Friday, July 11, 2014


By Jeanette Andrade, MS, RD, LDN

I want to dedicate this blog post to my NS325: Nutrition across the Human Life Cycle class as they had provided me with the idea to write about avocados. We were discussing about good, healthy fats a pregnant female could eat and avocados were mentioned. It just was not the word avocados that were mentioned, but also great recipe ideas and uses of them. So, I would like to share with you all about this wonderful delectable fruit that had led to a deep discussion in our class.

When someone mentions avocados what do you think about? The yummy guacamole found at your favorite Latin American restaurant? The fresh avocado placed on your tuna salad sandwich? The little bits of avocado mixed with beef fajitas? Or do you think about the health benefits of avocados? Well, if you are anything like me, you are likely thinking about the health benefits of avocados. 

Many know avocados contain monounsaturated fats or the good kind of fat that may reduce heart disease risk, but did you know since avocados are fruits they contain that power word- antioxidants? The particular antioxidants found in avocados are lycopene and beta carotene. Now, you may be quite surprised that avocados contain these particular antioxidants as they are typically known to be in red and orange vegetables and fruits like carrots and tomatoes, but these are also found in green fruits and vegetables as well. The highest concentration of these antioxidants are actually found right underneath the skin of the avocado, so be careful when peeling this delectable fruit (George Mateljan Foundation, 2014). Aside from healthy fats and antioxidants, avocados also contain many other nutrients such as folate and vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamins C and K (George Mateljan Foundation, 2014). So, what is the serving size of this fruit to ensure you get in the max nutrients? ½ of a medium fruit will provide you with 140 calories, 13 grams of total fat, and 8 grams of total carbohydrates (Calorie Count, 2014):

If you are looking for a new way to use an avocado, check out this Avocado Mac & Cheese recipe from Avocados from Mexico:

Serves 4-6 people


1 pound elbow pasta

1-1.5 cups skim milk

3 small garlic cloves

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

2 fully ripened Avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced (about 2 cups), divided

5 ounces reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, cut in ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ cup chopped chives



In large sauce pot, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine milk, garlic, nutmeg and chili powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. When pasta is almost cooked, place in blender the parsley leaves, 1-1/2 cups of the diced avocado, the cheese, lime juice and hot milk with garlic cloves; whirl until smooth. Drain pasta and return to sauce pot. Pour cheese sauce over pasta; toss to combine. Add chives and remaining 1/2 cup diced avocado; toss gently. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Preparation and cooking time is about 15 minutes. Best when served the day of preparation.
Use linguine in place of elbow macaroni and add sautéed bay scallops; use rotini (spiral shape) in place of elbow macaroni and add steamed shrimp; add spring vegetables to basic recipe.

Per 1 cup serving size: 365 calories, 15 grams protein, 12 grams total fat, 49 grams total carbohydrates

Avocados from Mexico. Avocado Mac and Cheese. Retrieved from

Calorie Count (2014). Calories in Avocado. Retrieved from

George Mateljan Foundation (2014). Avocados. Retrieved from


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