Nutrition

Avocado: Awesome & Alimentative

Avocados, originating from Mexico and Central America, were first used as food at about 10,000 BC.  Also called alligator pear, they are very nutritious and provide for many health benefits when consumed.  A single Avocado contains:

  • 9 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 grams of healthy fats (low in saturated fat)
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Potassium (100 g – more than in a banana)
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Fiber (27% of the recommended daily amount)
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin (to help protect the eyes)
  • Included, too, is Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.

Eating avocados will also:

  • Lower LDL and triglycerides
  • Increase HDL
  • Help with the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants.

Eat them for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Try one or all of these tasty Avocado dishes:

Breakfast – Breakfast Egg & Avocado Tostada 150 Calories per Tostada

Ingredients

4 corn tostadas
4 eggs
¼ tsp. cumin
¼  tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
¼ tsp. oregano
pinch chili powder
pinch paprika
2 Tbsp. milk
1 to 2 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced bell pepper mix
½ cup chopped red onion
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and pitted
4 Tbsp. shredded pepper jack cheese
4 slices ripe tomato
Plain Greek Yogurt – garnish, Salsa – optional

Instructions

  1. Place the tostados on a baking sheet.  Set aside.
  2. Cut avocado into twelve slices.
  3. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over it and gently toss. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, Canola oil over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  6. Add pepper and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. When vegetables are soft, add the eggs.
  8. Stir to scramble, about 3 minutes, until done. Remove from heat.
  9. Turn oven broiler on to heat while assembling the tostadas.
  10. Place one tomato slice on tostada.
  11. Add ¼ of the egg mixture to each tomato slice.
  12. Top with three slices of avocado.
  13. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of cheese on each tostadas.
  14. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately.
  15. Garnish with Salsa and Greek Yogurt, as desired.

 

LunchTuna Avocado Salad – 4 Servings, Calories per serving: 160

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium Avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 10 oz albacore tuna, in water
  • Lemon Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Using a fork, mash up the tuna really well until the consistency is even.
  2. Mix in the avocado until smooth.
  3. Add salt & pepper, to taste.
  4. May serve on toast or in a salad.

 

Dinner Macaroni and Cheese and Avocado ~ 6 Servings

Calories per serving: 450

Ingredients

10 ounces dry elbow macaroni or other pasta, whole wheat
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ Cup chopped chives
Lemon pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
2 cups (reduced fat) shredded Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey Jack or White Cheddar Cheese or combination of all 3, depending on desired taste
Fresh avocado slices

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water
  3. Cook ~10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce:
  • Put the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro and Lemon Pepper into a food processor / blender.
  • Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  1. Make the cheese sauce:
  • Place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  • When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste.
  • Whisk in milk until smooth.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add in cheese and stir until cheese is melted, creating a creamy sauce.
  1. Place macaroni in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated.
  3. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy.
  4. Season with Lemon Pepper, to taste.
  5. Garnish with the avocado slices.
  6. Serve warm.
Nutrition

Are Veggie Chips Nutritious?

Question:  Are those ‘store bought’ veggie chips more nutritious than potato chips? 

Answer:  Usually not, veggie chips are high in calories and sodium, and they contain almost as much fat as regular potato chips.   Veggie chips aren’t much healthier than potato chips.

Most manufacturers of veggie chips claim that their products are made with fresh vegetables.  However, most of these snacks are actually made from potato or corn flour and small amounts of vegetable powder / puree which seems mostly to add color.

They are not nutritionally superior to potato chips.  Also, labels reveal that veggie chips contain high amounts of calories, salt and fats, and little else that is beneficial to health.  They usually cost more, too.  However, there are some veggie chip products that do provide some benefits.  Read the Nutrition Facts label on the package.

Typical Veggie Chip Nutrition – per 28 grams of product:

Description Amount % of recommended daily consumption
Calories 120 (36 from fat)
Carbohydrates 19 grams 6%
Sodium 250 milligrams 10%
Total Fat 4.0 grams 6%
Saturated Fat 0.5 grams 3%
Fiber 1.0 gram 4%
Protein 1.0 gram  

Vitamins A and C – Raw vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C.  However,most veggie chips contain minimal vitamins or minerals, just a small amount of iron. Vitamins are lost during the process of making the veggie chips.

To make veggie chips, whole vegetables are converted to vegetable powder or puree, then this powder / puree is fried to produce veggie chips.  But little of this vegetable powder or puree remains in the final product.

Calcium and Iron – Most veggie chips do not provide any calcium.

Fiber – Fiber is present in in low amounts.  Most veggie chips contain 1 or 2 grams of fiber.

There are certain veggie chip products, such as Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips that contain small amounts of vitamins A and C and are made from slices of vegetables such as sweet potato and parsnip; Terra vegetable chips have 3 grams fiber.  They are much lower in sodium and are made from real slices of root vegetables such as sweet potato and parsnip. They are fried though.

For lower calorie and fat content, the best options are veggie chips from Robert’s American Gourmet and baked veggie chips.  For low-sodium chips go for Terra veggie chips or salt-free veggie chips

Make your own healthy veggie chips at home.  Chop kale and toss it with a small amount of olive oil and sea salt, pop it in the oven and bake until crispy.  More recipes appear in the blog below.

Nutrition, Wellness

What is ‘Eating Right’?

The need for exercise has been established.  Now, what is ‘eating right’?  A study lasting 10 years and included 2,339 people from 11 European countries has shown that a Mediterranean-style diet along with a moderate intake of alcohol is beneficial to health.  Older people consuming a Mediterranean diet had a 23 percent reduction in overall deaths during a ten (10) year period.

Furthermore, those following the Mediterranean diet and engaged in physical exercise and consumed moderate amounts of alcohol – mostly wine – and did not smoke, showed a 65 percent reduction in overall deaths.  (These reductions were from heart disease, cancer and other causes.)

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fruits, vegetables and potatoes.  It is rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.  One purpose of the Mediterranean diet is to maintain a stable weight.