The Truth About Healthy Fats

by Gena on May 27, 2009

avocado

Happy Wednesday!!

I wasn’t planning on a lengthy post today, but I’ve been getting a high volume of questions from you guys about avocados and how many I eat. Just last night, I got the following two comments:

“hi gena!

i know avo’s are your favorite food, but i CAN’T seem to get over their fat content! PLEASE devote a whole post to them & help dispel all of the myths about how fattening they are. i feel like if i eat a avo everyday, i will turn into one (if you know what i mean). thanks gena. you are a true inspiration.”

And

“I am with Lisa about the avocados, please make a post about it! I’ve never really eaten them before and always hated guacamole (I know, crazy right?) but I really want to try them! I’m hesitant about their fat content mostly, but I’m thinking if I just start out with 1/4 of one I can work my way up to 1/2 or whole?”

Nothing frustrates me more than the bad rap so often attributed to the poor, innocent avocado—not to mention society’s generally foolhardy ideas about what is or isn’t “fattening.” The “fat free” crazy of the mid-90s may be over, but our attachment to the idea that fats in food inevitably turn into stored fat on the body persists.

To dispel the “fat myth,” we need a two-pronged attack plan. We need to address the health angle (“are raw fats ‘bad’ for me?”) and the cosmetic angle (“will eating raw, plant-based fats make me gain weight?”). Let’s start with the health angle.

All fats are not created equal. I cannot stress this enough! When you’re wondering whether or not something is “fattening” it’s not so much the quantity of fat in the food you need to worry about, but rather the quality of fat in question. Mono and polyunsaturated fats (like those in avocados, young coconuts, nuts, and raw, cold-pressed oils) are the “good fats” we hear so much about:. They contain antioxidants, oils that help joints, nerves, and bones, properties that help to lower the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, and proven effects on lowering high blood pressure. They also help us to feel sated, to digest fat-soluble vitamins (A,K, D and E), and they promote brain function. These fats—provided we eat them in reasonable quantities—are not only beneficial, but vital to our diets. Certainly, these fats are caloric, and so we need to eat them in moderation. But moderation doesn’t have to mean elimination: 1/4 of an avocado, 2 tsps of healthy oils, and one ounce of nuts are all reasonable serving sizes of healthy fats. 

What about cholesterol? To begin, it’s important to note that we need cholesterol in order to thrive, and that all of our bodies contain natural stores (there is no cholesterol in non-animal food sources, but even vegans and vegetarians produce cholesterol in their own livers–up to 800-1500 milligrams a day). When doctors test our blood for cholesterol numbers, they even distinguish between “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL); it’s primarily the latter that is definitively linked to heart disease, cancer, and stroke. To make matters more complicated, the link between dietary cholesterol and LDL (and its associated risks) is often hazy. Today, doctors say that some cholesterol in moderation (say, an egg twice weekly) is acceptable in a healthy diet. As a vegan, I would discourage this choice, but I won’t say that omnivores need avoid cholesterol like the plague.

Of course, the reason many of you are worried about these fats is aesthetic, not nutritional. You want to know eating fat will make you fat, and the answer, once again, is not if you’re eating healthy fat in moderation. If you’re binging on anything you’re not going to feel great, and you may retain weight.  But once again, dietary fat in and of itself is not a weight gain culprit. What causes weight gain tends is either a caloric excess (which eating fats may encourage, but certainly it doesn’t have to) and eating low-quality, processed, and overly fatty foods (like fast food and packaged snacks). The question when you sit down to a meal shouldn’t be “how much fat is in this?” but rather “what kind of fat is this?” and “is this a reasonable portion size?”

Holding an avocado up to those standards, you’ll see that it’s full of beneficial properties and easy to portion sensibly. So try not vilify it. As part of a healthy, balanced, and plant-heavy diet, fats are not only safe for us to eat, but downright vital for our health and well being. Whip up a batch of guacamole today!

xo

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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

The Veg Next Door May 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

Thank you for a lengthy and detailed post on this topic.

I love your blog. The pictures of your meals are amazing and your descriptions are so well written and a pleasure to read.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

I’m enjoying your blog too! Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

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I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days May 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

Great Post, Thanks.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

My pleasure! Thanks for visiting!

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VeggieGirl May 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for stressing the importance and role of healthy fats in one’s diet. And I can attest that your guacamole recipe is divine :-)

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

Oh, I am so happy it turned out well! Yay!

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Dori May 27, 2009 at 10:15 am

Gena, this was one of your best posts. You provide such informative, fact-based arguments in such a clear and straightforward style. I loved reading this understanding why “good” fats are in fact good.

I love avocados although I’m not sure if they are okay with my problems. Every now and then I have a little though. Your take on weight gain is also wonderful — very much like Ultrametabolism, have you read that? I gave up soda and other crap after reading that book, which was fact and research based as well.

Thank you for this!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

Oh, Dori, thank you — that means so much to me.

I haven’t read it yet, but want to soon! Thanks for the recommendation.

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FoodsThatFit May 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

Amen Sister!!! This is an awesome post Gena and it ties in a lot of the things I have been researching lately. You are an amazing source of information and I wish I could transfer all of your wise knowledge into my brain!

Thank you for this wonderful and informative post!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

Awww, Abbie. I always am so touched by your enthusiasm!!

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nieves May 27, 2009 at 10:25 am

Thanks for the wonderful two-pronged attack sweetheart! How informative.

I have never been able to eat LESS than the whole avocado at one sitting simply because it makes me sad to see them brown in the fridge like that, no matter how one covers them with plastic wrap. It’s like nature’s way of telling you that you SHOULD eat the whole damn thing.

Mmmm…

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

Haha. Amen, Nieves!

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fitforfree May 27, 2009 at 10:25 am

Gena, so often when I read your posts it brings me a huge wave of comfort — I always feel guilty for eating even 1/2 an avocado at a time, even though my body is always happy after I eat it! It’s a long process letting go of nutritional advice that doesn’t match up with what your body tells you! So, thank you. I want an avocado now.

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Erin May 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

GLORIOUS! Excellent post. You have so much knowledge and I’m so glad you’re sharing it. I teach intro psych and we talk a lot about the neuron. My students are surprised that fat literally makes neurons fire. Without fat in the body, there is no smooth coating (myelin sheath) to speed up transmission of nerve energy. That’s why when you diet you feel totally stupid. They love it!
I bought three avocados this week. I’ve never liked them much, but I’m hoping to give them another shot with this new information in mind.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

Oh, Erin, I hope you love them! And I am so glad you’re sharing the light with what you teach your students.

Tell me what you make!!

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Shelby May 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

I cannot THANK YOU enough for this post!!!!!
I have always had problems with fats and my eating disorder so it’s great to learn healthy fats are GOOD for me and won’t make me huge.
Love ya girl <3

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

Love you too, dearest!

That’s a very hard issue for many women with EDs in their past! But I am so glad you’re conquering it! <3

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earthmother May 27, 2009 at 10:46 am

Another excellent post, Gena! And, thank you for debunking the whole “fat makes you fat” myth.

I LOVE avos. Since transitioning to raw living plant foods, I’ve probably eaten at least one every single day. I’ve dropped 100 pounds and lowered my total cholesterol to 101.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

I had no idea of your story, EarthMom! Amazing. I hope my readers are inspired by it!

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rhodeygirl May 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

i eat 1/2 banana with my breakfast every morning. whenever my aunt hears that she tells me i need to stop eating bananas immediately because they are fattening. she says the same thing about peanuts (even in small quantities). so thank you for this post!

also, avocados are one of my favorites :)

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:26 am

Girl, keep up with bananas! People are so misled sometimes. Thanks for reading :)

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ttfn300 May 27, 2009 at 10:51 am

what an interesting post! i didn’t know that about lipase and cooking food… i’m intrigued by the acidity issue, but would want to read more about it!

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Sara May 27, 2009 at 10:54 am

This post was a little preachy, as well as a little wrong. You said, “What makes us fat, my friends, isn’t the number of fat grams we take in or calories we consume.” Actually, YES, that IS what causes weight gain in humans. Calories ingested vs. calories burned. It’s pretty simple, actually.

The reason why YOU, for example, can eat 2 or more avocados in a day without gaining weight is because you are not taking in a lot of calories elsewhere in your diet. Judging from other posts on this blog about your meals, those 2 avocados in a given day might be the most calorie-dense food you will eat.

Of course there is a difference between fat from a Big Mac and fat from an avocado. And of course if you work those avocado calories into a healthy daily number for an active woman, you’ll be fine. I just think this post could be misleading to some and wanted to give my $.02.

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Zoe May 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

Awesome post! It all makes more sense to me now, so thank you for writing about it! I sipped on an “Avocolada” while I read this :)

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:26 am

Mmmm, avocolada….

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) May 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

Gena,
Great post, and I’m not lying – I sat down with my version of your Favorite Summertime Lunch while I read this. I say bring on the avocados. They do not scare me in the least…now sugar on the other hand…scary stuff!

Fat will not make you fat people. Our bodies need it to function. Thanks for reiterating this Gena – very informative post. Oh, and thanks for the guac. recipe. Seriously, the best I’ve ever made. I loved the savory/sweet combo. Yum!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:27 am

Darlin!

SO happy you loved the guac! I am truly obsessed and will eat it all summer (and year round, too!!)

And thanks about the post. I agree about sugars vs. fats — all, of course, within a generally moderate purview!!

Gena

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sara F May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

Hey Gena!
This is my first time commenting. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and learning more about the benefits of raw food. So much so in fact, I’ve decided to buy a juicer in order to up my intake of greens and save my wallet from the $5 juice at my local health foods shop. anyway, I was wondering what kind of juicer you would recommend. I know you use a Breville (the 800 juice fountain elite I believe?) But the price tag on that is a little steep for me right now. I’m considering one of the slightly less pricey brevilles. Which would you recommend? or is it really worth it to go for the “Elite” even if I wont be juicing quite as frequently as you do? Thanks for the help!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

Hey Sara!

Thanks for reading!

I actually recommend the juice fountain plus, which should come to no more than $140 on Amazon. It’s the one I use!

Gena

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Pearl May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

how interesting! thank you!

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lauren May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am

Bravo! This post is so great, I need to forward it to everyone I know! My family is always saying “Isn’t that a lot of fat?” when they see my salads with avocado and olives!

I do avoid nuts and seeds. I noticed when I eat them a lot I tend to gain weight and my stomach bothers me. I will stick to avocados! :)

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Ach! Misled family members are the worst! Please send this to them!

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zucchini breath May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am

2 roma tomatoes, 1/2 a cucumber and 1/2 and avocado (all chopped) fall into a bowl. A tsp of salt sprinkles on and then I eat them.

hheeheh, get it? :)

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Emily (Natural Nutritionist) May 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Was reading this while eating my raw taco salad with pico de gallo and guac! Very fitting.

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Simply Fabulous May 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I have been having a lot of avocado recently, on my wraps – on salads- by themselves! I was so worried about the same thing was asked about healthy fats! I REALLY appreciate you taking so much time to dedicate to this issue that we all have. Thank you!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I really hope this helps you enjoy those fats, Leah!!

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lisa May 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

oh gena!
thank you thank you thank you.

your knowledge + passion simply bleed through the screen,
definitely wish i could meet you in person.

i am going to go out and buy an avo and make your guac tonight!!!!!!!!!!!
for real.

you’ve also inspired me to buy a juicer.

green juice + avos here i come!!!!!

have a beautiful day.

L.
xo.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I am SO delighted that this helped, Lisa! Thank you for all of your kindness.

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Steph May 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Hi Gena! I know I e-mailed you a while ago asking about fats and cholesterol and you give the type of information people NEED to know! I wish I would have known how greatly foods impact ones life a long time ago. I am reading The China Study right now – so interesting! I am always so inspired by you!

For Raw Wednesday I had a bowl of mixed fruits for breakfast! I plan on making your guacamole sometime very soon!

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Interested in Raw May 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Thank you so much for this.

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Hanlie May 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Very well written and comprehensive! Thanks!

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Luna May 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm

While I LOVE avocado, I have a hard time finding good, ripe ones. Do you have any tips for selecting a delicious avocado? I’d eat them every day if I could get my hands on some tasty ones. Thanks!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Tough question, Luna! where do you live?

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Luna May 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Columbia, Missouri. The very center of the US. No local avocados around here.

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Sally May 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for the insightful article on the importance of fat in our diets. Fat is a very important dietary component! However, I’m a little confused – lipase is an enzyme that is secreted by the pancreas during digestion to help break down fats, so the body isn’t dependent on lipase from external sources. Also, while flax and walnuts are a good source of ALA, they are not a good source of DHA, which is found in fish.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Hi Sally,

No, our bodies are not dependent on any external enzymes sources. But an increase in enzymes from raw foods can aid and enhance digestion and assimilation, even though it does not enable it altogether.

Sea vegetables contain some DHA’s. And the Udo’s oil brand has now made a vegan oil (derived from algae) that is DHA rich.

Gen a

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) May 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Gosh Gena, I am learning so much from your blog – I feel like I’m wiser by the day (or by the post, whichever comes first!). I definitely do not fear the fat, so long as it comes from the right place. In fact, my daily challenge is getting enough because I tend to choose foods that don’t contain all that much. I’m always trying to sneek in avocado/coconut/nuts where you’d least expect, at least for a non-raw foodist. :)

To that end, though, I can feel myself growing more inclined towards a raw lifestyle by the minute – it just makes sense to me. But on a reality-based and practical level, I’m terrified of the idea. The dietary overhaul would be immense, and while I’m not foolish enough to think I could transition overnight, the challenge is still daunting. Do you think there would be noticeable benefits to starting (very) small, as in maybe just a couple raw meals per week?

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk May 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Amen sister! I get so tired of people thinking that good fats will make them fat. My best friend Greg always calls me a fattie (which I’m not…I weigh 105!) every time he sees me eat a nut, an avocado, or anything else like that. He’s just teasing, but he really does think that avocados will make me fat.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm

B —

How anyone could ever call your tiny self fat, even as a joke, is beyond me! But way to go for keeping Mr. Greg in his place ;-)

Gena

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Eira May 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Another brilliantly written post.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Thanks Eira!

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kristin f. May 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I had a half of a small avocado at lunch today as part of my mostly raw Wednesday (I’m currently drinking coffee – and while it isn’t filled with sugar, I still know it isn’t the best choice for me). I weighed the avocado (because I’m still such a slave to the grams and calories concept), and after doing the math it really didn’t provide an extreme amount of “bad” in the context of the rest of my spinach filled day. All of that to say I probably wouldn’t have eaten it had I not been reading your blog, but it sure was tasty!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Oh, keep it up Kristin! It takes so long to break that bondage. But you can, and you will.

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Stacie May 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I really liked the avacado info. I buy them but usually don’t get to eat too many–hubby gets to them first.

For my raw Wednesday eats, I had a spinach/apple smoothie for breakfast; dehydrator bread w/ almond butter (and sauteed cabbage/carrot/celery cole slaw) for lunch; a couple of Kiwis for a snack; and for dinner I’m doing a butternut squash pasta with tomatoes and raw hummus.

Thanks again for the great blog.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Great raw day, Stacie!

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Nancy May 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Hi Gena, great post! It wasn’t at all “preachy”. In addition, I don’t believe I read in your post that you would advocate eating 10 avos in one sitting! It’s your blog, so go right on discussing what you believe! It’s your voice, and we are obviously reading it because we want to hear what you have to say…Anyway…..Everyone is different, and the same plan won’t work for everyone, so it’s up to us to find what works in our own situations. High Raw and avos obviously work for you, because you look great! In my case, I have a very special situation, and I can’t digest too many fats at one time – doesn’t matter if they are “good” or “bad” fats (I do stick to the good though! :-) ). The point is that we DO need the right fats in order for our bodies to work properly, which is particularly true for women. Avos are one source that offer the right fats, as well as a plethora of vitamins and nutrients. Your post was very informative and well written! Thanks.
My Raw food today consisted of a homemade Larabar – pre-workout, a veggie and fruit juice combo with wheatgrass – post workout, a huge salad for lunch with dandelion, mung bean sprouts, fennel, bell pepper, dehydrated peas (part of an Excalibur experiment that didn’t go according to plan, but tasted good anyway), cauliflower and zucchini. I also snacked on sugar snap peas and dehydrated apple slices with cinnamon.
This has been so much fun. Thanks for the Raw inspiration!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Nancy,

You’re awesome. Thanks for such a smart, insightful response to this post and to some of the comments it elicited. I really love your “whatever works for me” attitude! Keep reading.

xox

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courtney May 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Great Post!! Very informative and I could not agree with you more!

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LK- Healthy Delcious May 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm

ahhh- I forgot about raw wednesday again! one of these days I’ll remember…

I love avocados… thanks for this post

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

You are welcome!

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Heather May 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Thanks, Gena, for such a great post! (I always say that, huh?) I lost about 20 pounds a few years ago and I ate avocados A LOT – lots of salads with guacamole on top. It bums me out that people often talk about how fattening certain things are (mostly nuts and avocados) yet will eat processed crap with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Sure, you can overdo the healthy fats, but each individual person has to find out what balance works for them.

What I’m trying to say is: I couldn’t imagine my life without avocados. In fact, it’s really too painful to think about.

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Ha. It’s not a world I want to imagine either, Heather!

Always love your feedback :)

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Sharon May 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Hey Gena, Thanks for the interesting post! I am a little ashamed to admit it but I can’t stand avocados. Somehow I never developed a taste for them — I think it has something to do with the mouth-feel (I’ve never been able to eat butter and most dairy for the same reason). Since I’m mostly vegan I have a hard time getting fats in my diet. Would you suggest anything other than avocados to get my daily fats? It doesn’t sound like you think nuts are a great option, right?

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Hey Sharon!

Nuts are a totally valid option if you dislike avos. In general, I believe that all plant based fats have health benefits and are fine to eat — I just happen to find that avos and coconuts are more digestible for me than nuts and seeds.

I totally recommend soaking seeds and letting them dry before you use them — this makes them much easier to digest!

Gena

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Katherine May 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! As someone who has definitely struggled with weight and body image issues, I’ve been afraid of fats for a long time, but I was inspired by your post today and I made your guacamole for dinner – it was incredible! And the best part, I ate it without constantly agonizing over the fact that I was eating fats. To be honest, I made a double portion and my husband and I shared it so I probably had an entire avocado, but it was absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed every bite of it. Thank you!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm

I am THRILLED that you ate your guac with relish tonight, Katherine! Good job!

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Danielle May 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Way to go Gena! Avocados rock my world :)

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Angelea (Cabin Fever Feast) May 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Gena-wonderful post. I have never believed that calorie/fat malarky about avocados (and bananas). They are beautiful gifts from nature!

Raw meal today:
Green ‘n’ Pink Aloe Smoothie of Love (spinach, frozen bananas, juice from 2 oranges, several strawberries and the insides of one cut leaf of aloe. Mmmm!

Raw snack today:
Banana Bread Larabar.

I’ve so enjoyed Raw Wednesdays…thanks to you and Jenna for the idea!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Amazing raw day, Angelea!

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elise May 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm

oh man! i had no idea there were such concerns about avocado! so glad you devoted a whole post to this. they are one of my FAVE foods ever, and sure they have some fat, but its nothing like french fries or donuts. ugh, i dont understand how education about food and nutrition isnt more common. our government just cant seem to get out the facts. as far as i am concerned if it grows in the ground, its pretty hard to categorize it as “bad for you”…not to get all preachy, thats not what i mean to do. its just a shame that such a wonderful food like avocado gets a bad rap! its a FRUIT!!

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Gena May 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Hey chica,

You’re not being preachy! I am 100% with you.

And it’s important to distinguish between “preachy” and impassioned — it’s totally cool to be impassioned about this stuff!

G

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gina (fitnessista) May 27, 2009 at 7:46 pm

like i said before, i learn something new from you EVERY day
i used to be so afraid of fats and have just recently started adding them back into my diet (over the past two years).
thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us :D
have a great night!

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Casey May 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

What a well written post, Gena! Nice work on sharing the Truth lady.

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Heather May 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Thank you SO much for writing this. Not only did I need to read something this inspiring and informative on healthy raw fats again, but I’m thrilled to have such a wonderfully written blog on the subject to direct my friends to. Thank you.

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Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) May 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Gena! I am learning not to be an avophobe. You are inspirational!

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Metta May 28, 2009 at 5:50 am

Thank you so much for this post!

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Melissa (fitnessnyc) May 28, 2009 at 6:59 am

great post, it surprises me that people still think fat makes you fat, when clearer the fact that obesity sourced around the same time as the low-fat diet revolution took proves that fat does not make you fat, over eating makes you fat.

I appreciate all the information you provided!

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Ami May 28, 2009 at 7:05 am

Love your blog! Thanks for this post! I have found for myself that if I do not consume enough fat (raw plant based fats of course :) in a day then I feel horrible! So I make sure to consume at least 30% of my calories from fats ( I have an avocado addiction problem :). This revelation completely freaks out my “low-fat” diet friends. Hopefully your post will help people realize that fat is not the enemy!

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Gena May 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I hope so too, Ami!

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CoconutGal May 28, 2009 at 7:19 am

Go Gena!! Get on the “soap box” more often, loved this post friend!!

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anne May 28, 2009 at 7:41 am

Great info. Makes me hungry for an avocado! Yum-

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melanie May 28, 2009 at 7:54 am

Hi Gena – thanks for this post, its so interesting. Question, though. Would you consider nuts truly raw since they’re usually sold in roasted form? When nuts are roasted, do you think they lose any of their nutritional value (i.e. are they not as valuable as other raw fats)?

THanks,

Melanie :)

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Gena May 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Hey Melanie,

I’m not a fan of roasted nuts: I find them terribly hard to digest, and the heating can (and often does) make them rancid. Raw nuts, though, are fine!

Gena

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Kiersten May 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

What a great post! I used to be afraid of consuming too much fat, no matter what kind of fat it was. I learned to get over this though when I learned how healthy “good” fats are for our bodies. I’m much happier this way, I enjoy nuts, coconut, and avocado far too much to avoid them.

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Gena May 28, 2009 at 6:43 pm

I am so glad you’ve gotten comfy with GOOD fats, Kiersten!

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Katy May 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

Great post!
I really love your blog, btw. I found it a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. You always want to make me eat more raw! I bought the ingredients for your pizza cheese, and I can’t wait to try it!

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Gena May 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Oh, thanks so much, Katy!!

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Lara (Thinspired) May 29, 2009 at 1:58 am

Hi Gena! I enjoyed this post immensely! I know that good fats are, well, good, but I didn’t exactly know WHY ;) This is so very informative!
So, obviously not talking about bingeing or anything here, but when I’m throwing walnuts or something on oatmeal, do you think it makes a big difference to distinguish between say, 1/4 ounce of 1/2 ounce? I’m trying to get off of measuring things so if that is the case then it’s a huge relief. I have found through trial and error that you are right, I don’t seem to gain weight from fats (eating 1/2 avo at a time is not uncommon for me!) in moderate or even generous portions. It’s good to have it confirmed by you though :)

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jessica~ May 29, 2009 at 6:31 am

This post pretty much encompasses all the major points of nutrition (well, as far as I’m concerned). All summed up and tied together in one great post. I’m going to print it out and put it with my health/nutrition reference manuals.

so enjoyable – so much great information!!!

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polly May 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

LOVED this post and your blog, my friend! I am sorta a half raw eater. ;) You are so kind and love your insight. I am learning that I cannot handle much fruit (doing the fructose malabsorbption test in a couple weeks) so excited to keep putting puzzle pieces together. Latley been feeling so much better… and yes a few more raw foods have been part of that! XOXO

p.s. avocados are awesome… almonds… fat shmat. ;)

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Happy Herbivore May 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

BRAVO! Well said! The truth we all need to hear.

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Caitlin May 31, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Hi Gena..I’m glad you are putting the message out there that fats aren’t to be afraid of and you are right about our unnecessary fear of fats. I LOVE avocados. I do have a question for you regarding your info about lipase. Obviously it is an enzyme that our body naturally makes for a variety of different aspects of lipid metabolism. An enzyme as we know is a protein molecule, and proteins are sensitive to acidic environments like our stomach which denature them and render them inactive. So my question is how does the lipase that exists in the food find its way to the small intestine to be absorbed and utilized without being denatured in the acidic environment? I’m curious about the raw take on this, thanks.

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Melanie June 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I’m with you – LOVE my avocado’s. I have no problem eating a whole avocado a day and I eat 3-4 a week at least. I easily can lose weight eating avocado’s, plenty of nuts and healthy oils like olive oil. So yummy!

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joy November 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I just found your blog, and am really enjoying it–can’t wait to read more.

Great article. I do fantastically with raw fats, and feel wonderfully energized with the avo, coconut oil, [really] raw almonds, and raw cacao I’ve had so far today!

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Debbie November 7, 2009 at 6:53 am

Excellent post Gena! This was so perfect for me. I was dealing with just this subject matter the other day. Thank you for sharing such great information!!! :)

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