Experts estimate we need upwards of 50-85% healthy fat in our diets, but due to the Standard American Diet and the FDA’s promotion of low-fat, high-carb eating, Americans are seriously deprived in health-promoting fats. A recent study shows that by helping to satiate hunger and curb snacking, avocado may help promote weight management. This high-fat but heart healthy fruit might be just what’s needed to tip dietary trends away from the excessive consumption of grain-based, high insulin-producing carbohydrates, and towards healthy fats.
Satiate Hunger without Spiking Blood Sugar Levels
According to a study published in the November 2013 edition of Nutrition Journal, eating half of a fresh avocado with a meal can keep you feeling fuller for longer, thereby helping you avoid unnecessary snacking…reach your weight loss goals…and maintain your ideal body composition.
Researchers studied the avocado’s effect on the blood sugar levels, insulin production, and appetite of 26 healthy but overweight adults. Over the course of five sessions, participants ate their normal breakfasts followed by one of three lunches:
- A standard lunch with no avocado
- A lunch with avocado substituted for other foods
- A standard lunch with half a fresh avocado
Researchers measured participants’ satiety levels over the next five hours using a visual analog scale. Results indicated that those who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch were 40% less hungry three hours after the meal and 28% less hungry five hours after the meal than were those who ate no avocado.
What’s more, avocado had no effect on blood sugar or insulin levels. When blood sugar spikes and insulin levels increase, the body enters a pattern of fat-storage, making it easy to put on the pounds and virtually impossible to take them off. Not to mention, one in four Americans is diabetic, a pandemic directly attributable to the high-sugar, high-carb, low-fat diet so popular in the United States. Rich in monounsaturated fat, avocados provide energy that helps to regulate insulin and break the fat-storing pattern our bodies have adopted.
The Answer Is in the Avocado
Avocados contain nearly 20 essential nutrients, including folic acid, B-vitamins, potassium, and vitamin E, that boost the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients in other foods. Numerous studies have shown that avocados help lower cholesterol levels and regulate your sodium/potassium ratio. When you eat too much sodium and too little potassium you are at risk for…
- Heart disease and stroke
- Cognitive decline
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney stones
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Erectile dysfunction
In fact, a 2011 study found that those with higher levels of sodium compared to potassium had the greatest risk of cardivascular disease—just one of the many reasons to enjoy the satiating sweetness of avocados. Eat an avocado a day to keep your potassium levels in a healthy range and to achieve success with your weight management and wellness goals!