AARP Eye Center
Holy guacamole! The country is eating record amounts of creamy, green avocado -- the key ingredient in our favorite Mexican dip -- and fast food chains are embracing it on their menus.
All this is good news for older Americans. Research has shown that the avocado is rich in vitamin E as well as lutein, an antioxidant that helps protect against macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older Americans.
The avocado announcements began in May with Subway saying it was adding an avocado spread to its sandwich options as part of its eat-healthy theme.
The spread debuted in a Turkey & Bacon Avocado sandwich, but customers can pay 50 cents to $1 more to have the mashed avocado added to other Subway subs.
Then this past week Burger King announced it was freshening up its image by adding a California Whopper with guacamole to its menu -- as well as getting rid of that creepy, plastic-headed King mascot that had reigned in recent commercials.
Although both these avocado additions have gotten a lot of publicity, avocado is not entirely new to the fast food scene. Subway competitor Quizno's has offered it for years, and guacamole is a standard at Chipotle.
Still, avocados in general are enjoying newfound popularity, according to USA Today. Sales of avocado have soared -- to 1.3 billion pounds last year, a jump of 16 percent says the Hass Avocado Board.
And when do Americans eat the most avocados? On Super Bowl Sunday, of course, when the California Avocado Commission says we eat a whopping 40 million pounds of avocados in -- what else? -- guacamole.
Photo credit: Copyright photo courtesy Hass Avocado Board