~ February 2013 No.246 ~
The avocado is one of those things that many of us see in the grocery store but pass them by because we just don't know anything about them, or how to use them. The mystery starts with the question " Is it a fruit or a vegetable?" The avocado or Persea Americana, also known as alligator pear, is the fruit of a tree native to Central Mexico. When cut in half the oversized pit dominates the soft fleshy interior, but it is the bright green flesh, its colour, texture and nutrient content that has attracted many people. Mexico is by far the largest producer of avocados, followed by the US, Chile, and Indonesia. Avocado is the main ingredient of guacamole, a popular pre-dinner snack / hors d'oeuvre , although in some parts of South America they top ice cream with avocados!
Compared to other food groups, fruits in general are not considered as a major source of protein. Having said that, avocados are reported to have the highest protein content of any fruit. In addition, the avocado protein contains all of the 18 essential amino acids required by humans.
The texture and unique mouth feel that you get when you eat an avocado comes from the high fat content of this fruit. The close to 15% fat found in an avocado contributes about 75% of an avocado's calories. The good news is that most of the fat is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Compared to other common oils, avocado oil comes out highest in monounsaturated fats. The high monounsaturated fat level combined with the low saturated fat level in avocado oil has prompted experts to compare avocado oil to olive oil for its heart healthy characteristics.
Although avocados are unlikely to become a major part of anyone's diet, it is good to know that they can be enjoyed because of their colour and texture and nutritional value.
|Types and Amount of Fat in Avocados|
|Oil||% Saturated Fat||% Monounsaturated Fat||% Linoleic Acid|
- Learn more:
September 29 2016
A 40 page booklet from the Avocado Growers Association of SA download