Avocado Express Volume 4 #1

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En Español VOL. 4 #1
New Dietary Guidelines May Boost Avocado Consumption
Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain good unsaturated fats, are sodium free and provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals.
Avocado consumption may be boosted by the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). These guidelines, updated every 5 years, are the basis for federal nutrition policy and are used to shape policies, standards and initiatives across the public and private sectors. On February 19, 2015, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) - comprised of leading nutrition experts - submitted its report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Based on the Committee's recommendations, the USDA and HHS will issue new dietary guidelines by December 2015.

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) submitted comments to the DGAC and plans to submit one more set of comments on the final report.


“The recommendations in the report align really well with HAB’s nutrition research strategy,” said Nikki Ford, Ph.D., HAB Director of Nutrition. “The report encourages Americans to eat fruits and vegetables and to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats.”
“Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain good unsaturated fats, are sodium free and provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Now we just need to support research that will demonstrate that fresh avocado, specifically, can provide health and wellness benefits to consumers.”
The following list shows how avocados may benefit from the proposed recommendations:
  • A healthy diet is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol; lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains. Fruits and vegetables were consistently mentioned in every conclusion statement across the health outcomes, and because avocados are often considered a fruit or vegetable, these recommendations are quite positive for avocados.

  • Calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and potassium were considered “nutrients of public health concern” due to low levels being linked to adverse health outcomes and relatively low consumption within the U.S. population. A 1-oz serving (1/5 medium avocado) of avocado provides 8 percent of the daily value for fiber and 4 percent of the daily value for potassium. Additionally, for the first time, avocados were specifically recognized as a source of potassium and dietary fiber in the report.

  • The DGAC recommended that sources of saturated fat should be replaced with unsaturated fat, especially polyunsaturated fats. Avocados contain 3.5 grams of unsaturated fat (poly- and mostly mono ) per serving. The DGAC noted that evidence is limited regarding whether replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fat confers overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) benefits. This limited evidence is confounded because the main sources of monounsaturated fat in a typical American diet are animal fat, which also contains saturated fat, making it difficult to tease out the independent association of monounsaturated fats with cardiovascular disease. This challenge emphasizes an important research opportunity to clarify the role of plant-based monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, on CVD benefits.

  • Diets higher in plant-based foods and lower in calories and animal-based foods are more health-promoting and are associated with less environmental impact than the current U.S. diet. A variety of plant-based dietary patterns exist that may include avocados to achieve this recommendation, including the Healthy U.S.-style Pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean-style Pattern and the Healthy Vegetarian Pattern.
Overall, the recommendations are quite positive for avocados and HAB plans to leverage this opportunity by developing new messages and resources based on the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
HAB Elections
The Hass Avocado Board is currently holding its annual elections for vacant domestic Hass avocado grower and Hass avocado importer seats on the board. To learn more about the election process, timeline, and to download the nomination packet, please visit our website:
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