As a diabetic, I love AVOCADOS! So why do I love avocados, and why are they so good for those with diabetes? Well first, it’s all fat, and it’s all good for you. It’s yummy like butter, except instead of killing you, it’s saving you. I know, I know. Big claims, but why?
First, let me just say that Weight Watchers is STUPID for putting avocados on their avoid list with their new Simple Start plan. Anyway, here are the basic nutrient wonders of an avocado. An average medium California avocado has about 320 cal, 17g carbs, 13g fiber, 30g fat, 4g saturated fat, 20g monounsaturated fat, 4g polyunsaturated fat, and numerous vitamins and minerals, including the ever so important electrolytes potassium and magnesium. In fact, an avocado usually has 3 times more potassium than a banana does.
Now lets break that down. 320 calories. That’s pretty high, right? So what! With everything you get in this wonder fruit, it’s worth it. Yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable. It’s sometimes called an “alligator pear”. 17c carbs and 13g fiber. As T1D’s, you know that’s a really odd ratio, and it seems that you may not even need to take any insulin when you eat one of these things, because we always substract the fiber from the carbs to calculate our insulin needs. I know I don’t take any when I eat one. That’s part of why I love them. 30g fat. That’s high too, right? So what! Fat doesn’t make you fat, carbs do, and with no insulin, you can’t store fat anyway. You get 20g of monounsaturated fat with these little green wonders, which is a roto rooter for your arteries. That’s a massive dose! Monounsaturated fat raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which collects bad fats from all over the body and takes them to the liver. When your HDL reaches a certain level, compared to your overall cholesterol number, you’re considered “protected” from heart disease. We as diabetics must worry about our cholesterol because diabetes can lead to heart disease. As a diabetic who’s already died of heart disease once (for about 60 seconds, and was then rushed into emergency quad bypass), I can say that my last cholesterol test was near this heart protective range with no medication. That range is below 3.5:1. Doctors get worried when you go above 5:1. Now lets finish up, and talk about those electrolytes. You ever get a headache, get cranky, have muscle pain, and then realize your blood sugar’s off the roof? You’re getting those symptoms because of electrolyte imbalance, caused by your high blood sugar. If you’ve ever been treated for DKA, you already know about this. Blood sugar goes up, body tries to level it out by evacuating water from kidneys, which reduces electrolyte levels. The body cannot function without electrolytes. So avocados help us diabetics keep electrolytes levels up.
So the benefits of avocados for diabetics are: Low insulin needs, increases good cholesterol, and keeps electrolyte levels up. Oh, and with that much fiber, it’ll make ya poop the way you’re suppose to. ;P
So how do you eat an avocado? Well, I’m to lazy to do anything fancy with an avocado. I just cut the thing in half with a big sharp knife (Carefully, click here to learn how: http://youtu.be/eI-IVnwnbyg ), take out the huge seed, and scoop it out with a spoon. So yummy in my tummy. The first time I bought an avocado, I had no one to teach me how to know if they were ripe. Mine was not, and I could not eat it. A ripe avocado will be a very dark green, almost black. It’s not ripe if it’s bright green, and it’s over ripe if it’s black or brown. Ripe will be barely soft if you gently press your thumb into the skin when you pick it up. If it’s ripe like this when you take it home, you can’t let it sit there for a few days. You have eat it quickly, or it’ll go bad. To make them last longer, I buy a whole bag when they’re not yet ripe, then stick them in the fridge until I need one. Set it out a couple days, and it ripens. I enjoy avocados on sushi, salads, sandwiches, or wherever I want. I just let other people prepare it that way for me.
Now I’d like to provide you with some helpful links to more information about what I’ve talked about today. As someone taking control of your own health, you have the responsibility to do your own research, and not take what I’ve said for granted. Google things, click these links, have fun with the research, and then go eat an avocado.