Way back in the 19th century, avocados were called “ahuacalt,” the Aztec word for certain part of the male anatomy (we’ll let you use your imagination here. Or don’t!).
Growers in the US began producing “ahuacalt” fruit commercially around 1915, calling it both the “ahuacalt” and the “alligator pear.” Unsurprisingly, this didn’t do much to bolster consumer interest in the fruit, except as a libido enhancer.
All this changed in the 1920s when a group of avocado farmers embarked on a marketing campaign to give the fruit a makeover. They changed the name to “avocado“– much easier to say– and supplied hotel and restaurant kitchens in hopes that tourists would give the fruit a try. The campaign worked, and avocados gained popularity in home kitchens by mid-century. Thanks, farmers!
These days, avocados still get a bad rap for their fat content.
While avocados do contain fat, almost all of it as the kind that helps you lose weight! Avocados are chock full of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, a healthy fat that is also found in nut butters and olives.
A study from the American Diabetic Association found that MUFAs actually decreased stubborn belly fat when consumed in moderation at every meal. (Dr. Oz recommends a 1/4 avocado, three times daily, as a serving suggestion.) The MUFAs in avocados may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for good blood sugar control and avoiding and treating diabetes. On top of those MUFA-ing health benefits, avocados are high in fiber! They have more potassium than bananas, and they are loaded with folates and vitamin E.
Of all fruits, the avocado is highest in protein. As a bonus, the natural oils of the fruit are good for your skin, too.
Do you love avocados? What are some of your favorite ways to eat them?