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Many people believe that avocados are fattening and to be avoided by those who are concerned with their diet and fat intake. According to leading nutritionist Rosemary Stanton nothing could be further from the truth. Avocados are not only a delicious fruit, they are also safe to eat even for the most diet conscious.

On a recent segment for ‘Burke’s Backyard’ Rosemary Stanton dispelled some of the myths about avocados and also passed on a tasty recipe.

Avocados, cholesterol and fat

Myth 1: Cholesterol. Many people believe avocados are high in cholesterol. To counter this, those marketing avocados put stickers on the fruit which read ‘no cholesterol’. While avocados are cholesterol free, the labels are misleading as no plant food, including avocado, contains cholesterol.

Myth 2: Fat. Avocados do contain a little fat, but it is the same healthy fat found in olives and olive oil. The fat in avocados is present in such small amounts you would have to eat many avocados before their fat content had an affect on your weight. It is quite safe for the dietconscious to put slices of avocado on a sandwich, in a salad, or mashed onto toast as a spread. Avocado ‘fat’ at 4g of fat per tablespoon compares favourably to the fat in margarine and butter which has 16g/tbsp.

Avocado Burgers Slice open and toast a hamburger bun. Peel and slice an avocado in half; remove the stone. Place a thick slice of cheese on top of the avocado half and grill just until the cheese melts. Do not leave under the griller, as avocado becomes bitter when over-heated. Pile salad ingredients, melted cheese and avocado into the hamburger bun, for a healthy and great tasting meal.

Avocado tip: removing the stone Slice the avocado in half, lengthways. Hit the stone with a sharp knife, so that the knife becomes partly embedded in the stone. Twist slightly, and the stone should come cleanly away from the fruit.

Further reading

For more on food and nutrition consult the revised edition of Rosemary Stanton’s Complete Book of Food and Nutrition (Simon & Schuster, rrp $29.95). For more on fats consult Rosemary’s recently released Good Fats and Bad Fats (Allen & Unwin, 1997, rrp $6.95).