Avocado is a nutrient-dense food suggested for pancreatic cancer patients

Avocado is a nutrient-dense food suggested for pancreatic cancer patients. Avocado toast is a healthy snack.

It’s National Avocado Day! Have you had one lately? Perhaps you should. While you can grab an avocado most any time of year these days, U.S.-grown avocados are at peak season right now.

Whether mashed on toast, diced for scrambled eggs, sliced in salads, scooped into smoothies or simply seasoned with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of lemon juice, the avocado seems to be more popular than ever. And we haven’t even touched on tasty guacamole, for which you may have a favorite recipe.

There’s a reason that avocados are so popular. In addition to their buttery, smooth rich taste and texture – plus tons of uses (even as an ingredient in hydrating face masks!), avocados are considered “good” fats. And they’re loaded with vitamins A, B-6, C and K, as well as folate and potassium.

Some other sources of “good” fats (monounsaturated and/or omega-3 fatty acids) – including ones that may lower pancreatic cancer risk, include:

  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc.)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia, etc.)
  • Olive oil and canola oil
  • Olives
  • Fatty, cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna)

For pancreatic cancer patients, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) suggests avocado as a healthy high-calorie food option, and for people who have had surgery for pancreatic cancer, recommends avocado as part of their long-term post-surgical nutrition plan, as tolerated.

Since each patient has different nutritional needs, PanCAN encourages patients to consult with a registered dietitian for nutritional advice. A dietitian or nutritionist who is familiar with cancer patients will be able to evaluate each patient’s needs and help design a diet that is best for them.

Half of a medium avocado has roughly 130 calories and 12 grams of (mostly monounsaturated) fat.

What is your favorite way to enjoy an avocado?

From the American Institute for Cancer Research, here are three summery avocado recipes if you need inspiration:

  1. Mashed Avocado Toast with Feta and Pepitas
  2. Chilled Avocado Zucchini Soup
  3. Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Just grab a knife, slice or dice and scoop!

Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager
For more information about diet and nutrition, including our booklet with specific information for pancreatic cancer patients, contact PanCAN Patient Services.