all means and you will have delicious yellow yolks. But add synthetically made lutein? Not I, said the little red hen.
Mojos have been added by Spaniards to their food since their civilisation began to dicky up any dish that is either dull in itself, or becomes boring after eating it regularly.
Let us be honest, there are many foods that we know we should eat but for one reason or another our taste buds do not hanker after them; enter the mojos.
In the main they use garlic, olive oil and either lemon juice or white wine vinegar. In the case of mojo de aguacate, they add some avocado fat. It is simply divine with a perhaps dull green salad, but enjoy it on the side with any dish.
I like the stick blender because it is easier to clean, but you could use a food processor. Add a bit of chili if you like it spicy.
Autumn veggie garden is when we really get excited; it is the season of mellow fruitfulness, and it includes the first avocados beginning to ripen.
Even our dogs and the hens too love the avocado fat from
any that have passed their sell by date, or from which the monkeys have
taken a bite.
And, of course, in mild climates the autumn veggie garden is when you are preparing to plant all those mouth watering foods that tolerate mild frost; for example, green peas and broccoli, spinach and beetroot.
Growing avocado trees is not intrinsically difficult, but one does need a mild climate with no more than light frosts.
We have four in our garden; three that were grafted, a Hass, a Fuerte and a Pinkerton all of which bear prolifically. The fourth, which our son planted as a pip some ten years ago still has not borne, with zero contribution to avocado fat.
Stick with grafted fruit trees; they bear quicker and do not grow so tall that you cannot reap the pears.
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