The Nutrition of Tahini Vs. That of Avocados

The nutrition of tahini is comparable to that of avocados. They’re both healthy fats, but let’s explore what the nutrition breakdown is of these two foods.

In recent years, many people have become aware of the fact that avocados contain higher amounts of dietary fat. However, that doesn’t stop people from slathering this healthy fruit on top of toast or using it to make guacamole! Why? Because people generally realize that avocados contain healthy fats, or “good” fats. And just like avocados, tahini is filled with fat. But good news! Just like avocados, tahini contains the fats that we want to include more of in our diets!

Although they differ slightly in the type of fat they are made of, both tahini and avocados are excellent food choices to reach for in order to get your daily dose of heart-healthy fats. Avocados are extremely high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and protect against serious diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.1 On the other hand, tahini is very rich in polyunsaturated fats, which not only help keep you full throughout the day, but also keep your brain functioning properly, decrease the risk for serious heart disease, and contribute vitamin E, which is a nutrient the body needs to function properly. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you reach for the avocados or the tahini, because both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy fats that are beneficial to include in your diet!

Not only are these foods high in healthy fats, but they’re also loaded with important vitamins and minerals. Take calcium, for example. Just 1 tablespoon of tahini provides almost 23 mg of calcium2, which helps keep your bones nice and strong. Not only that, but tahini is a great non-dairy source of calcium, making it a great option for those who cannot consume dairy. Although avocados do not contain as much calcium as tahini, they are still loaded with vitamin K, a vitamin that plays a very important role in regards to maintaining healthy bones.

In addition, both of these foods are loaded with vitamins from the B complex. In our bodies, the B vitamins play very important roles, such as: converting food into energy, cell and tissue growth, nervous system development, and metabolism. There are eight different B vitamins, and it’s hard to get all of them from just one food, so, therefore, it’s best to get them by eating a variety of different foods. Luckily, avocados are high in vitamins B3, B6, B93, and tahini is high in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B152, so by eating both of these foods, your body will get plenty of the beneficial B vitamins that it needs!

Other important nutrients needed for good health include potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper, and luckily, both tahini and avocados are loaded with those nutrients! Potassium and magnesium play critical roles in muscle contractions, maintaining a healthy heart, and regulating blood pressure, and Iron and copper both help keep your immune system strong and healthy. In addition, the high levels of iron help the flow of oxygen throughout your body, giving you lots of energy and preventing that feeling of fatigue.

As you can see, both of these foods have several benefits that make them good for the insides of our bodies. However, they’re also great for the outsides, as well. Sesame seeds, the main ingredient of tahini, and avocados are both rich in B vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids, which all contribute to glowing skin and healthy hair. The healthy fatty acids and high levels of Vitamin E prevent dryness by decreasing inflammation and keeping your skin and hair moist4, while the amino acids play a role in repairing damaged skin tissue to give your skin a healthy, youthful glow.  Not only do avocados and tahini both taste delicious, but the high amount of nutrients within them both will help keep your body feeling happy and healthy!

Consider eating foods that contain both tahini & avocados like in this Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Avocado Tahini Cream Dressing, Tahini Avocado Dip, or even in a Chocolate Tahini Pudding!

Marisa Urda, RD

Registered Dietitian

Follow Marisa’s blog & on Instagram!

Sources:

  1. Monounsaturated Fat. American Heart Association. 2018. Available at: https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Eat-smart/Articles/Monounsaturated-Fats?gclid=CjwKCAjwgYPZBRBoEiwA2XeupQqdeqGVTly6lNppmAq-g6K8O4qDb9UFRvWFgLlyuQTDrMwSMEXP9xoCwAMQAvD_BwE
  2. Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Seeds, sesame butter, tahini, type of kernels unspecified. Ndbnalusdagov. 2018. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3740?man=&lfacet=&count=&max=50&qlookup=tahini&offset=&sort=default&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutri ent3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&Qv=.16&Q7019=1&Qv=16&Q7019=1
  3. Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Avocados, raw, California. Ndbnalusdagov. 2018. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/09038?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=avocado+&ds=&qt=&q
  4. Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. 2018. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids

 


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