Yes, avocados taste great, but did you know that they may actually help in weight management efforts? A recent study published in the Nutrition Journal suggests that if overweight individuals consume ½ an avocado at lunch time it may help satisfy hunger longer, reducing the urge to snack later on.
An avocado is a fruit from a tree which is native to Central America and Mexico. Avocados have a high fat content, but the fat is monounsaturated fat, which is typically deemed “good fat”. MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) have been known to contribute a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. ½ of an avocado provides about 250 calories and 23 grams of fat.
The study was performed on 26 participants who were all overweight. The subjects were split into 3 groups. All groups consumed a normal breakfast followed by their designated lunch depending on which group they were assigned to. The 3 lunches given were a standard lunch sans avocado, a lunch containing avocado (the avocado replaced some of the foods) and one with half a fresh avocado added to the standard lunch.
There was a 40% decreased desire to eat during the 3 hours following the consumption of lunch and a 28% decreased desire 5 hours after in the subjects who ate the standard lunch with the added ½ avocado compared to those who just ate the standard lunch. This group also reported being 26% more satisfied immediately after eating lunch. Another finding of interest is that there were no increase in blood sugar levels in participants who ate the ½ avocado, despite the increased calories and carbohydrates.
After reading this study I had a few lingering questions. What about people who are not currently overweight, yet want to manage their current weight? Will these finding be applicable to them as well? I was also curious about the breakfasts that the participants were eating. What is considered a “normal” breakfast? The article does not define this.
Want to give adding avocado to your lunch a try? You can go the simple route and top your next turkey sandwich with slices of the fruit or get a little more creative with this recipe for an avocado egg bake!
Avocado Egg Bake
Salt and pepper
Desired toppings (salsa, low fat cheese, herbs, spices, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit
Using a spoon, make a wider hole in the avocado so the egg will fit
Crack an egg into each half and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper
Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes