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The Rise of Avocado Toast

A simple combo of smashed avocado and whole-grain bread is blowing up media feeds across the web—but is the hype legit?

It's official: Sliced, smashed, or spread, avocado is the trendiest toast topper to date. The ridiculously simple combination is popping up in newsfeeds and on foodie blogs across the web. And to get an idea of just how far the trend has gone, The East Pole in Manhattan offers an "Avo" toast dressed with peeky toe crab for a whopping $15. But where did it come from, and what's the big deal? We set out to investigate.

It’s hard to pinpoint who started the craze, but the shift likely happened when researchers and dietitians got the word out that not all fats are created equal. Unlike the saturated fat in meat and full-fat dairy products, the monounsaturated fat found in avocados may promote weight loss and improve heart health. Hey, they don't call it "nature's butter" for nothing.

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The most recent research on avocados, a study published in an issue of Nutrition Journal, found that consuming one-half of an avocado at lunch could help curb post-meal hunger pangs. Avocados are truly nutritional all-stars. They have twice the potassium of a banana; they’re packed with fiber, boasting 10 grams per medium-sized avocado; they help lower levels of bad cholesterol; and have powerful anti-aging properties.

Cue explosion of avocado toast Instagram photos and Pinterest boards dedicated to the snack. In fact, the avocado market in general is booming. The number of avocados supplied to the U.S. has roughly tripled since the mid-'90s.

If you haven't given avocado toast a try, the bandwagon awaits. Spread smashed avocado over crispy whole-grain toast and top it off with egg, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, salad greens, or lime. If you want something truly delicious, try your hand at replicating New York’s most famous avocado toast, which is served up at a little place called Cafe Gitane. The recipe is simple: Top toasted seven-grain bread with avocado, lemon juice, chili flakes, and olive oil. Enjoy!

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