In today’s post we are going to be doing something a little different than usual. We are going to have a boxing match if you will, pitting the overall nutritional quality of the avocado against the pineapple. It’s a fun and different way to break them down, round by round, by putting them in the ring together and letting them duke it out. So if you please could suspend your disbelief for just a moment and let me introduce you to:
Ding, Ding, Ding.
The Nutritional Battle Royale – Tropical Style.
In the left corner weighing in at one whole, ripe and juicy size… The Pineapple!
In the right corner weighing in at a round, compact, and ready to eat shape…The Avocado!
Two fruits that are abundant down here in the tropics of Costa Rica are the avocado and the pineapple.
- Let me ask you – Which do you think is healthier?
- Which do you think is better to help you shed fat?
In past posts I have pitted “perceived” healthy vs. “perceived” unhealthy foods against each other with the unsuspecting winner sometimes being the “perceived” unhealthy food.
Do you have any perceptions about these foods?
The point of these pitting’s is to challenge our conventional ways of thinking and look a bit closer at the cold hard facts.
So here we go.
Pineapple VS Avocado.
Here is a breakdown of how each round will be judged. We’ll compare and contrast each fruit, and based on our assessment call a winner.
- Round 1 – Macronutrients
- Round 2 – Micronutrients
- Round 3 – Taste, satiety (fullness)
So put your proverbial boxing hat on and we’re off…
Ding, ding, ding.
Round 1 – Macronutrients
Large Avocado Large Pineapple
What jumps out at you first? If you are at all a product of the 90’s and the popular fat-free campaign that ensued I’d be willing to guess that 29 grams of fat is staring you straight in the face. Am I right?
Ok, agreed that is a lot of fat for one piece of fruit or so it appears. But what I believe you should be asking yourself when it comes to fat is two questions.
- What type of fat is it (good or bad)?
- And why anyway is fat bad?
In terms of the first question you should make an assessment of the quality of fat. I think it is widely agreed upon that the hydrogenated and trans fats aren’t good. In addition to those the vegetable oils such as corn, canola, safflower, and soybean oil make the bad fat list. The fat in avocado has none of the aforementioned bad fat and is mostly composed of mono-unsaturated fat, which is considered good. That’s a solid landed punch to cheek of the pineapple for the avocado.
Now talking about why we think fat is bad and related to being fat is a topic that could take up an entire blog post on it own (which Julie did HERE), so let me just say this. Fat is not necessarily a bad thing. We actually need a good amount of fat to promote a healthy functioning metabolism and to also burn fat. Fat also plays a role in manufacturing and balancing hormones, forming cellular membranes, and transporting fat-soluble vitamins, among other things. It is absolutely vital to our well-being. (Fun fact: 60% of your brain is made of fat).
The other factor here that can’t be overlooked is the fiber. An avocado has a ton of fiber, which plays an important role in digestive health. It also reduces the usable carbohydrates to just 3 grams.
In summary, the avocado provides you with a wholesome source of good fat with very little sugar and fiber. Way to go Avo-cado!
Holy sugar bomb, 89 grams of the sweet stuff – Did you see the sugar content?
Now, you’re probably not eating the entire pineapple, however the sugar in pineapple can’t be overlooked. Sometimes, it seems as if all fruits are considered healthy, and while they aren’t unhealthy, if fat loss is your goal or you are watching your sugar content, then pineapples may need to be avoided. The reason is that heavy sugar load is going to deliver an insulin spike to the system, that unless you just did a workout most likely will be going to your fat cells. Not ideal.
While not as much per serving as the avocado, you are getting some fiber, which is a good thing. But it is not enough to trump the negative effects of the insulin spike.
With that in mind, the protein quantity between the two fruits basically being a wash, and no contribution of good fat I am going to call round 1 for the avocado.
Scorecard – Avocado 1, Pineapple 0
ROUND 2 – Micronutrients
Ding, ding, ding.
|Avocado – 1 large fruit||%DV|
|Pineapple – 1 large fruit||% DV|
Once again the avocado comes out strong. Ounce for ounce, it’s about as nutrient dense of a fruit you can find. Looking at the extensive chart above, you can see 1 large avocado provides almost:
- 30% DV of potassium
- 33% DV of Vitamin C
- over 50% DV of Vitamin K
- 40% DV of Folate.
By looking a bit deeper at these micronutrients, you’ll find that Potassium can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, Vitamin C will help stave off illness by fighting free radicals, and Vitamin K is vital in the production of proteins for healthy bones and tissues. Lastly, Folate will ensure the healthy production and maintenance of new cells. These vitamins and minerals highlight just a few of the positive characters found in Avocados.
Pineapple too comes out strong with some big 3-digit numbers. Pineapple contains:
- 721% DV of Vitamin C
- 419% DV of Manganese.
Yes, you read those numbers correctly. Vitamin C is the body’s #1 water-soluble antioxidant that defends your body from harmful free radicals that can damage normal healthy cells. Manganese is a vital cofactor mineral that helps in energy production at the cellular level. Over 50% DV of Copper will help with energy levels as well as improve health of connective tissue in the body.
Both of these fruits delivered power packed punches in a very close fought battle, but the 3-digit double blow of the pineapple inched it ahead. Round 2 goes to the pineapple.
Updated Scorecard – Avocado 1, Pineapple 1
ROUND 3 – Taste, satiety (fullness)
Ding, ding, ding.
Rich, smooth, and satisfying, the avocado finishes this battle just as strong as it started it in round 1. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love an avocado. It’s tasty for sure. Dice it up and put it on a salad, eat it by the spoonful, make some fresh guacamole, or even get a little crazy and make an avocado chocolate moose (so easy, recipe below). The options are endless. And because of the fat content, you’ll be satiated and keep insulin levels under control.
Sweet and delicious, refreshing to the mouth, and great in a smoothie, the pineapple is definitely a fierce competitor. It’s hard to argue with the taste on this one, but can you eat just a little bit? That can be tough.
And because of the high sugar content, you’ll get a serious insulin spike that will make you hungry sooner than later. Not keeping you satiated for very long. I like to consume some pineapple fresh out of a weight workout, when I know it will go straight to my muscles, but at no other time.
While both fruits have a mighty fine taste, there is no comparison on which one will keep you full longer. The avocado definitely wins there, so it’s the round 3 winner.
Updated Scorecard – Avocado 2, Pineapple 1
Yes indeed it was a closely fought match. The avocado came out strong in round 1 with a healthy amount of good fat getting the early lead. The formidable opponent the pineapple displayed its pugilistic power with a micronutrient profile that evened the scorecard in round 2. But in the end it was the taste and satiety of the avocado that sealed the deal, deeming it the winner.
Let me take the arm of the Avocado and raise it up:
The winner of the Nutritional Battle Royale – Tropical Style – The Avocado!!!
I like to leave you with a final thought. Sometimes our perception of certain foods can limit us from eating them. This could be a good thing in the case of a double frosted doughnut. But it could also be a bad thing if it keeps us from enjoying bacon with our eggs. Sometimes it helps to take a closer look, like we just did.
- Did the fruit you chose turn out to be the winner?
- Did you learn anything new?
I believe that if we take time to learn, experiment, and be playful with our approach to food we open ourselves up to an entire range of new food realities. And also new information we may have not known before.
Hope you enjoyed and had some fun too!