With many people cleaning up their diet post-holidays I wanted to discuss macro-nutrients. Most people are familiar with the terms; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (these are macro-nutrients). But when asked to categorize a specific food like an avocado, confusion sets in. The truth is that most foods fall into all three categories with one being predominant.
Veggies and fruits are predominantly carbohydrates – just like pasta, rice and bread. So, what’s the difference? Veggies and fruits have a much higher concentration of water, and are therefore considered a lighter carbohydrate than grain based foods. The downside is that veggies and fruits are still carbohydrates – the simplest form of energy and the easiest for the body to store.
Proteins are key for repair of muscle and nerve tissue. These are harder for the body to breakdown thought, and are not a good source of quick release energy. The good news is that the delay in digestion provides a long-term source of energy. Combining a protein with a carbohydrate will prevent the carb from being absorbed too quickly.
Fat is key for transporting nutrients. It is the slowest to be digested, and is also the only food category that triggers the hormone cholecystokinin, which tells the body it feels full.
So, back to categorizing an avocado. It is actually considered a super food because it falls into all three categories. A medium size avocado provides 3 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of fat (19 of those being good fat!). In other words bring on the guacamole!
A great way to put some more avocado in your life is through guacamole. Here is a simple and super tasty recipe you can easily make at home.
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 1/2 -1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 4 large sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves only, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 large Hass avocados
- 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the avocado out into a bowl. Mash it with a fork and then add the chopped onion and jalapeno, continuing to mash the mixture to your desired consistency. Then stir in the cilantro, tomatoes, lime. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
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