Irony or ironies…I have been absent from blogging to get ready for my keynote address at Fitbloggin’10 which is being held in Baltimore in a few short days. Ridiculous excuse, I know. Sorry for being away so long!
Back to business. I present to you, another rousing rendition of “Ask the Guyatitian”!
I’ve been doing a pretty good job of losing weight but I’ve got about 10-20 pounds around my belly that I’d like to shed. I’m concerned because I hear that belly fat is a problem health-wise. But I heard that eating avocados might help. This makes no sense. I thought avocados were high in fat? What’s the skinny on this fatty?
Gary from Tampa
You have a right to be concerned. Carrying around a good chunk of fat around your belly is a risk factor for high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome , reduced lung function, headaches, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart disease and possibly a slew of other health challenges such as erectile dysfunction and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). By the way Gary, no worries for you on the PCOS thingy – pass that info on to women that you may know who are having a hard time getting pregnant, managing their weight or controlling their cholesterol.
According to the National Institutes of Health, if you are a guy with a waist measurement of over 40 inches or a gal with a waist over 35 inches, you are at risk for the biggies I just mentioned.
Now that you are uber motivated to shed the love handles, let’s give you the nutrition smack-down on Avocados… Oh yeah, Hass avocado variety, specifically…
Avocados are one of the best food sources of a type of fat that may benefit your belly called “MUFAs” (monounsaturated fatty acids). A 2007 study featured in the journal Diabetes Care found that a MUFA-rich diet prevented belly fat from accumulating when compared to a high carbohydrate and high saturated fat diet – both diets delivered the same number of calories. A Harvard study and a Australian study found similar results.
Avocados, though high in fat, only contain 50 calories per serving (1/5 of an avocado or 1 ounce). Of course, a guy-sized portion is 1/2 of an avocado but still can work nicely in a weight reduction plan as that translates to only 125 calories. Besides, avocado makes a tasty spread and is a great swap out for less nutritious mayo, butter and margarine spreads!
Here’s a little eductational yet delicious video I did on avocados for your viewing pleasure. Pull up a chair and pass the guac!
PS: Love the screen grab on YouTube – looks like I lost my dentures – ha!
PSS: Just heard that there is a woman who wants to be the first woman to achieve a weight of 1000 pounds. She is eating over 12,000 calories a day. Gary, are you still there? Stay away from this woman!
PSS: In the interest of full disclosure, I have worked with the Chilean Avocado Importers Association as a spokesperson.