Avocados are recommended in the latest guidelines issued by the American Diabetes Association that emphasize a diet rich in monounsaturated fat for improved diabetes control.

avocados recommendedAccording to the guidelines, people with diabetes are no longer limited to a low-carbohydrate/low-fat diet and may instead choose a higher-monounsaturated fat diet that includes avocados.

The guidelines are part of the American Diabetes Association’s “Evidence-Based Nutrition Principles and Recommendations for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes and Related Complications”.

Specifically, the new guidelines recommend that carbohydrate and monounsaturated fat intake should account for 60 percent to 70 percent of calorie intake for people with diabetes, and 15 percent to 20 percent should come from protein.

Avocados are among the top food sources recommended for monounsaturated fat. In addition, the guidelines suggest that less than 10 percent of caloric intake should come from saturated fats. Overall, each individual’s metabolic profile and need to lose weight should determine the total fat intake.

Studies show it is more important than ever for people with higher than normal blood glucose levels to consume nutritionally sound foods like avocados.

Results from the Diabetes Prevention Program, a landmark clinical trial from the National Institute for Health, indicate that diet intervention and exercise conclusively slash type 2 diabetes risk by up to 58 percent.

According to the American Diabetes Association, at least 10 million Americans are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, the most common form where either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.

While avocados may be best known for their monounsaturated fat, they contain other important nutrients beneficial to a healthy food program for people with diabetes.

Recent research from UCLA indicates that avocados are the highest fruit source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, which is known to neutralize free radicals that may cause some of the complications of diabetes, such as heart disease and nerve damage.

Avocados are nature’s whole food and are nutrient dense, versatile and a delicious part of a healthful diet. Ounce for ounce, avocados contain more fiber, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and magnesium than any other commonly eaten fruit. They are naturally cholesterol and sodium free and serve as a healthier alternative to butter, sour cream and other dips and spreads.

• Enjoy guacamole with raw vegetables or baked or fat-free tortilla chips.
• Spread avocado on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise and save 17 grams of fat while boosting nutrition.
• Dress up a salad with fresh avocado, lemon juice and a pinch of salt – or balsamic vinegar – instead of creamy salad dressing. You’ll add more flavor and save 10 grams of fat.
• Top whole-wheat crackers with fresh avocado instead of cheddar cheese for a delicious snack with half the calories and less fat.

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Filed under: Diabetes Diet

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