The Queen of Good Fats - Avocado
Avocado is perhaps one of the most perfect foods in the world. Well, at least that's what I think. When it comes to healthy, plant-based fats avocado is the queen of good fats. Avocados are a green creamy dream full of monounsaturated, natural plant fats and proteins that are great for your heart health, glowing skin, brain function, hormones, muscle repair, growth, healthy ageing and appetite control. They also contain lutein, which protects your eyes, oleic acid, B6 and folic acid, which are all important for a healthy heart and antioxidants to prevent free-radical damage. They have the kind of good fats that can lower so-called 'bad' cholesterol and they are anti-inflammatory. Whilst avocados were once feared by some people for their high-calorie, high-fat combo, it is actually these properties that make avocado a super-food. Let's be clear: fat is good, provided it is the good kind of fat. Fat is essential for your brain function, nervous system, preventing cognitive decline, maintaining a healthy weight, glowing skin, hair and nails, hormone production and balance. Consequently, avocados are natures perfect little good-fat package.
Are you still confused about what good fats and bad fats are? Let me help you out.
GOOD FATS = avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, natural animals fats (in meats and seafood), organic butter and full fat dairy (if you can tolerate dairy, that is).
BAD FATS = polyunsaturated 'seed' oils (e.g. canola oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower seed oil), any trans fats (think deep-fried, fast food and pretty much any processed food with 'vegetable' oil in it), hydrogenated plant oils (margarine, artificial spreads).
There is plenty of confusion surrounding fats, especially considering government guidelines and heart foundations promote the supposedly 'healthy' polyunsaturated plant oils and margarine over butter and coconut oil. Margarine and plants oils have been chemically processed and modified to get that perfect consistency that you are used to, which means they are in no way natural. If you ever get stuck with fats, just think if it is natural, you're good, if not, don't touch it!
Now, back to my good old friend, avocado. Their best quality? They are delicious, easy to use in cooking and can be incorporated into almost any meal, from breakfast to dinner. I love to mash avocado and serve it as a side with my sweet potato 'fries', but my all time favourite avocado recipe is Chocolate Avocado Mousse. It is creamy, VERY filling and a perfect fat and protein breakfast, especially when topped with some crunchy, homemade granola and fruit.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- 1/2 very ripe avocado
- 2 Tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon raw honey/rice malt syrup OR a few dates
- Almond milk
- Nut butter (optional)
- 1/2 banana (optional)
- Toppings: berries, granola (I like The Whole Pantry Cacao Cinnamon Granola), cacao nibs, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, goji berries, bee pollen.
1. Place avocado, sweetener, cacao powder and a little almond milk in the blender (plus optionals if you want it). Blend all together until smooth mousse forms. Add more almond milk if required. 2. Scrape out into a bowl and top with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
How do you like to use avocados? What are your favourite 'good' fats?