Avocados are one of nature’s greatest gifts. Not only are they totally delicious, this superfood is packed with vitamins, nutrients and good fats. The only thing stopping us from eating the green, fleshy fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner is the fact that they are relatively high in dietary fat and calories.
A Spanish fruit company has come up with a solution to this dietary conundrum: It’s introduced a lower-fat, lower-calorie avocado. But just how healthy is this lighter version of your favorite fruit? The answer may disappoint you.
Courtesy of Isla Bonita, the “Avocado Light” contains 30 percent less fat than your traditional variety, which is pretty significant if you consider that one cup of cubed avocado boasts 240 calories and 22 grams of fat.
“We have been importing avocados for decades. In all this time, many customers and consumers who are passionate about this fruit have regretted not being able to incorporate it more often into their diet,” explains Ramón Rey, director of the international and marketing area of Isla Bonita. “Others directly pass up on their nutritional advantages because these don’t compensate for their high caloric value.”
Fortunately, no genetic modification was needed to lighten up the avocado: The brand’s process had more to do with conducting some worldwide research, analyzing 30 different varieties in six different countries. It discovered that lighter varieties of avocados are grown in “very specific climates of certain tropical areas, close to Ecuador, in Central America and in South America.”
While these lower-fat versions can serve as a replacement for the full-fat versions, don’t expect them to taste the same or even have a similar consistency as the fatter version. Isla Bonita is marketing it as having a “mild flavor” and a “juicier and lighter pulp.” Basically, expect it to be a little more watery. This makes it “ideal for the preparation of smoothies, cold soup, gazpachos, cocktails, etc.,” but likely isn’t good news for the avocado toast-loving millennials, who spend a reported $900,000 per month on the trendy breakfast dish.
Another drawback? From a dietary standpoint, taking the fat out of an avocado is also removing many of its health benefits — around one-third of them. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, the “good” fats that lower cholesterol and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) while increasing the “good” cholesterol levels. While reportedly still “rich in monounsaturated fats,” Rey admits that these lighter avocados boast “30 percent less” of them than regular avocados.
Currently, Avocado Light is only being sold in Spain and is not available in the U.S., but if you are really into the idea of a lower-fat avocado, Florida-based Brooks Tropicals offers a similar non-GMO product. SlimCados, which have reportedly been around for years, have half the fat and a third fewer calories than the Hass avocado and are sold across America.
Or you could just stick to the original, reap the maximum health benefits and consume in moderation.
What Do YOU Think?
Are you excited about lighter avocados? Do you usually prefer lower-fat and lower-calorie alternatives to your favorite foods? Are you concerned by the diminished health benefits of Avocado Light?