Avocados are ever so popular amongst vegans and vegetarians. For some, it’s their main source of fat. However, once upon a time avocado use to have a “bad rap” as a vegetable that is too high in fat. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, research shows that avocado has about 85% of its calories derives from fat, the fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits.
The threefold unusual nature of avocado fat:
First are the phytosterols that account for a major portion of avocado fats. These phytosterols include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol and they are key supporters of our inflammatory system that help keep inflammation under control.
Second are avocado’s polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs). PFAs are widely present in ocean plants but fairly unique among land plants—making the avocado tree (and its fruit) unusual in this regard. The avocado’s phytosterols, its PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Third is the unusually high amount of a fatty acid called oleic acid in avocado. Oleic acid, or omega-9 helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids.
So don’t be fooled by avocado’s bad rap as a high-fat food. It’s definitely high in fat, but “Good Fat”. Which would you prefer, a big fat chunk of steak or an avocado? I will go with the plant-based option. The other may lead you to a stroke or heart disease. Avocados are unique because their health benefit outweighs any animal fat.