Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Avocados

It's the final day of my Weight Watchers week.  Tomorrow is weigh-in day.  I'll be very curious to see what happens on the scale.  I'm tracking with my own scale morning weight and not the official WW weigh-in at the meeting.  Mainly it's because I just want to be consistent with what I've been doing these last couple of years.  And, of course, because I'm lighter first thing in the morning before coffee and breakfast.

So on Tuesday I posted my food log, including eating a whole, medium avocado and the fact that it's 10 points.  A friend (Hi Deanne!), responded with this:
"I totally believe they (WW) need to rethink the avocado points. I can't fathom that what is essentially a fruit/veg item should be so out of sync with the others. I would personally take away at least 5 pts, Michelle. It's green for goodness sakes & grows on a tree!"
I tend to agree with Deanne and my belief that avocados are not as bad as they've been made out to be is probably why I ate the whole avocado in the first place.  I initially had no intention of changing the points from 10 points to 5, as Deanne suggested, but the more I thought about it the better I liked the idea.  So I changed it.

I remember on the old WW plan (when you had to count fruits) I made my own rule that all fruits are 1 point.  It was my firm belief that fresh, whole fruits are practically harmless and that I didn't really need to worry about a small apple vs a big apple.  And the new plan doesn't even count fruit, so there you go.  And maybe they are wrong about avocado too.  In nutrition science articles you'll read that not all calories are alike, not all fats are created equal.  I think avocados have gotten a bad rap from the old fat = bad thinking.
Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.
Over 90 percent of the calories come from fat, but over 80 percent of those fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are actually good for you. Unlike saturated fats these fats have no cholesterol, and they help to reduce the bad cholesterol levels. They also help defend your body against all types of heart disease. Avocados contain all the essential amino acids that the body needs. These are fatty acids, including oleic acid, and the essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Avocados are also high in protein. That makes them a perfect substitute for meat. By eating one small avocado you will give your body more protein then if you had eaten a large steak. 
I lifted all that from the web, some from WebMD and some from 3fatchicks.com. Of course it all convinces me I'm right to halve the points for avocados.

Ok, that's a lot of thinking about just avocados but if I'm going to be breaking a rule I want to think it out. The good thing is, it's not likely to have a big impact on my life anyway.  I rarely eat a whole avocado. In fact, before Tuesday I can't remember the last time I did.  But should I also cut the points on partial avocados?  If I eat 1/4 should I count is as 1/8th?  I think I will.  I eat avocados probably 2-3 times a week, usually 1/2 to a 1/4, depending on how much we have and how many ways we're splitting them.  When I eat them it's almost always with black beans and corn tortillas, a fairly healthy vegetarian meal.  That's got to help, right?

Thanks Deanne for really giving me something to think about here.  And thanks also to Kristy, IngiMc, Nicole, Meg and everyone else for cheering on my new WW journey.

I'm headed to the gym later today for my fourth day of exercise this week.  And Saturday is the Cinderella Century.  Too bad the weather prediction is for heavy rain and wind.  But Melissa, my riding buddy, is working on mother nature to change all that.  We're going to drive out there and start no matter what and then if it's miserable as all hell we'll call it a day.  At least we will have tried.

Update:  Ok, the deal is, you have to weigh the avocado without seed or skin. If you do that, the Points value is quite a bit more reasonable.  A large avocado (180 grams) is 8 points. I'm still cutting those points in half.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, ten points for an avocado? That does seem rather steep.

    Best wishes for the Cinderella Century. I hope the weather cooperates.

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  2. I just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading your blog a lot especially since you started back on WW. I have lost pounds in the last year on it. It's funny how much I can relate to this war of the points!!

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  3. That should say 60 pounds! dang number lock! :)

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  4. Thanks Irene, we're REALLY hoping for non-torrential downpour.

    Justice - Wow, 60 pounds in a year is impressive, great work. How much more do you want to lose?

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  5. I love reading your journey! And I'm with you on the avocado thing :-)

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  6. Hi Michelle, Read your blog. I enjoyed it. I especially struggle with the avocado thing. I just love them but don't buy them often because I can't control myself. Such a healthy food!I love the slow steady loss that you displayed. It really shows that you understand what this is all about:) Keep up the good work!

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  7. Judging by your weigh in I'd give the glorious avocado a point. That's it. Down 30+ buddy. Way to go! hope the weather let's you ride tomorrow xo

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  8. I want to lose 18 more..It's been a struggle as I get lower and lower and I really want to be where my body feels comfortable if that means a little less than 18 i'll have to accept that..

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  9. I'm sorry but at the end of the day, when it comes to weight loss, a calorie is a calorie. Avocados are very high in calories compared to other foods. Fudge or fake the points, but you won't lose weight as quickly. Peanut butter has "good qualities" too but it's not a good choice for weight loss. There are no loop holes ~ the sooner we accept this, the quicker we'll make our goals.

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  10. Just found your blog. You are absolutely correct about the glorious avocado. Yes.calories are calories BUT if you have seen the news lately avocados actually LOWER your cholesterol. (And eating an avocado is much healthier than eating a brownie) I will be adding a half avocado to my morning oatmeal--which for me has made a huge difference. A great filling breakfast.

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