Eating Avocado May Help Prevent Risks Associated With Heart Disease

A new analysis of existing research shows that consuming the creamy fruit can help with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of diseases and symptoms that include heart disease and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.

Researchers analyzed more than 100 published studies that examined how consuming avocado can affect individual aspects of metabolic syndrome. They found that avocado, along with avocado oil or even peel, may have protective effects on the heart, including lowering “bad” cholesterol, reducing hypertension and lowering risk of obesity.

An avocado-rich diet had the most positive effect on “good” HDL cholesterol levels and may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. That’s important because high levels of bad cholesterol is one of the biggest indicators of heart disease risk, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers also noted that…

Her food allergies nearly killed her, so KC native is helping others with cooking show

Mary Beth Eversole is slaying her food demons on YouTube, one ingredient substitution at a time.

When she was diagnosed with “seven allergies and a myriad of sensitivities,” she stood in front of her kitchen pantry with a sense of hopelessness.

“I just started to cry. It brought up a lot of things, because I’m a recovered anorexic,” Eversole said recently while sipping some green organic tea and taste-testing a raw, unbaked, gluten-free brownie at Unbakery & Juicery at 634 E. 63rd St.

Eversole, 34, was home to visit family. She graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is an actress and voice teacher in Los Angeles, where she has landed roles on Lifetime’s “My Crazy Ex” and the short film “Over? Over!” (a Cannes Film Festival winner) and is a stand-in for “American Horror Story.”

But her most delicious role so far may be as the host of “Allergy Actress Cooking,” her year-old cooking show. In the weekly half-hour episodes, Eversole helps others who have food allergies figure out safe, clean-eating strategies. Episodes include “Superbowl Survival!” and “Kid-Friendly Allergy-Friendly Pizza.”

Eversole’s own diet — which adheres closely to what is popularly known as the paleo diet — eliminates meat, fish, shellfish, most dairy, soy, corn and wheat, which, to non-allergy sufferers may sound like a bare cupboard. Yet Eversole insists her recipes are hearty and delicious enough for even the pickiest eaters.

Although Eversole is not a professional cook or baker, she became “a master at substitutions,” she says. To prove her point, she hands me three allergy-free macarons. “I combined six recipes over the weekend. It took four tries, but I got it.”

Almond flour — a traditional base for French macarons — is naturally gluten-free. But she uses a special brand of powdered sugar with tapioca rather than cornstarch, an additive often used to keep the sugar from clumping. She used pure cane sugar for the batch, but coconut sugar can also be used. Instead of synthetic dyes, she uses natural food coloring made from beets.

When Eversole was finally diagnosed with food allergies 15 years ago, she began recalling how she had been self-eliminating foods as early as age 5. By the time she was 8, she quit eating meat because it made her stomach hurt. Her food eliminations eventually became so extreme, anorexia nearly killed her.

She was recovered and thriving until one day, when dining out with her husband and in-laws, she ordered a gluten-free pasta dish served at a national chain restaurant. It was a dish she had eaten before, but a few bites in, she realized something was different. The server told her the pasta dish contained no wheat — just semolina.

Semolina is a coarsely ground wheat flour.

Eversole had an anaphylactic reaction. Luckily, hers are not immediately life-threatening, though they are extremely debilitating: “Each food is different. Each reaction is different,” she says.

Still, she wound up in the emergency room. The restaurant manager offered her a free dessert. “I could have pursued suing them, but I’d rather educate them to keep this from happening again,” she says.

Eversole’s goal is to “bring joy to a diagnosis that can be debilitating,” and despite its lack of technical sophistication (she just held an Indiegogo campaign to raise…

No, You Shouldn’t Start Eating Avocado Seeds

If you’ve logged onto Facebook in the past few days, you may have seen a viral video demonstrating how you can prepare the seed of an avocado for consumption. The video claims the seed is the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit, and that by drying it, chopping it up into pieces, and blending it, you are left with a powder-like substance that you can mix into smoothies or use for baking, adding an extra nutritional boost to your diet. The video has gained more than 25 million views since it was published on March 13.

So what’s the deal? Have we been missing out on a highly nutritious part of one of our favorite superfoods?

Not so much, says Health‘s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. “I’m a huge avocado fan. I eat them daily, and recommend them to my clients,…

This Smashed Avocado Chickpea Salad Is Bursting With Protein

You want an easy lunch that’s healthy and filling, right? Look no further than this zesty avocado chickpea salad, bursting with fresh dill, lemon, celery, cucumbers, and carrots. Even though it’s served on just half an English muffin, you’ll feel satisfied until dinner because it’s full of fiber and protein. It throws together in less than 10 minutes, and you can even make a batch ahead of…

14 Health Benefits of Avocado, Proven by Science (+ 5 Delicious Avocado Recipes)

The average avocado is nutrient dense, delicious, and will clock in at about 140 calories. With this comes 14 grams of fat – roughly 70 percent of the calorie content. In these calories are an incredible balance of nearly twenty vitamins and minerals. Infused alongside these nutrients are many antioxidants – and the fat content of avocado is monounsaturated, meaning that it helps your body balance its intake of other fats.

Avocados can help your body with a wide range of ailments. Aside from being able to clear up vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can cause a host of problems on their own, avocados can help prevent aging from oxidation (helping you live longer and be more active), improve immune function, manage your blood fat content, eliminate cholesterol, improve digestion, and more.

Avocados have been the subject of intense study and research. Their speculated benefits have helped people for centuries. Science has recently been able to find truth to the legacy behind the avocado’s medical usage in history. Mexico, Chile, and other Central and South American cultures have used the fruit in medicinal preparations and health remedies for many years.

avocado with tomato and cilantro ingredients chopped

 Here are 14 health benefits of avocado, as backed by science.

1. Avocado is a very good source of lots of vitamins
2. Avocados beat bananas in terms of potassium content
3. Avocado helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
4. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fatty acids
5. Avocados help your eyesight
6. Avocados can prevent osteoporosis
7. Avocados have a great fiber content
8. Avocados can fight against cancer
9. Avocados can reduce depression
10. Avocados improve digestion and detoxification
11. Avocados have a synergistic mixture of antioxidants
12. Avocados can help your skin stay young and healthy
13. Avocados are helpful for people trying to lose weight
14. Avocado helps bolster the gut’s intestinal flora

To read more in-depth about each of the listed benefits below, and to learn some delicious avocado recipes, click here.


Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram (@Lyfebulb) and Twitter (@Lyfebulb) and use the hashtag #EatWell to show us your healthy recipes!

Once You Start Baking With Avocado, You May Never Go Back to Butter

Full of omega-3s and vitamin E, avocados taste perfect when thinly sliced on a salad, thrown in a fruity smoothie, or paired with salty sunflower seeds. Yet another way you can incorporate the ever-versatile avocado into your culinary life: as a substitute for butter.

When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. If you substitute the whole amount, you’ll end up with flatter results. To help you figure out how much you’ll need, it helps to know that one avocado yields about three-quarters of a cup. Substituting butter with avocado not only lowers the calorie content — half a cup of butter is 813 calories, and the same…

5 Pre-Workout Snack Ideas For the Morning

Wake up early in the morning to exercise and need to fuel your workout? Go for a mix of protein and easily digestible carbs, which allows your body to stay energized during your workout without weighing it down. If you’ve got an early workout planned, then try one of these pre-workout snacks for the morning.

Morning Vanilla Almond Smoothie

This slightly sweet vanilla almond smoothie is mildly flavored while containing a good source of carbs and protein. Down this before you work out in the morning for…

These Avocado Boats Are A Total Game Changer

Put down your avocado toast everyone, there’s a new dish on the scene and it all happens inside an avocado. Ladies and gentlemen, from the fruit that gave us guacamole, let us introduce the avocado boat.

Avocado boats might not have the best name, but they are the greatest excuse to eat half of an avocado. (If that’s not incentive enough to give this dish a try, we’re not sure that you love avocados enough to even be here right now.)…

Decadent 4-Ingredient Chocolate Avocado Truffles

The following post was originally featured on Eating Bird Food and written by Brittany Mullins, who is part of POPSUGAR Collective.

No one will never guess these decadent 4-ingredient chocolate avocado truffles are made with avocado instead of heavy cream. As long as you use dairy-free chocolate chips, these creamy truffles are gluten-free and vegan!

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend! Isaac has been sick over the past few days so that’s been a bummer, but we’ve made the most of it. We had Indian food for dinner on Friday night with friends, celebrated Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve, had a nice Christmas morning at home just the two of us, and then spent Sunday night celebrating Hanukkah with Isaac’s family. It was perfect… just went by too fast.

I am excited for this coming weekend — both the celebration and the excitement of a new year. 2016 was fine, but I’m ready for a fresh start. Plus, January is always a great month for Eating Bird Food. Everyone is jumping back into healthy habits and/or getting started with…

These Rich, Fudgy Brownies Are Made with Avocado

avocado-brownies-beth-lipton

Nope, we’re not joking. These brownies are sink-your-teeth-in fudgy and healthy, thanks to the star ingredient: amazing avocados. You already know how nutritious avocados are, loaded with fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium. They’re also a great source of healthy fat, which keeps you feeling satisfied and helps your body absorb more of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. So we combined avocados with other good-for-you ingredients—keeping the sweeteners minimal and natural—to create a delicious treat (including frosting!) that won’t weigh you down.

Avocado Brownies with Avo Frosting

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Brownies

3 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped

1 Tbsp. coconut or extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa (40g)

½ cup almond meal (60g)

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 ripe medium avocados (about 17 oz. total), halved, pitted, flesh scooped out

½ cup medjool dates (about 4.5 oz.), pitted

¼ cup coconut sugar (1.4 oz.)

1 tsp….

The Most Annoying Health Foods of 2016

Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

When you first discovered avocado toast and shared it on Instagram – #BestBrunchEver! – you probably thought nothing could top it. But the dish isn’t the only healthy food that drove double taps this year. Here are all the healthy dishes that filled everyone’s feeds in 2016, beginning with the photogenic favorite:

1. Avocado Toast

It’s not hard to see why avocado toast got so popular among healthy eaters: Spread for spread, avocado has roughly one-fourth the calories of butter (which has made quite the comeback this year) with healthy fats and fiber to boot. It’s why you probably don’t even mind paying entrée prices for a simple bread and spread, a dish that used to come free with your eggs. #WorthIt.

2. Ricotta Toast

Although ricotta contains more calories than mashed avocado, andmore than its healthy dairy cousins, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, ricotta toast is typically a lighter choice than, say, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, particularly when the ricotta toast is topped with fruit. That it’s served open-faced makes it bonafide Instagram candy – sometimes quite literally when served with jam or honey, which can contribute lots of sugar (with a side of unsustainable energy). Oh well. How pretty?!

3. Sweet Potato Toast

As would be expected in 2016, the year when toast took really over, healthy eaters picked up on this curious way to use sweet potatoes. You slice them up really thin, bake or toast them until they’re crisp, then top them with cheese, dried fruit, or the spread of your choice. Never mind that no one said potatoes are a health food you should be eating all the time. Sweet potatoes still serve up vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, and unlike bread, they’re vibrant, so no filter needed.

4. Zoodles

Noodles made from spiralized zucchini have fewer calories and carbs than regular pasta, which make them an awesome alternative for those who pay attention to that stuff. Plus they photograph just as well as pasta, which makes them equally likable for both the carb lovers and carb counters who follow your every bite.

5. Matcha Desserts

Dessert chefs have decided to lace their treats with matcha, the antioxidant-rich powder made from green tea leaves and traditionally used in Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies….

Welcome to the Healthy Holiday Swaps Challenge! Are you ready?

From holiday parties to cookie swaps, it’s easy to lose track of your healthy-eating goals in December. And if you suspect that you usually gain a few pounds this time of year, you’re probably right: Recent research from Cornell University tracked the year-round weight patterns of nearly 3,000 people and found that their weight began to rise in October, then increased by about 1.3 pounds during the Christmas-New Year’s season. What’s more, it took about five months for participants to get back to their pre-holiday weights.

The good news, though, is that it is possible to indulge in your favorite seasonal treats and comfort foods without adding inches to your waistline. By making these diet-friendly swaps, you can cut back on calories and load up on good-for-you nutrients.

Here’s how the challenge works: We came up with three weeks’ worth of simple food substitutions that boost nourishment without sacrificing flavor. Since we know you’ll need all your energy for the busy month ahead, we’re kicking off the challenge with clever swaps that trim calories in everyday meals. And because it’s the holiday season, there are also smart tricks to help you indulge in baked goods and party fare guilt-free by replacing fattening ingredients with healthier (but equally delicious) alternatives.

21-day-healthy-swaps-infographic-1

We’re ready. Are you? Show us how you’re using these healthy swaps and connect with others taking the Challenge on Instagram and Twitter with #HealthySwapsChallenge.

healthy-swaps-week-1

Theme: Fuel Up on Healthy Basics

Day 1: Make a Bowl of Zucchini Oatmeal

healthy-swaps-zoats

Oatmeal is a tried-and-true breakfast staple. Zucchini? Not so much—yet. But once you swap regular oats for zucchini oats (or “zoats” as they’re called), you may never go back. When grated, zucchini mimics the consistency of oats and gives you a serving of nutrient-packed greens first thing in the day. The diet-friendly veggie also contains just 19 calories per cup and is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Day 2: Learn How to Make Cauliflower Rice

healthy-swaps-cauliflower-rice

For a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to white rice, try cauliflower rice. In a few simple steps, you can transform this superfood veggie into a grain-like shape and size. Cauliflower rice has a mild flavor that pairs easily with your favorite meat and fish dishes and can be used in any recipe that calls for rice. As an added bonus, you’ll benefit from 51 milligrams of vitamin C in every cup, or 85% of your RDA—which is important during cold and flu season.

healthy-swaps-chicken-salad

Whip up this healthier version of chicken salad for nights when you’re rushing from work to gift shopping to holiday parties. By combining a lean protein with avocado instead of mayonnaise, you’ll load up on healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The best part? This dish is incredibly quick and easy to make: all you need is one cooked chicken breast, a mashed avocado, and salt and pepper to taste.

healthy-swaps-eggs-benedict

Craving a heartier breakfast? Eggs Benedict is a classic brunch order, but with the English muffin, ham, and buttery hollandaise sauce, it can be rich and not exactly low in calories. For a healthier option, try this version which uses creamy avocado instead of hollandaise. Thanks to avocado sauce and a Portobello mushroom “muffin,” our upgraded dish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and B vitamins.

Day 5: Toss Your Pasta, Fish, or Veggies in Avocado Dressing

healthy-swaps-avocado-dressing

Love avocados? Then you need to try this tangy sauce, which is made with avocado, cucumber, garlic, anchovy, lemon juice, and plenty of fresh herbs, making it a healthier alternative to the cold-weather comfort food you’re probably craving right about now. Make one big batch and use it in a variety of different dishes throughout the week. It’s delicious drizzled on top of fish, folded into a pasta dish, or used to dress a salad (just thin with a few spoonfuls of water first).

Day 6: Trade Spaghetti for Spaghetti Squash

healthy-swaps-spaghetti-squash

Instead of spaghetti—another comfort food fave—try spaghetti squash. By making this simple (and gluten-free!) swap, you can cut nearly 180 calories and load up on vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and fiber. To add flavor, try tossing it with asparagus, rosemary, and pine nuts, or serve with a dollop of whole-milk ricotta and fresh herbs.

Day 7: Replace Ground Meat with Mushrooms

healthy-swaps-mushrooms

By using chopped white button mushrooms instead of ground beef, pork, or turkey, you can eliminate as much as 200 calories from your meal. In one study,…

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