NEW RESEARCH SAYS AVOCADOS
ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU
Any way you slice, dice or mash it, avocados are actually good for you. New research reveals that Hass avocados have nutritional and health benefits that
can aid with heart health, weight management and type 2 diabetes, making them more attractive than ever for topping salads and all manner of Latino dishes.
Although avocados have long been praised for their healthy fats and antioxidants, new research presented at this week’s Experimental Biology conference highlight new ways that avocado lovers can benefit from a slice or two of the fruit. With the help of Cristina Rivera, a registered dietitian and president of Nutrition In Motion PC, we broke down the new ways creamy avocado has been found to be good for you.
Avocados May Help You Lose Weight
In a study of 26 overweight adults by a team from Loma Linda Univeresity, meals with avocado were found to positively influence leptin, a hormone that signals
when you’re full. Study subjects reported feeling more full with avocado than
without it for a full three-hour stretch, making it an attractive accompaniment to
a healthy meal.
“The effect of hormones on obesity is a huge area on research, and the news
that avocado can make you feel fuller longer is very encouraging,” says Rivera. “Eating just a ¼ of an avocado with your meal can help you manage your weight since you won’t be looking to graze immediately after eating.”
Avocados Can Help You Absorb Important Vitamins
Researchers from Ohio State University found that eating avocado alongside
beta-carotene rich veggies like tomatoes and carrots boosted the absorption
and conversion of vitamin A compared to eating the vegetables solo. “People
often forget that certain vitamins are only absorbed when we have adequate
fats in our diet and a healthy amount of fats in our bodies,” explains Rivera,
who often provides nutritional consultation to professional athletes. “So eating
a moderate portion of avocado can go a long way in helping you absorb powerful vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K.”
A Slice Of Avocado Can Help You Digest Your Burger
While burgers may not be the healthiest menu option out there, a slice of avocado on your burger patty can help your stomach digest the bad-for-you lipid peroxidation products that form in red meat once it’s cooked. When study subjects ate a 250 gram hamburger patty topped with 68 grams of avocado, researchers from The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition found the combination had positive benefits for heart health (despite the avocado’s added fat and calories), making it a great-tasting way to boost vascular health with beneficial antioxidants.
“If you’re going to have a portion-controlled burger, adding a slice of avocado can help combat inflammation and fights free radicals that contribute to diseases like cardiovascular diseases,” explains Rivera. “So while it’s not an excuse to eat burgers all the time, avocado’s health monounsaturated fats can be a great way to balance out that red meat.”
NINA TERRERO, NBC LATINO STAFF