A new study published in the November issue of Nutrition Journal gives us more food for thought on how avocados can benefit health. Researchers at Loma Linda University in California found that adding one-half of a fresh avocado to a lunch may have helped the healthy, overweight people who volunteered for the study feel more satisfied with the meal. The desire to eat in the three hours following the lunch that included avocados declined by 40 percent compared to the urge to eat after an avocado-free lunch. Over a five-hour period, the desire to eat decreased by 28 percent compared to the hunger pangs that occurred after a lunch without avocados.
What’s more, the researchers reported that while adding avocados did boost the study participants’ calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, their blood sugar levels didn’t bump up any more than the increase seen after eating lunch without avocados. The investigators said this finding suggests that avocados may have a role in managing blood sugar and warrants further study.
A Few Other Good Things to Know about Avocados
- Healthy fats: Most of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated “good fat” that helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease.
- Protein: The average avocado contains around 4 grams of protein, much more than the amount found in most other fruits.
- Sugar: Only 0.2 grams in half an avocado, which is low compared to other fruits.
- Fiber: A medium avocado gives you 11 grams of fiber, which helps improve bowel function, reduces the risk of colon cancer, helps to stabilize blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
- Cholesterol: Research has shown that an avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy people, especially those whose cholesterol is slightly high, even if they also have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).
- Diabetes, Stroke, Coronary Artery Disease: Avocados may lower the risk of all of these conditions.
- Cancer: Avocados contain phytochemicals that may prevent the development of certain cancers. Ohio State researchers have reported that individual and combinations of phytochemicals avocados contain can kill some cancer cells and prevent pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers.
Try my recipe for guacamole in my book “The Omni Diet” (now available in paperback).