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There is a lot in the news these days about MUFAs (moo–fahs) — monounsaturated fatty acids. MUFAs are plant–based fats — found in olive oil, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate and avocados.

According to Registered Dietitian Cynthia Sass, co-author of The Flat Belly Diet, MUFAs, as shown in a variety of studies, can be helpful with cholesterol levels and help to moderate inflammation, belly fat (one of the most dangerous types of fat in the body) and body weight as well as increasing brain and lung function.

One serving of Chilean Hass Avocado (one fifth of an avocado) provides 4.5 grams of fat. Of that, 3 grams are monounsaturated fatty acids, 0.5 gram is saturated fat, 0.5 gram is polyunsaturated fat and with 0 grams of trans fat.

Current Dietary Guidelines recommend “keep total fat intake between 20 to 35% of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.”

For more information about avocados and MUFAs look for The Flat Belly Diet, co-authored by award winning nutritionist Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD (Rodale).