Insider’s Viewpoint: Nutritious Guacamole & Good Fats
Keeping with the trend, avocados’ popularity continues to grow. They can be seen anywhere: toast, salads, sandwich toppings, dressings, smoothies, mousses – the list goes on and on! Even as culinary creations continue to evolve, the time-tested favorite way to enjoy avocados will always be guacamole.
You can’t go wrong when preparing guacamole for your next get-together. Avocados contain 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. Additionally, they are naturally sodium and cholesterol free and full of “good” fats (monounsaturated fats). These fats can help to lower blood cholesterol, leading to a healthy heart.
Even though avocados contain these healthy fats, don’t forget fat is still fat! One serving is about 1/5 of a medium avocado, and contains approximately 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. When made into guacamole, it can be much easier to consume a larger portion (keep this in mind when dipping in chip after chip!). So, keep your portions in check by making a small plate for yourself. This will help you be more aware of how much you’re actually consuming. If you don’t want to skimp on portion size, try lightening up the dip recipe listed below. Here’s how > Greek yogurt can be added to guacamole to reduce the calorie content, and the added protein will keep you fuller longer.
Greek Yogurt Guacamole
- 4 ripe medium avocados, seeded and peeled
- 3 limes, juice only
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ⅛ tsp. cumin
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Place avocadoes in a bowl and mash with a fork until desired consistency is reached. Mix in the remaining ingredients and serve!
Tip: Guacamole is a very versatile recipe! Try experimenting with different add-ins like grilled corn, bacon or kale and slice up fresh veggies in place of chips.
Allison R. Witmer, Intern
The Pennsylvania State University
Meredith McGrath RD, LDN