Guacamole has a solid reputation as a crowd pleaser, for sports fans and health nuts alike. Even the Aztecs indulged in ahuaca-mulli, or avocado sauce. But is guacamole good for you? Here’s what the experts say.
Guacamole’s main ingredient is avocado, a creamy green fruit full of heart-healthy, easy-to-digest monounsaturated fats. It’s typically mixed with salt and lime juice. Some recipes also call for onion, cilantro, tomato, garlic and spices like cayenne pepper or cumin. “It’s easy to spice up your guacamole by adding in jalapeños, chili peppers and hot sauce, too,” says Jordan Badger, a registered dietitian at Boston University’s Sargent Choice Nutrition Center. “If you crave a sweeter flavor profile, you can add fruits such as diced pineapples, dates and grilled figs.”
Guacamole serves up an array of health benefits, and most are due to the avocado itself: specifically its monounsaturated fats. “These are healthy fats that play an important role in the structure and function of our brain and other cell membranes throughout the body,” says Badger.
Because of their fats, avocados also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and make people feel full and satisfied, Badger says. (The fiber also helps; a serving of guacamole has about 2 grams of fiber per serving.) Eat avocados alongside carbohydrate-rich foods, she adds, and the healthy fats will help control your body’s glycemic response, which is how foods affect blood sugar levels.
Join VCU HR and the American Heart Association on July 31st to learn about “Heart Healthy Cooking Ideas”. More information can be found here!
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