Advocating Avocados

Robin (Burt Ward), sidekick to Batman (Adam West) in that 1966-1968 TV series, was known for his exclamations, such as "Holy guacamole!" Since then, his avocado-powered expression has become a standard TV trope. It's turned up in "The Muppet Show" when Miss Piggy saw a giant chicken (don't ask!). And it's in the 2007-2015 series "Phineas and Ferb" as a catchphrase for the character Jeremy Johnson, who declares, "Holy guacamole, you sure are a handful!"

Avocados are worth exclaiming about. A third of a medium-sized one delivers 10% of your recommended daily value for folate, vitamin K and copper, 15% for pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and a good dose of vitamins C, E, niacin and riboflavin, not to mention the minerals zinc, magnesium and manganese. It's the only fruit to contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Now, new studies reveal additional health benefits from eating avocados. Researchers at Penn State have found that eating a moderate-fat diet that includes a daily avocado (that's around 200-300 calories, so substitute it for other food!) reduces lousy LDL cholesterol, especially small, dense LDL particles and oxidized LDL, which are tied to cardiovascular disease.

A preliminary mouse study out of Guelph University in Canada indicates that avocatin B (AvoB), a fat molecule found only in avocados, helps reduce insulin resistance when given as a supplement. What this study means for people, we're not sure, but it's one more indication that there's something kinda holy about guacamole!

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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