February 21, 2022
Today we are excited to share some key information about how eating avocados can help control blood sugar and reduce cravings for sugar and processed carbs. Being mindful of monitoring and managing blood sugar levels, especially for those who are diabetic or have been cautioned by their doctor of being prediabetic, is really important and can be great data for making changes to your health plan. It is always fun to do a show about how eating REAL FOOD, especially a real fat like avocados, can support long-term health by having a positive effect on blood sugar control. We’ll also give examples of ways to incorporate avocados into your meals and snacks!
Similar Podcast Episodes:
BRITNI: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, we are excited to share some key information about how eating avocados can help control blood sugar and reduce cravings for sugar and processed carbs. You know, with a new year well underway, this is a good time to mindful of monitoring and managing blood sugar levels, especially for those who are diabetic or if you've been cautioned by your doctor for being prediabetic. You know, it's always fun to do a show about eating real food, especially eating real fat like avocados and can, you know, they can support long term health by having a positive effect on blood sugar control. And some of you might be wondering why is it so important to maintain good blood sugar control? And what are some of the long-term consequences of having higher blood sugar? Well, one consequence would be developing type two diabetes, which increases your risk for developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, kidney disease. And, you know, the list goes on.
NIKKI: Yeah, it really does.
BRITNI: So today we're talking everything avocado. So I hope you listeners love avocados.
NIKKI: I do.
BRITNI: So we're going to be discussing how avocados are a natural fat that helps balance blood sugar, how to add avocados to meals and snacks and how to shop for avocados and even how to store avocados. You know, I get those questions a lot actually. Avocados are a little confusing.
NIKKI: They are.
BRITNI: So we’re talking about it all. You know, I am Britni Vincent. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I have been teaching and counseling clients about the benefits of eating real food for the past 10 years. I had to do the math in my head and the 10 years has gone by very fast. You know, I always inform my clients that the key to long term health is maintaining a normal blood sugar level and feeling good too on a daily basis. So eating sufficient good fats, such as half an avocado has been found to keep blood sugar levels balanced. You know, before we go more into the top, let me introduce my co-host. You heard her voice. Nikki Doering is also a registered and licensed dietitian and you've also been spreading the real food message for years.
NIKKI: Yes. I was just trying to calculate in my head how long. At least 10 years. Probably thinking of when I graduated from my dietetic internship. Yeah. 11 years. So crazy.
NIKKI: Goes by you're right; really fast. So I'm Nikki. Hi, good morning. Good morning, Britni. I think this is our first show together, which is exciting.
BRITNI: I think it is. Yeah, it's fun.
NIKKI: So good morning listeners. I just love today's topic because I have a personal connection to it. I have blood sugar issues. I have gestational diabetes. For those of our listeners that don't know I'm pregnant currently. So gestational diabetes is something that happens during pregnancy. You have higher than normal blood sugars. So I am always thinking of what can I eat to keep my blood sugars balanced. And I think it's important to know kind of how do you measure those blood sugars, those labs and things? So I think Britni, you have like an excellent way of kind of explaining it.
BRITNI: Yeah, you know, we get, well, first of all, it's so exciting.
BRITNI: Baby number two, coming.
NIKKI: Baby, number two. Yes.
BRTINI: You know, we, most people get that fasting blood sugar checked every year at the doctor, but you might; sometimes it comes without an explanation. So you might not know what to look for. So we want to keep your fasting blood sugar below 105 and your A1C at 5.7 or below. But for people who are really concerned, you know, more optimal ranges to focus are a blood sugar below 90 and an A1C at 5.4 or below. You know, there's a study in the American Journal of Medicine and they looked at 46,000 people, which is a huge sample size.
And they found subjects with glucose levels at 95 to 99 were 2.3 times more likely to develop type two diabetes and subjects who were 90 to 94 were 49% more likely to develop type two diabetes. So again, you know, more optimally aiming below 90 and you know a fasting blood sugar is just one little snapshot in time.
BRITNI: So another lab that you could request from your doctor, if you're concerned about developing type two diabetes, or if maybe you're struggling losing weight and you don't really know why, you can ask for a fasting insulin number. So that actually measures the amount of insulin your pancreas is outputting and we're, we're always talking about insulin resistance, right? So this helps to determine how insulin resistant you are. So optimally, you want to be five or below. And then when you're working with a nutritionist, this data just helps us, you know, more individualize your plan.
NIKKI: Yes. I think, I, I think it was maybe you, Britni that suggested I get my fasting insulin because my hemoglobin A1C was always really good.
NIKKI: But I had some higher fasting. And so we really wanted to take a look. And what we were finding is that my pancreas was really good at shooting out insulin too, to keep those blood sugars balanced. And that isn't always the healthiest for your body either.
BRITNI: And Nikki, that's a really good point. Sometimes people have a good A1C and then they're fasting insulin’s elevated, or the reverse. I've had some clients with their A1C seems high. Even now their blood sugars are good. And then we get their fasting insulin checked. And it's also good. So anyways, it just helps, you know, paint the big picture.
NIKKI: Yes. Because we don't want to damage our pancreas with high blood sugars and overworking it. So that's that insulin component. Yeah. Very interesting.
BRITNI: It is. Yeah. Lots of “sciency” jargon to start the morning, but yeah, Nikki, I know you have a really great client story to share with us.
NIKKI: I, I mean, I thought of this client right away when we talked about avocados. So I just want to share this with our listeners today. So I'm happy that again, we're doing a podcast today and a radio show about that individual food, avocados, to kind of show like, let's talk it up a bit.
NIKKI: So the real life client story that I have is about her fasting glucose levels and how it was totally switched from being elevated in an elevated range. So we just talked about what an ideal range was. Hers was in like the 130 to 180 range fasting. So that morning, you prick your finger, you check your blood and you see 155. Okay. That's elevated. And she got hers down, down to that 105 to 109. So doctors would say, Hey, that's awesome. That's great. And she did that just by including an avocado in her bedtime snack. How simple is that? And yet that's really effective.
NIKKI: So this client was concerned about her high glucose numbers. Just, I mean, I understand that too. I was there as well. And she had her glucose numbers actually had given her, her doctors had given the diagnosis of type two diabetes. So yeah. So I think just to make it easy to talk about this story a little more, I can talk about what she brought, took out of her eating and replaced with that avocado. So her fasting numbers, like I had mentioned were 130 to 180 and she was also on medication. Typically doctors will start, I see, at least with my clients, they'll start prescribing medications in that prediabetes range many times. And she was falling into the type two diabetes range. So she was on some medication. And so for her bedtime snack, she wasn't doing anything sugary, no sugary treats or anything, but she was eating crackers and chips, which we do know turn into glucose in our blood or sugar.
Of course her blood sugar numbers were high in the morning because of that. So we were both concerned when we were working together about the lack of control with respect to her fasting glucose numbers. Then she told me she was really nervous about a family vacation that was coming up. And I hear that all the time from clients; vacation, vacation, vacation. And I think it's nerve-wracking to try and eat healthy when you're at home and in a routine and then throw traveling in that. It can be…
BRITNI: It's hard.
NIKKI: It can be, yeah, overwhelming. So she was worried that she would be sitting around eating foods that aren't normally what she's eating and she wanted to know, what she should be eating or could be eating while she's sitting on the beach; family’s maybe having margaritas, eating tortilla chips, having some guacamole. Now the easy part for her was giving up the alcohol because she wasn't really big into alcohol. So we just switched that up to mineral, mineral water with like a twist of lime.
NIKKI: And that wasn't an issue. But as I had mentioned before, her thing was chips or crackers at bedtime. So she was really like, I'm going to love eating the tortilla chips. What should I do? And so she wanted some alternative to dip into maybe the guacamole. And why don't we pick up this story when we come back and break?
BRITNI: Yeah. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, we are discussing the role of avocados and blood sugar control, cholesterol management, and how avocados can help to reduce cravings. We will be right back.
NIKKI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I've worked in long term care facilities. I've been, I've seen the results of long-term poor blood sugar control. If your blood sugar numbers are in the prediabetic or diabetic range, let me suggest that you make at least monthly appointments with a Weight and Wellness dietitian or nutritionist to learn how these foods affect your blood sugar. Managing blood sugar is a daily practice. And I know that well. And so give us a call at (651) 699-3438. And let, let us help you through that process cause it's confusing even for dietitians.
BRITNI: It is.
NIKKI: So yeah, you're not alone and we're here to help you with those blood sugars. So…
BRITNI: And I think, you know, tracking things more closely and having some guidance helps empower people more. Just knowing, oh well that's these are the foods that spike my blood sugar so much.
NIKKI: Yep. It's another set of eyes looking at that that really helps clarify things.
NIKKI: It can be very helpful.
BRITNI: You know, before break Nikki, you were sharing this great client story.
BRITNI: Do you want to continue talking about that?
NIKKI: Let me pick that back up. So basically I had a client that had higher fasting glucose numbers or blood sugar numbers. Those are interchangeable terms. And she was worried about what would happen on vacation because she was having such a hard time at home and we know that blood sugars can go; and I think even if you're not monitoring your blood sugars, we know how hard vacations can be with eating healthy.
So we were brainstorming things to change. So we were coming up with something to dip in the guacamole instead of tortilla chips, cause she had already decided I'm giving up; I don't need to do alcohol. The margaritas I can, that's not a big deal to me, but the chips and the guacamole: that's going to be hard. So I had a suggestion that she should have one of the servers bring a huge bowl of guacamole with a huge side of fresh vegetables and just, you know, not worry about how much you're eating, cause you're eating those good, raw, crunchy vegetables with that healthy avocado fat from the guacamole.
And so she could dip her veggies in and in her own bowl of guacamole and eat as much as she wanted without any of the chips. So she followed my suggestion and when she got home from her trip, her fasting blood glucose had dropped over 70 points.
NIKKI: So like if you remember, I was mentioning is like up in like close to 180s sometimes and she came back and she was checking and it was like 105, 107, 108. So she had dropped significantly just cutting out those chips. And so it might not be that drastic for everyone. I mean that was, you know, she was on medication, which I'm sure helped too. There's, you know, we could go into like even more like inflammatory foods causing blood sugar shifts too. That's another topic. We're talking about avocados today, but she was just shocked to find that her blood sugar levels were so much drastically better just by eating that healthy fat from that guacamole and avoiding high sugar foods with bad fats.
NIKKI: Like tortilla chips because tortilla chips are a carb. They're, you know, made with wheat. Some are corn, you know, all of that. And then they also are typically made with kind of a damaged oil; vegetable oil typically. So I don't know if I mentioned, but this vacation was in a holiday trip to Mexico. So that's kind of where the guacamole and the chips came in.
And the good news is when she was eating vegetables dipped in guacamole, she lost her temptation for all the high sugar treats. So that's also something beneficial on vacation because I know sometimes it's nice to get sugary treats; get desserts and things. And she, and those sugary treats and desserts would've sent her blood sugars even higher probably than what she was used to at home. And the lesson she had learned is that she can have fun food and she can stay healthy at the same time. After all who doesn't want to eat fun food like guacamole? I love it.
BRITNI: Sounds delicious.
NIKKI: Yes. So she knows now that she can celebrate any occasion, big or small with a large bowl of guacamole for dipping her vegetables in. And her blood sugars will remain normal. And I think that's such, that really hits home for me because I know what it's like to find that “safe” food that won't affect my blood sugars in a negative way. And so, and bonus when it's delicious. Right?
BRITNI: I was just going to say, I mean eating to keep your blood sugars low can be delicious foods.
NIKKI: It can be. It is.
BRITNI: Yeah. Without doubt.
BRITNI: And we're going to be talking about more ways to get avocados in too. Some, some other ideas too, but you know, I love that real life example that you got to share, Nikki. That's great. And you know, it really just shows the effectiveness of eating a healthy healing fat like guacamole to keep a better blood sugar control. You know, while I was preparing for today's show and hearing that, that amazing life changing story, I got to thinking is there research to back up the effectiveness eating avocados for blood sugar control? And not to my surprise, of course there is. You know, one study I found was conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University and it was published in November, 2013 of Nutrition Journal. The title was “Randomized 3 x 3 Crossover Study to Evaluate the Effect of Hass Avocado Intake on Post Ingestive Satiety, Glucose and Insulin Levels and Subsequent Energy Intake in Overweight Adults”. That's a mouthful.
NIKKI: Yes. Yes.
BRITNI: Yes. Study titles are generally quite long.
BRITNI: But I wanted to read it to you to let you know that we don't just say eat this or eat that. We look at the research as well, you know, combined with what we're actually seeing works with our clients. So this particular study, it was funded by the Avocado Nutrition Center and with all the research, the conclusions, you know, they can't be generalized to a larger population without further study, but the results support the growing body of evidence that avocados really can have a positive effect on managing blood sugar levels.
NIKKI: So as many of you know, I love reading research and as dietitians, we know research that recommended, we, we remember the research that recommended that low fat for weight loss diet, the low fat for cardiovascular cholesterol management; we know that was flawed research or just not totally the most accurate. And so we, we look carefully at research to see if those findings support what we find is working with our clients every day in clinic. So I always use the term “clinically I see”.
NIKKI: Because I think sometimes it can't be interchangeable and I think that's important for the individual.
BRITNI: You know, before you go into that, Nikki, it's already time for our second break.
NIKKI: Oh my gosh.
BRITNI: I know. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. We are dishing up a lot of nutrition information today about the benefits of eating avocados. And you know, there's that old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research has a new saying that goes an avocado a day keeps the doctor away. At Nutritional weight and wellness. We like to say eating an avocado a day keeps diabetes away or high cholesterol away or the extra pounds away. What health issues do you want to keep away by just eating an avocado daily? We'll be back.
NIKKI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I think one of the most important benefits of eating an avocado every day is how it helps to manage blood sugars and cravings. As dietitians and nutritionists, we understand that most people need weekly support to manage blood sugars, which is critical to good long-term health. There's always a wedding with a pasta dinner, the cake, the drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, or maybe even a grandchild's birthday party, to get those blood sugars off track.
Most people need help planning how they can enjoy these events without a blood sugar crisis. We are here to help and we can help you carry out a good strategy, a good blood sugar balancing strategy. After all it is your health and is totally okay to get some help with it. I mean, we all need a little support, right?
BRITNI: We do. Yes.
NIKKI: So before break, I was mentioning how we kind of try and take research that we are reading and put it into our clinical setting and kind of compare and kind of mash it all together and say, oh yeah, that's what we're seeing. And so Britni, let's break down some of this research findings for our listeners. So I'm going to start with maybe food and perhaps for a bedtime snack, they will, you know, our, our listeners could start having an avocado with some raw veggies to see how it affects their fasting if they're checking their blood sugars. I know we often suggest avocado slices with a few blueberries too. May sound a little strange at first, but it works well to keep blood sugars controlled through the night.
BRITNI: It's a great suggestion. Of course as dietitians, we love to talk about food.
NIKKI: Of course.
BRITNI: But you know, getting back to some of the research, you know, the people in that study who added a half an avocado at lunchtime found that they were less hungry in the afternoon compared to those who had no avocados at lunch. And we know for a lot of people that afternoon gets a little hairy with cravings and energy dip and all of that.
NIKKI: Totally. Yeah. I hear that from, I don't know, a ton of clients.
NIKKI: Myself included if I'm not eating in balance.
BRITNI: For sure. Me too.
NIKKI: And I was just thinking too. I know when I add avocados to my, to my meals or even healthy fats for that matter, I feel so much more satisfied. I spent years being afraid of fat and it's so good to just know that it's, it's helping me, not hurting me and it's tasty too. Right?
So, because we work with so many clients who are either prediabetic or those who are already having or who those who already have type two diabetes, we always are looking ways to bring their blood sugar numbers into that normal range. This study also found… the study that you were just mentioning about the last hunger.
BRITNI: The last time. Yep.
NIKKI: The study also found that the subjects that added a half an avocado at lunch, they had better blood glucose or blood sugar control and insulin control than the subjects that didn't have the avocado at lunch. And I think that's really important for our listeners to hear. Good blood glucose control and good insulin control equals less hunger.
NIKKI: They go together.
NIKKI: If you're hungry, what do we need to do? Work on blood sugar control and balance.
BRITNI: I love that you tied that all together. Yes. And then often that leads to so many other too; the trickle-down effect.
BRITNI: You know, we know this was a small study, but clinically, you know, we're seeing very similar results with, with all of our clients, you know, adding a healthy fat really does help with blood sugar control. And even though it is high in fat, people usually have, again, those fewer cravings. And guess what? Often they lose weight.
BRITNI: Yes. So eating a healthy fat helps people lose weight and while they're losing weight, then they feel better mentally, physically, you know, this goes back to better blood sugar control helps the body systemically. And overall people just feel better. And of course this goes against all the low fat starvation type weight loss plans. And basically this goes against everything we learned in school. Right Nikki?
NIKKI: Exactly. Yeah. And I kind of like that because I'm seeing more and more of even those low-fat plans that we saw those, you know, big, huge national weight loss initiatives talking about low fat. They're even talking about adding in fat.
BRITNI: Things are coming around. Yeah. Finally, you know, and I, I also want to add the healthy fat is really where we get a lot of the benefit from the avocado, but avocados have other helpful, helpful nutritional nuggets to offer us. So half an avocado has seven grams of fiber.
NIKKI: Wow. That's great.
BRITNI: That's a lot.
NIKKI: That is a lot.
BRITNI: And that fiber also helps to keep our blood sugar stable.
BRITNI: It offers us a good amount of folate potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, B6. So they really are just nutritional powerhouses.
NIKKI: Yeah. No wonder they're called, like in that super food category, we're starting to see, it's like, they're always talking about avocados.
BRITNI: They are. Yeah.
NIKKI: So now our listeners may be wondering how do I use avocados in my meals? You know, I think avocados can be kind of a strange food if you've never tried them. That's a great question. And while we were preparing for this show, I just want to say that one of my fellow dietitians told me that she had never even bought or tasted an avocado until she was in dietetic school. And I probably can relate to this. I mean, if I had had avocado, it was probably guacamole at a restaurant or something. It wasn't something that I was buying and making and preparing myself. So needless to say at that time of her life, she certainly had no idea how to prep or use an avocado in a meal. So after hearing that story, I thought, you know what? I bet many of us need a quick lesson on how to prep the avocado before using it.
After washing the avocado, let's cut it in half the lengthwise around the pit. You twist it. So the two halves come apart and then you can remove the pit or the stone with a large spoon, then carefully run the spoon around the edge of the avocado and scoop out the yumminess; that green part; yum, yum; of the avocado. So here are some suggestions Britni and I like to give our clients to use avocados for meal.
One: I have busy mornings. I'm sure many of you do. I have a five-year-old I'm trying to get ready and off to school. I'm getting ready for work. So one really simple way to get an avocado in at breakfast is to add half for the avocado to your morning shake and blend it with the other ingredients. Adding that half of an avocado to my shake leaves me feeling satisfied. And I have more satisfaction with my energy and my, and I have, you know, I'm just feeling well satisfied for hours into the morning. And I just, it makes it smooth and creamy. It's so yummy.
BRITNI: It's a great texture.
BRITNI: You know, I often suggest clients to make the chicken salad avocado cups for lunch. It's a simple recipe. You can find it on our website, weightandwellness.com. You start with five ounces of chopped chicken, add mayonnaise, a little chopped onion or chives, an avocado, and you mash it all together. Really simple, very tasty. And you can either fill the avocado shells with the chicken salad or, you know, I just like to add it to a bed of greens.
NIKKI: Yeah. I will say that you're not really supposed to eat the shell of the avocado. It's very bitter. It's not going to taste good. So yeah.
BRITNI: It would just more be for looks.
NIKKI: For looks or just a carry, you know, carrying spoon it out with a fork or you eat it with a spoon or a fork. I was going to add too. I love doing just, you know, really simplicity’s sake, a burger patty or turkey patty, chicken patty with some mashed avocado on top with, you know, either like you said, a salad or be greens or just roasted veggies left over from dinner.
BRITNI: Oh, that sounds great.
NIKKI: Super easy meal.
BRITNI: You know, a lot of our clients are dairy sensitive and I think avocados are a really great replacement to provide, you know, that creamy texture that you're missing from dairy.
NIKKI: Exactly. Yep.
NIKKI: I like making the mango avocado smoothie recipe. It's on our website at weightandwellness.com and we all also have another one called mango nut smoothie recipe. But because so many of our clients are sensitive to almond butter, I tell them to substitute one half or just a half of an avocado for the nut butter in the recipe and use coconut milk rather than almond milk. And it's a healthier choice for those people that are sensitive to those nut products, but also it's healthier for everyone. So why not? And it really tastes great too.
BRITNI: It does sound really good. You know, another thing that I have made several times is a sauce with avocados.
NIKKI: Oh, that sounds good.
BRITNI: Yeah. So you blend two avocados, about a half a cup of basil and it could be any fresh herb, two garlic cloves, some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, about a third of a cup of olive oil to blend that up; makes it really creamy sauce. And then I've served it over spaghetti sauce.
BRITNI: Or spaghetti squash.
BRITNI: Spaghetti squash, and then add some protein like chicken. Yeah. Really yummy. And you could use that sauce with so many different things.
NIKKI: You're so creative, Britni. I love it.
BRITNI: Well, I didn't come up with the idea.
NIKKI: Well, you tried it at least.
BRITNI: Yeah. So, you know, or you just put it on top of a salad for lunch.
NIKKI: Yeah, or a dressing.
BRITNI: You know, we've been talking a lot about guacamole. You can do guacamole, add some red onion to the avocado, some lime juice, a little bit of salt; super easy, easy, quick guacamole. And then again with the guac, leave those chips and crackers behind. I love the raw veggies. I, my personal favorite is jicama because you get, I love that crunch from chips. So it's a really good replacement for me. And jicama is low in, low in carbs. Lots of fiber too.
NIKKI: Yep. And probably a veggie people don't typically go towards.
BRITNI: Yeah. So it's something different.
NIKKI: Yes. So, so many ways to look at it. And I always like to tell people whenever I'm doing something that I've never tried before, you know, cutting up a vegetable or cutting up a fruit that I've never tried or wasn't, I'm not familiar with, or I've spent years since I've done anything with prep, I go to YouTube.
NIKKI: Just say, how do I prep this? And there's some really great informational videos on how to prep all of those things. So yeah. And I think too remember that avocados are great. You know, we're both moms of young kids. It's a great first food for kids too.
BRITNI: It is. It was actually my son's first food and my girls are going to be eating pretty, within the next couple weeks. And just, we're going to are going to have avocados be their first food too.
NIKKI: Yeah. I think Max is one of, I mean, I don't know if it was his first, but one of his very first cause it's just so easy. It's soft.
BRITNI: Exactly. You know, and then I wanted to say too, I love putting it as a sour cream alternative. So like into chili. That sounds, probably people are going what avocados and chili? It's so yummy. Or even soups that you might put sour cream, a dollop of sour cream on; it's surprisingly very good.
BRITNI: Really good suggestion.
NIKKI: So our break is coming up here pretty quick again. So we'll head off to break.
BRITNI: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I often hear type two diabetes is, is a genetic problem. “My dad had it, so I'm going to get it.” But you know what? It's usually a lifestyle issue and thinking you probably have a similar lifestyle as your parents, right?
BRITNI: And so typically it's from eating too many processed carbs for far too long. For many of us, you know, eating that way really goes back to childhood.
NIKKI: Yep. For me, for sure.
BRITNI: Yeah. Me too. And eating the correct food like avocados or olives or butter or full fat cream cheese can help to control those blood sugar levels. To know what to eat to control blood sugar, I find most people need some education and we can help you with that. That's what we do every day. And we can teach you how to eat right to take control of your blood sugar by meeting on a regular basis. So call us at 651-699-3438 or go to weightandwellness.com to set up your appointment. And you can finally get your blood sugar under control. We'll be back.
NIKKI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We hope you enjoyed this show and podcast and that you can now see the benefits and power of eating real food, especially avocados. Today, we spent an entire hour sharing the importance of adding those beneficial fats in avocados to your diet to help maintain good blood glucose control or blood sugar blood sugar control. It can help with cholesterol management and it's a safe and effective way to lose weight. We recommend that you take this great information and put it to use. So you can see for yourself all of the health benefits that avocados have for you. And I think that we'll, it's a good transition into talking a little bit about more how to use and look for avocados. Cause that's not always the easiest thing.
BRITNI: It's not obvious.
NIKKI: No, no. So clients are always asking two questions about avocados. How do I tell if an avocado is ripe and how should I store avocados? I'll tackle that first question. And then Britni, I'm going to toss it over to you for the second question.
BRITNI: Sounds good.
NIKKI: So here's a quick way to measure how to pick an avocado that's ripe. So to tell if an avocado is ripe you look at the skin. So dark green to black color of skin on that avocado is usually the indicator that it's ripe. Secondly, a ripe avocado will have bumpy skin. The last indicator of the ripe avocado is that it will form in the palm of your hand when you press gently on it. So if you have an avocado that's not quite ripe, that will probably ripen in about four to five days, the skin of the avocado is green and more smooth in texture. And it's more firm when you pick it up in the store. And then you have that overripe side of things. So that one will be mushy to the touch. And it's an avocado I would just not buy it's mushy. I think there's something with pushing in the top too.
NIKKI: Have you heard that?
BRITNI: Yeah. So if that little…
NIKKI: Probably where the stem was.
BRITNI: Yep. Yeah. If that comes out easily and it looks green, that's ripe. If it doesn't come out easily at all, then it's not ripe.
NIKKI: It's not ripe yet. And I bet if it smushes right in leave it there. Yeah.
BRITNI: You’re right.
NIKKI: So the general rule of thumb: if the avocado is not too firm and not too mushy, then it's probably just right. And if you want to, if you have like a, I know a lot of people will and get like bulk avocados, cause it is cheaper. Cause sometimes avocados can be expensive.
NIKKI: If you have, and you want to, and I've done this before, want to kind of quickly ripen an avocado that's four or five days out, stick it in… And this can work for a lot of fruits and veggies actually to ripen things up. Stick it in to a paper bag. And with avocados, if you pair it with a banana or even two, you can ripen those up a lot quicker. I've had things ripen overnight. Maybe it might take 24 hours instead of having to wait that four to five days.
BRITNI: Oh, love that.
BRITNI: Yeah. It's hard to time.
NIKKI: Yeah. I got to make a ton of guacamole in five days.
BRITNI: Right? And you know, somewhere along the way I learned texture wise, you want it like the tip of your nose.
NIKKI: Oh yeah. I've heard that too. Yeah.
BRITNI: If it's your cheek it's overripe.
BRITNI: So, you know, if you see somebody in the grocery store touching their nose, they're probably thinking…
NIKKI: That’s what we're doing right now in the radio studio. We're both touching our noses.
BRITNI: So then the next question we get a lot is how do I store an avocado? Well, I mean it's tricky cause you want to prevent them from turning brown. And the key is to keep the oxygen away from the avocado and this would be after you, you cut it in half. So you can squeeze some lemon or lime juice on the outer surface of the avocado and then tightly wrap it in like some bees wax or parchment paper over the surface. So again, that oxygen isn't, isn't touching or getting in there. Put it in an airtight container will also help. You can put a thin layer of cold water over the top of avocado or guacamole. That also helps to prevent it from turning brown. And you know, personally at our house we just eat it up really quickly.
NIKKI: Yep. So, and just eat It up.
BRITNI: Don't have to worry about it.
NIKKI: And it's easy too. I, I freeze my avocados.
BRITNI: We do that too.
NIKKI: It will never be a solid avocado after that. I mean it may come back out a little solid, but it's going to be very mushy once it thaws and that's perfect for, like we said, tossing into smoothies.
NIKKI: You can mash it onto things. I love to season my avocados with a little salt and lime juice anyways. So not quite guacamole, but definitely just a little bit of seasoning there.
NIKKI: It's important.
BRITNI: I like the “everything but the bagel” seasoning on top of it.
NIKKI: That would be super yummy. I'm going to have to try that. I have that seasoning at home.
BRITNI: We're getting hungry here.
NIKKI: Mm tummy's growling. So I have some interesting research to share with you. So avocados are one food that Mayo Clinic suggest eating daily to improve cholesterol numbers. So we haven't spent a lot of time on that topic, but a lot of people are going, but wait, I thought we're supposed to be afraid of fat and cholesterol. But no Mayo Clinic is backing that fat is actually helpful for that.
So an article from the Mayo Clinic said the research suggests adding an avocado a day to a heart healthy diet can improve LDL cholesterol levels. And many times people will be looking at their LDL cholesterol levels like that's the “bad cholesterol” or the one that people are trying to get down. This isn't a cholesterol topic today. So we have lots of that. Put it in the search engine on our website. You can get lots of cholesterol tips. But yeah, just kind of familiarizing people with their lab readouts.
Sometimes people with higher LDL levels will get prescribed statins or be recommended to go on a statin. So those LDL level, cholesterol levels in people who they get improved with those avocados, if they're found in like the overweight population or obese population. But I kind of wonder if you have, if you're not overweight and obese, I bet it would maybe help for you too.
BRITNI: I'm sure.
NIKKI: So, but they're talking about research that they've actually done.
NIKKI: So my clients are really amazed that we can really help them lower their LDL with real food, especially real fat. That's just the avocado. And then they're delighted when we tell them that there's no negative side effects like those from taking maybe some medications; only better blood sugar control, better LDL cholesterol and ding, ding, ding: weight loss, if that's your goal.
BRITNI: Awesome. And you know, there is a huge connection with better blood sugar control and better cholesterol numbers.
NIKKI: Yep. They are correlated for sure.
BRITNI: Yeah. Well, here's a quick recap of our show for you. You know, eating avocados helps with blood sugar control, cholesterol and cardiovascular health, sugar cravings, which may be the most in important of them all for many of you just to have that weight loss occur. It's hard to lose weight if you have those cravings nagging at you every day.
NIKKI: And I think we just did a story about sugar cravings too. Yes. I think Britni, that's an very interesting benefit of eating avocados that avocados control blood sugar cravings. When you think about family gatherings, perhaps this year, rather than signing up to bring that plate of cookies or dessert, you can bring that big bowl of delicious guacamole dip and those healthy and tasty fresh vegetables to dip it in. Your friends and family with blood sugar concerns will thank you when they test their blood sugars in the morning and they can celebrate by staying like eating something yummy and healthy and their blood sugars look better.
BRITNI: You know, our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet very powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today and have a wonderful day.