The SlimCado is a variety of avocado that's grown and sold by Brooks Tropicals, a produce company in Florida. Compared to creamy Hass avocados, the SlimCado variety is many times larger, and naturally contains half the fat and a third of the calories, which is why it's marketed as a diet food. Technically, though, a SlimCado is just a Florida or "green skin" avocado with a savvy diet-friendly name. To someone trying to make health-conscious decisions while grocery shopping, or a person adhering to the fat-focused keto diet, SlimCados might seem like the most perfect fruit. But there's more to these "diet" avocados than meets the eye.
On the Brooks Tropicals website, the company claims that SlimCados are healthier because they contain less fat than Hass avocados, which we know are high in monounsaturated fat, often called the "good" or "healthy" kind of fat. One of the main reasons why people like avocados is because they're a healthy source of fat. Fat is what keeps you satiated, energised, and allows your body and brain to function.
Although diet culture has demonised "fat" over the years, there's no reason why you'd need to reduce the amount of fat in a regular avocado, says Melissa Bailey, MS, RD, LDN, a dietitian in Philadelphia. "Although they have been produced for decades, I have a feeling with the avocado craze we are going to see [SlimCados] popping up in supermarkets everywhere," she adds. Along with the overall avocado frenzy, lots of people who follow the super-popular ketogenic diet, which emphasises eating more fat and fewer carbs, are curious about these avocados simply because they allow you to eat more avocado volume overall. (A serving of Hass avocados is one-third of a medium avocado, while a SlimCado serving size is one cup.) But SlimCados are higher in carbs, which is a big concern for those on the keto diet. So, in the case of keto, a Hass might be better.
Regardless of whether you're on a diet or not, many of us have been conditioned to buy any snack or food with the word "slim," "light," or "diet" in it, because we think it somehow signals that it's healthier or better. "Usually [this language] means the product is missing something," Bailey says. "In this case, it’s flavour." Since this variety of avocado has less fat, they're not as creamy or rich as traditional avocados. Many people describe the taste as a "watered-down avocado," she adds. With other diet products, such as diet pasta, they might replace fat and salt with sugar, she says. When you cut out these ingredients, you might not get the nutrition and satisfaction that you're looking for from food.
But, hey, velvety avocado toast and buttery guacamole isn't for everyone. If you prefer the taste of a SlimCado or Florida avocado over Hass, then do you. But if you're looking for a healthier option, you might end up face-palming yourself. Bailey's advice? "Eat the real thing."