Scroll up and down your Instagram feed and it paints a picture that avocados and healthy eating go hand in hand. Avocados are undoubtedly the girl she thinks she is, sitting pretty cosy as one of the most nutrition-dense foods on the market today. But is it a better option than a slice of toast slathered in butter?
Naturally cholesterol free avocado on a sandwich or toast is the perfect substitute in place of buttery spreads, believes Cape Town gym enthusiast Lorna Norolela (24). “Avocado is definitely the girl she thinks she is!”
The health and fitness junkie tells Health For Mzansi that you are guaranteed a “mouthgasm”, whether you blend it into your smoothies, smash it, or slice it.
Since beginning her weight loss journey, Norolela credits a balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise in maintaining physical and mental health, and her overall well-being. “Avocados contain an abundance of nutrients that are crucial for health,” Norolela says.
“Not only is the combination effective in preventing excess weight gain or in maintaining weight loss, but a healthier lifestyle comes with bountiful benefits and I’m here for it!” she adds.
Is Mzansi biting into the avo toast craze?
The answer needs no time to marinate for Norolela who says, “Of course, I prefer avocado on my toast. It compliments flavour and just makes everything taste better. Add crushed garlic and red onion, I’ve always found that the experience is always elite.”
This is a brunch favourite and the centre of the “insta-food culture”, observes Cape Town food writer and content creator Mandisa Mfenyana (27). “Avocado is a bland and bizarrely creamy freak of nature, however, seasoning with a little lemon and salt brings it to life,” she says.
The city foodie says that avocado is also powerhouse of healthier fats and just tastes better than butter. “It pairs well with my snacking habits. I toast my bread, dice my avo and add salt, pepper and lemon juice, slightly mash it, and spread it on my toast. It still needs to be chunky,” she adds.
Meanwhile, Sanele Dlamini (24), a bachelor of science student in dietetics at the University of the Western Cape, says avocados are a fruit that is categorised as fat. “Most of the fat found in avocados is good monounsaturated fats,” he explains.
So will it Avos or butter for you?
Clinical dietician Frane Helm echoes the sentiments of Dlamini and says that we have good and bad fat, and butter can be classified as one of the lesser good. Helm advises that people consume more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), a healthy type of fat. “Start replacing less healthy fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, with unsaturated fats, such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats, which offer health benefits.”
Monounsaturated fats are usually found in plant foods, such as nuts, avocados and vegetable oils Helm says.
Gauteng registered dietitian Leepile Mantjane further adds that until you consult a nutritionist, a balanced diet with the following food combinations is very important:
- Whole grain carbohydrates: The right carbs are like bottomless source of energy. Mantjane suggests healthy carbs like oats, bran flakes, mabele (soft porridge), brown rice and whole wheat bread.
- Lean protein: Meat is good for preventing muscle damage, Mantjane says. Add meat, poultry, legumes, eggs and milk to your diet.
- Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals are good for better metabolism, blood and oxygen flow, and bone health. Mantjane suggests B-vitamins, iron and calcium respectively, found in differently coloured fruits and vegetables.
- Healthy fats and oils: Include avocados and select nuts.