Friday, May 9, 2014

Google nutrition labels referee his and hers sandwich faceoff: avocado vs. low fat cheese

Today at lunch I made a choice to eat a very yummy chickpea and avocado sandwich.  My husband enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich.  Whose sandwich was healthier?  I know avocados have fat- but is it mostly "good fat" like polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat, or is an avocado full of saturated fat just like the cheese?

Produce doesn't come with a handy nutrition label like, say, a package of cheese.  You might think it would take a lot of research to figure out exactly what you're getting into with an avocado- how much fat, unsaturated vs. saturated, how much protein per serving?  But getting a nutrition label for an avocado, or an apple, or any produce is super easy.

A quick google search: "avocado nutrition" yields this handy nutrition label, right on the search results page:

I've used this handy Google Nutrition Label before.  The nutrition label is interactive- I love that I can specify different amounts, such as 1 cup, sliced, 100 grams, etc. 

I'll spare you the math and get to the conclusion: ounce per ounce avocado had about 5 times had less saturated fat than our reduced fat cheddar cheese.  Avocado has a whole bunch of healthy monounsaturated fat (the cheese had none).  Avocado also had bonus fiber (the cheese had none).  But the cheese wins hands down on protein, containing about 14 times more protein than avocado!

However, my delicious sandwich was a combo of avocado and chick peas.  So I analyzed our sandwich fillings as I prepared them.  

Here's the head to head on his and hers sandwiches:  I got about a third less saturated fat that my hubby did.  And he got three times more protein than me, though he missed out on monounsaturated fat and fiber.  

So long as we don't exceed hubby's saturated fat allotment for the day, I feel good about giving him the protein boost with the grilled cheese sandwich.  I feel equally good about the healthy fats I got- so long as I make sure to keep the protein coming throughout the day.  Healthy means taking into account an individual's unique nutrition needs in the context of what's eaten throughout the rest of the day.  I think consumed wisely, both sandwiches could be part of a healthy, balanced diet.  And both sandwiches were delicious!

If you'd like the recipe for the Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich I enjoyed for lunch today, check out the recipe on  

1 comment:

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