Friday, July 11, 2008

Web Site Highlights The Nutritional Side Of Hass Avocados

(NAPSI)-If you love avocados, there’s a new Web site that shows--through recipes, nutritional information and expert advice--how those “alligator pears” can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.

Not that long ago, avocados got a bit of a bad rap, with some people questioning their nutritive value. But in reality, this delicious fruit packs a nutrient punch by contributing nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to one’s diet.

To help educate consumers about the nutritional aspects of avocados, the Hass Avocado Board has developed a new health and nutrition-focused microsite that contains avocado recipe ideas, the latest nutrition news about the fruit, and information about how Hass avocados can help consumers meet the requirements of the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The site also features an “Ask the Expert” section, where Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian, answers frequently asked nutrition questions about avocados.

Some key nutrition facts about avocados include:

• Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene, as well as lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit;

• Avocados are naturally sodium-free and cholesterol-free;

• Avocados, due to their mono- and polyunsaturated fat content, are a healthy substitution for foods rich in saturated fat; and

• Avocados contain 76 milligrams beta-sitosterol in a 3-oz. serving. Beta-sitosterol is a natural plant sterol that may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

To learn more about the nutritional advantages of incorporating avocados into one’s diet and to get inspired by some delicious avocado recipes, visit the Hass Avocado Board’s new health and nutrition microsite at www.avocadocentral.com/healthandnutrition.

Here is a simple, yet delectable recipe that features creamy Hass avocados and a number of vegetables. It can be assembled quickly and tastes delicious!

Meal in a Hass Avocado Half

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup corn, drained

½ cup packaged shredded carrots, lightly packed

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup prepared chunky salsa

2 green onions, thinly sliced

10 drops red pepper sauce

2 ripe fresh Hass avocados, cut in half and seeded

4 small bunches of radish or alfalfa sprouts

Instructions:

1. In a bowl, combine beans, corn, carrots, cilantro, salsa, green onion and red pepper sauce.

2. Fill each avocado shell with ¼ of bean mixture.

3. Garnish with sprouts and serve.

Tip: Cut a thin lengthwise slice off of the bottom of each avocado half to make the avocados stable on the plates.

Nutrition information per serving: 187 calories; 11 grams fat (1.3 sat, 7.2 mono, 1.3 poly); 0 mg cholesterol; 565 mg sodium; 20.7 grams carbohydrate; 6.3 grams fiber; 5.6 grams protein.

This delicious avocado dish is packed with a number of vegetables and can be assembled quickly.

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