July 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Study: Can Avocados Really Make You Fat?


Rich in fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants, avocados are considered a nutritious part of our diet. But we are concerned about its high calorie and fat content, since there are many who avoid it for fear of weight gain or a spike in cholesterol.

A new study published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition clears up the picture, indicating that these concerns are unfounded.

People with abdominal obesity (large bellies) who ate an avocado a day for 26 weeks formed better eating plans without gaining weight, according to researchers. After six months of eating avocados, participants' diets were more in line with a healthy diet.

“By following healthy eating standards, we can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and prolong life,” said lead study author Christina Petersen, assistant professor of nutrition at Penn State University.

Researchers divided 1,008 adults with abdominal obesity into two groups. One was advised to eat a whole avocado every day and continue her normal diet. The other group stuck to their regular diet, but participants ate fewer than two avocados per month.

After 26 weeks, the participants' weight did not change. “We saw no effect of avocado consumption on weight or belly fat. This means that avocado consumption does not increase or decrease weight or fat, respectively,” the researchers report.

Although eating an avocado daily did not seem to affect weight, a secondary analysis found that the practice affected another important indicator: diet quality. At the end of 26 weeks, the researchers found that those who ate an avocado every day had a healthier diet.

This group also showed an increase in vegetable consumption (of which avocado is one), an improvement in the ratio of healthy to unhealthy fats, and a decrease in consumption of processed foods, salt and added sugar.

Researchers claim that better diet quality may have a lot to do with avocados replacing potentially “bad” foods.

“We saw a reduction in salt and processed food intake,” the experimenters note. “This suggests that people were partially replacing high-salt processed foods by eating avocados instead.” For example, instead of adding greasy ketchup to a burger, they're more likely to opt for a fresh avocado or an avocado-based smoothie over a bowl of sugary cereal.

While it's not necessary to eat a whole avocado a day, you can try incorporating it into some of your meals and reap the benefits in a variety of ways. Here are some options you can try:

  • Puree, like a sandwich spread.
  • In creamy salad dressings.
  • In a smoothie with yogurt, citrus fruits and honey.



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