May 4, 2015
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Today is Cinco de Mayo and the perfect day for guacamole, a Mexican tradition! Did you know that guacamole’s main ingredient, the avocado, has many nutritional benefits? The avocado may very well be the creamiest and most filling fruit in the whole produce aisle. And yes, it is technically a fruit and not a vegetable. It is naturally sodium free, cholesterol free, and low in saturated fat. You may have heard that avocado is high in fat. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat, which is actually a healthy fat in moderation
The skinny on fats. Fats can be classified into two basic categories: good fats and bad fats. While all fats have 9 calories per gram, they are not all created equally. The main difference between saturated and unsaturated fats is the chemical composition. Saturated fats are generally solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature. These differences make some fats healthier for us than others.
Which fats are bad? Fats that are considered “bad” are saturated and trans fats. These fats can have negative effects on health when eaten in excess. The negative effects can include clogging of arteries and raising of LDL (bad) cholesterol which can lead to heart disease.2 These fats are typically found in butter, lard, margarines, and red meat.
Which fats are good? Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered the good fats. These are the fats that are typically liquid at room temperature. Healthy fats, especially the monounsaturated fats, have many benefits. These include reducing bad cholesterol, lowering risk of heart disease or stroke, and providing vitamin E to the diet which is a natural antioxidant.3,4 Healthy fats are found in vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and of course, avocados! While the monounsaturated fats found in avocados are considered the “good fats”, just make sure you don’t overdo it on the portion size. All fats are equally high in calories, so be sure to eat them in moderation as a part of a healthy diet. The serving size for avocado is 1/5 of the fruit, which provides 5g fat and 50 calories.1
Picking the Perfect Avocado. When avocado shopping, you need to shop with your hands more than your eyes. Pick up the avocado and give it a squeeze. A ripe avocado will be firm but will give a little under your fingers. If the avocado is a little too firm, you can store it in a brown paper bag at room temperature until it softens, and then you can store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 1 Use these tips to select the perfect avocado, so you can make the perfect guacamole.
Try our Executive Chef, Keith Lucas’s guacamole recipe below:
2 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ red onion, minced
½ ripe Roma tomato, seeded, diced
1 serrrano pepper, seeded if desired, diced
Cilantro chopped, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cumin ½ teaspoon
A touch of garlic
Do you love guac as much as we do? Join us for the 3rd Annual Guac Off at Morgan’s Pier on Thursday, May 21st, from 6-9 pm! Sample creative guacamole from some of Philly’s best chefs and restaurants while sipping beers and signature MANNA Margaritas on the riverfront. Vote for the best guacamole and help us crown the Guac Master – all while supporting MANNA’s Mission. To learn more about this event and to purchase tickets, click here.
- Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Avocado: Nutrition . Selection . Storage – Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Available at: www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/avocado-nutrition-selection-storage. Accessed April 28, 2015.
- org. Saturated Fats. Available at: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp. Accessed April 28, 2015.
- org. Monounsaturated Fats. Available at: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Monounsaturated-Fats_UCM_301460_Article.jsp. Accessed April 28, 2015.
- Heart.org. Polyunsaturated Fats. Available at: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Polyunsaturated-Fats_UCM_301461_Article.jsp. Accessed April 28, 2015.