Avocado Board: about the benefits of good fats

Mission Viejo / CA. (hab) Studies confirm there is need for more public education on how good nutrition can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, both among the top five leading causes of death of U.S. Hispanics. A survey by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) reveals that American consumers’ understanding of the difference between good and bad dietary fats is a continual source of confusion and that a troubling number (25 percent) of respondents admitted they do not really pay attention to this type of information. Further, more than one-third of people inaccurately thought that mono-unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are bad and should be reduced or eliminated from their diets. To help reverse this trend, Spanish-language outreach is underway to better explain the benefits of good fats like that in fresh avocados and their link to overall health.

«Stop running away from fat! Our bodies need some dietary fat to help with absorption of nutrients and picking the healthier, good fats is a smart choice», said Sylvia Klinger, MS, R.D. «This misconception that all fat is bad for us leads to a lot of confusion. The truth is that some fats are recognized as ‘good’ while others are considered ‘bad’. Avocados in a smoothie at breakfast, on top of a salad at lunch or sliced in a torta with leftover holiday turkey contribute naturally good fats to our diet, are a great substitute for foods high in bad fats and do not raise cholesterol levels».

The HAB study revealed that more than one quarter of participants did not know that foods high in good fats, such as avocados, have been shown to play a beneficial role in heart health, reducing the risk of certain diseases and supporting overall health. Further, nearly half of consumers surveyed incorrectly thought that all fats contributed to increasing cholesterol levels. Good (unsaturated) fats like that found in fresh avocados do not raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and are beneficial when consumed in moderation.

About the Survey

The results are based on a national probability sample of 1’008 telephone interviews among US adults 18 years of age and older in 2014 with a portion of the sample being Hispanic. The margin of error for data based on total sample is plus or minus three percentage points. The survey was conducted by «Caravan», an omnibus service of ORC International.

About the Hass Avocado Board

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) us an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass Avocados in the United States. A twelve-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass Avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States (Images: Hass Avocado Board).