It seems like all of a sudden, avocados were the new “it” food for Americans. You started seeing them everywhere — on your burger, at brunch, on your sandwiches, and in smoothies. It’s even started being featured in some fast food restaurants! Health is a new big American concern — at least outwardly — as things like quinoa, tofu, and chia seeds become part of the everyday vocabulary of many Americans and fitness wear is the new chic! If you’re looking for lighter snacks that don’t leave you feeling gross, you might want to consider some dips, like guacamole or hummus spread. If you’re wondering, “Why the avocado craze?” try a spicy guacamole dip or putting mashed avocados on toast. You just might find a new treat that you love! And you may understand why people just can’t stop talking about spicy guacamole dip (or just guacamole in general).
What’s In Guacamole Dips Anyway?
If you’re making the most basic of guacamole dips, all you need are ripe avocados and some sea salt (and naturally something to put it on!) However, many people also add tomato, raw onion, garlic, and some kind of citrus juice to liven things up. For those who really like a spicy guacamole dip, jalapenos, chili or cayenne pepper may also be added. Cilantro is also a popular addition to the recipe, especially in Latin America and the growing Hispanic population in the United States. It’s light, refreshing, and good on just about anything — from chips and crackers to burgers! Even better, it’s pretty easy and inexpensive to make and you can find all the ingredients at your local grocery store.
What Are Some of the Health Benefits of Avocados?
For starters, avocados are full of what nutritionists call “healthy fats” and low in the fats you should be avoiding. They’re a great substitute for other fatty foods and taste delicious to boot! It has monounsaturated fatty acid just like olive oil, and shares some of olive oil’s health benefits. Additionally, avocados are full of oleic acid, which can reduce inflammation and even help reduce risk of cancer.
Not getting enough fiber in your diet? No worries — avocados are here to help! They’re fairly high in fiber. Getting enough fiber in your diet can help your blood sugar go down and even help with weight loss. Avocados can also help cut your bad cholesterol levels significantly, while boosting your good cholesterol. So if you’re trying to be heart healthy, try eating a couple avocados a week!
What Other Snack Foods Are Lighter?
Hummus dip and salsa are two other dips that are lighter than some of the creamier, fat based dips on the market. Both are also fairly versatile and can be eaten with many different things. Eating just two spoons of hummus every day would let you check off your bean intake for the week — it’s suggested you eat one and a half cups of beans a week for a healthy diet. Salsa has lots of vegetables in it as well and dietary guidelines recommend you eat more vegetables consistently for nutrients and for weight management.
What are Some Ways I Can Eat Avocados?
They’re a versatile food, so it’s not difficult to find ways to incorporate them into your diet. Some people love them just as is, with maybe a little sprinkle of salt, or lime juice. Some smash them onto toast with a drizzle of olive oil. Others prefer them with a side of eggs or on sandwiches to add a creamy texture. Of course, there’s always guacamole as well, that you can pair with chips or crackers — or even veggies, if you’re feeling particularly healthy! (And the best part about making guacamole dips yourself is that if you aren’t a particular fan of spicy guacamole dip, you can make it to whatever spice level or flavor level you prefer!)
Lighten up your snack food selection by trying one or more of these dips! You’re sure to find a favorite that’s better for you and just as tasty!