The key to the avocado's power-food status is the monounsaturated fats. The fact that avocados contain fats, however, can be a reason for some to steer clear of them completely. But one shouldn't judge avocados so harshly. Monounsaturated fats may actually lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol), while increasing levels of HDL (the 'good' cholesterol). Avocados are high in fiber, providing roughly 13 grams each, and they offer more potassium per gram than bananas. The boron in avocados may also help the body absorb calcium, which is an added plus.
Choose avocados that are heavy for their size, and have blemish-free skin. If you need a ripe avocado, find one that yields to gentle pressure.
Store avocados at room temperature. Avocados ripen best between 60 and 75 degrees. To quickly ripen an avocado, store the avocado in a brown paper bag for 24 to 48 hours. Do not store an unripe avocado in the refrigerator, or it will never ripen. Once an avocado is ripe, you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days to keep it from ripening further.
Because an avocado's flesh quickly discolors once removed from the skin, don't cut an avocado until you are ready to use it. Add lemon or lime juice to cut avocado pieces to keep them from turning brown.
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