Are you a fan of the green goddess?
No, I’m not talking about the British fitness guru who brought back the Jazzercise-esque morning routine to the BBC morning television network in 2013. (Though, I highly encourage you to give this a view if you need a little blast from the past.)
I’m talking about avocados, the luscious green fruit Americans go bananas for!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average person in the U.S. consumes about 7 pounds of avocados a year. That’s nearly a threefold increase since 2000!
But if you’ve yet to jump on the avocado bandwagon, don’t worry, you’ve still got time.
Let’s chat for a minute why this superfruit is really a bona fide addition to your eating plan because maybe this will change your mind.
Benefits of Avocados
- Avocados are considered a heart-healthy, nutrient-dense food. Nutrient-dense foods contribute a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to your diet. In just one-third of a medium avocado (50 grams), there are nearly 20 vitamins and minerals for only 80 calories.
- Avocados just so happen to be one of the only fruits that is filled with the “good kind of fat,” aka, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
- Avocados in their natural state are sugar- and cholesterol-free, as well.
- Avocados can act as a “nutrient booster,” helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E.
Phew, now that we’ve got those facts out of the way, it’s time we chat about why dietary fat is back (buh-bye ’90s fad fear of fat) and crucial for that matter to enhance your workout routine.
“Dietary fat is a source of energy essential for all individuals, but especially athletes who have higher energy requirements to support their workout routines,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, registered dietitian, personal trainer and author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2012). “Dietary fat enhances the absorption of certain nutrients, such as the antioxidants vitamin A and E, which support cell repair along with supporting the immune system.”
Because more than 75 percent of the fat found in avocados is the “good fat,” or the unsaturated kind, rest assured you are providing your body with an excellent vehicle to help absorb those other nutrients your body needs for recovery. Plus, foods like avocados provide the body with other important nutrients, such as dietary fiber and potassium (that important electrolyte you’ll want to make sure you consume to help with muscle cramping).
So how much fat should you aim for?
Well, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper on Nutrition and Athletic Performance recommends 20 to 35 percent of total daily calories come from fat in the athlete’s diet. Though your individual needs will vary depending on your body composition and workout routine, it’s nice to aim for about 600 calories or so coming from this macronutrient. To meet this recommendation, Palinski-Wade suggests a postworkout recovery snack to include a balance of carbohydrates (50 percent), protein (25 percent) and fat (25 percent) such as enjoying a slice of avocado toast with a hard-boiled egg.
Since avocados are such a versatile food, you can certainly enjoy them in a variety of ways. Consider smoothies or swapping in place of butter in your favorite baked goods, or heck, try these delicious avocado mushroom-blended turkey burgers below!
As you can see, the possibilities are endless when you use the green goddess as a source of dietary fat in your fitness routine.
- In a large bowl, mix together with a spatula ground turkey, mushrooms, red onions, garlic and spices. Slice avocado into thirds, then dice each third into small pieces. Gently fold in diced avocado to ground turkey mixture. Reserve remaining avocado to top burgers.
- Form turkey mixture into 8 rounded patties, about 2 inches in diameter, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set inside the refrigerator, loosely covered with aluminum foil until ready to cook.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Place 4 patties in skillet, evenly spaced, and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, then flip.
- Remove from heat when internal temperature of burgers reaches 165 F.
- Repeat skillet steps three and four for remaining patties.
- Build your burger, adding 1 ounce avocado per serving and garnish, as desired.
Burgers can be served open-faced over a bed of mixed greens or wrapped in lettuce for a Paleo- and Whole30-approved option.
- Serving Size Two burgers
- Calories 230
- Carbohydrate Content 7 g
- Cholesterol Content 50 mg
- Fiber Content 3 g
- Protein Content 26 g
- Saturated Fat Content 2.5 g
- Sodium Content 200 mg
- Sugar Content 1 g
- Trans Fat Content 15 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 4 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g