Thirty to forty years ago, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines regarded and listed fat as a “nutrient of concern.” Dietary fat intake guidelines were recommended to be less than 30 percent of total calories consumed. Dietary fat was regarded to be a danger to blood cholesterol levels, weight gain and not good for our health. Shortly after, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed the “Food Pyramid” in 1992. The Food Pyramid showed that the largest food group to be consumed should be breads, cereals, rice and pasta, and a little less of fruits and vegetables, and a little less of milk, meat, eggs and nuts, and then a minimal amount of the diet should contain fat. Popular culture and the scientific community highly valued the Food Pyramid and the Guidelines set forth by the USDA, and still today this way of eating is still regarded as the correct way to manage our food choices. In 2015, however, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAG) recommended omitting the term “nutrient of concern” from the Dietary Guidelines, as well as the limitations on fat intake. Yet, this change in consideration for fat is likely under the radar for most people and fats are still widely considered to be bad.

One of the most nutrient-rich, valuable, mighty superfoods on the planet was nearly wiped out from our knowledge, due largely to what we were being told about fats. What is called the Avocado, is one of the few fruits that contain healthy unsaturated fats. Yes, the avocado is a fruit! It is actually an oily berry, which is a high fat food with tremendous health benefits. This mighty superfood couldn’t become popular across the United States in the 1980’s and early 1990’s due to the negative press about fat and the recommendations set forth from the USDA on fat intake. Fortunately, the California Avocado Commission hired a public relations firm to advertise avocados, and they coined the “Guacamole Bowl” campaign in NFL Super Bowl advertisements, which led to an increase in avocado sales by 70 percent. The mighty avocado finally caught on in the public eye.

Our government was not correct on this, nor was the scientific community, nor was the mainstream media. Without opportunely and brilliantly advertising this mighty superfood, we would most likely find it difficult even finding avocados in grocery stores today. Yet, we would have difficulty finding a single more healthful and nutrient-rich food anywhere. It is unfortunate that dietary guidelines lumped all the fat types together. Saturated fats are often referred to animal-based fats, which is where negative impacts on health are found. Saturated fats tend to raise the “bad” cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease and strokes. Conversely, the avocado fat is mostly unsaturated. Avocado’s fat profile is about 71 percent monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s) and about 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) – only about 16 percent saturated fats. Therefore, most of the fat content in an avocado is not bad.

Fat does not promote fat accumulation and not all fat is bad for you. Fat is a very dense energy source, which means that you don’t need as much high-fat foods compared with other foods to get energy to fuel your body. Interestingly, it is high carbohydrate intake that has been repeatedly shown to cause weight gain, promote high “bad” cholesterol levels, as well as several other health issues.

Avocado, the mighty superfood. The avocado deserves this title. Its high monounsaturated fat is mostly oleic acid, which has been shown to reduce inflammation. The high soluble fiber profile of avocados promotes healthy gut bacteria. Furthermore, avocados have an impressive vitamin profile, particularly, vitamins C, B5, B6, E, K, and Folate. They are a great source of potassium and magnesium. Avocados contain the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. They are also a valuable companion food, which means they help the absorption and digestion of other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, so the mighty avocado helps absorption of these vitamins from other foods.

Avocados are the perfect fat burning food. From enhancing fat utilization metabolism to shutting down carbohydrate or sugar utilization and craving, avocado helps balance blood sugar, which is essential to countering several diseases. They are unique in that they are classified as an oily berry fruit, but they don’t contain sugar, which means they are easily digestible. The mighty avocado is simply the best fuel to put into your fuel tank. Start eating avocados and you will be better fueled up for the road ahead to become healthier!

At Lifestyle Fitness Institute, we teach and train people to excel in all areas of their life, including their “Food Choice Management.” We are a Christian-based educational facility that provides all of the resources and expertise to balance one’s life around the four pillars of Faith, Self, Family and Life’s Work. We are dedicated to helping you improve your health and fitness in these areas for long-term success.