If you are over the age of forty you can no doubt harken back to a time when an avocado was still a bit unusual, and most Americans were either unfamiliar with or a bit squeamish about things like guacamole dip. Fast forward to the 1990s and we see all of that begin to change.
By the turn of the century, annual consumption of avocados began to rise dramatically year after year. In 2000 we each consumed on average about 2 lbs. of avocados annually, but in just 15 years that figure had grown 350% to seven pounds. Not only do we really love those little green fruits with the big seeds and bumpy brown skin, Super Bowl Sunday every year we consume over 50 Million pounds of the little critters, and it is safe to bet that about 70% of those avocados end up in the form of a guacamole dip.
So, guacamole dip…it tastes great and we can’t seem to get enough of it, but is it in any way healthy? Although high in fat, it’s the healthy monounsaturated variety. According to the American Heart Association, when healthy monounsaturated fats are in moderation in place of saturated and trans-fat, this can help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, if you overdo it guacamole can turn from good-for-you, to not very good-for-you quickly. A 1/2-cup serving of traditional guacamole contains around 100 calories and 9 grams of fat. And don’t forget to add the chips, which run about 140 calories per ounce (about 15 chips). However, it’s tough to stick to just 15 chips and stop scooping that guacamole. Many people tend to eat several servings at a time, which can rack up hundreds of calories.
Bottom line: Guacamole is a healthy snack packed with fabulous nutrients your body needs. Enjoy your guacamole, but keep those portions in check.