Hass Avocado Board preaches health benefits of avocados

A smoky avocado spread can be made by adding smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and lemon juice to mashed avocados. Courtesy photo

MISSION VIEJO – The Hass Avocado Board recently concluded its participation at the 2017 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Chicago, where it updated food and nutrition professionals on the unique attributes and benefits of avocados to human health.

These key health influencers are on the front lines of educating Americans about health and wellness, and according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2017 Food & Health Survey, health care professionals are the trusted source for nutrition information for nearly two-thirds of consumers in the U.S.

The conference was an opportunity for HAB’s Avocado Goodness Community Lounge – now in its third year – to engage conference goers in learning sessions where the latest avocado science was shared and practical application of the role fresh avocados can play in a healthy diet was highlighted.

Over the course of the three-day expo, several information-packed, science-based sessions led by Dr. Nikki Ford, HAB’s director of nutrition, educated hundreds of attendees about the vital role fresh avocados can play in healthy diets, as well as the latest avocado research under on HAB’s health pillars: cardiovascular health, healthy living, weight management and Type 2 diabetes.

At the conclusion, health care professionals sampled avocado spread recipes to reinforce the health benefits of avocados, while showing how the nutrient-packed fruit can be used as a substitute for saturated fats and can combine with other ingredients to add flavor and texture.

HAB also illustrated its commitment to spreading avocado love by engaging professional Miami fashion illustrator, Gissi Jimenez, to draw attendees into a fun avocado-themed scene in real time. Attendees took home digital and print drawings, giving them something special to remember their experience, while providing a reminder of the nutritional benefits of avocados.

In addition, HAB announced its new partnership with the California Walnut Commission, aimed at further educating Americans about the role of good fats in a healthy diet, leveraging the good fats present in both avocados and walnuts. Together, HAB and CWC rolled out the #TeamGoodFat social initiative, with the goal of generating conversation around good fats that is relatable and digestible to both health professionals and the general public. Attendees were encouraged to stop by HAB’s booth and pick up #TeamGoodFat avocado pins after answering a quiz question about the role good fats play in a healthy diet.

“Each year, FNCE offers an excellent opportunity to engage with influential health care professionals who directly impact how Americans manage their overall health and wellness, especially when it comes to their diet,” Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of HAB, said. “We were thrilled to return this year and share the results and advances of our nutrition research program. We were especially excited to announce our #TeamGoodFat partnership with the California Walnut Commission and are enthused about creating a louder voice about the importance of good fats in everyday nutrition.”

Extending its involvement off the expo floor with nutrition professionals, HAB sponsored a Food and Culinary Professionals’ Dietetic Practice Group event, which offered more than 60 members an evening of hands-on education and culinary immersion.

The event featured a presentation on the latest avocado science such as the study published in Nutrients journal, which examines the impact of daily avocado consumption on cognitive function and macular pigment density among healthy older adults. Following the presentation, attendees prepared the evening’s dinner menu that highlighted the versatility and deliciousness of fresh avocados.

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