So you’ve been trying out every health hack recommended by your friends, relatives, and the know-it-all Internet to lose weight, but to no avail? Why not give avocado, chock-a-block with carbs and fats, a try? If you’re wondering how a pulpy, creamy fruit that’s full of fat can help you, here’s how avocados help with weight loss.
1. Reduces Your Hunger
If snacks are your biggest hurdle in your ‘Mission: Lose pounds,’ you’ve found the way out with avocados. Avocados keep you feeling full longer, claims a study published in Nutrition Journal. It takes eating just half a Hass avocado alongside your meal to do that. The study participants reported being 40 percent less hungry 3 hours after eating an avocado and 28 percent less hungry 5 hours later.1
With the desire to nibble on between-meal goodies taken out of the equation, thanks to avocados, you can now stick to your weight loss diet better.
2. Enhances Metabolism
But diet isn’t all. You need to be active, too. And if your metabolism is sluggish, despite your best intentions and efforts, physical activity might seem difficult for you. That’s where avocados help. They are rich in the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) oleic acid, which makes up about 63 percent of the fruit’s MUFA content.2 A meal rich in oleic acid, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, could enhance physical activity by 13.5 percent and post-meal metabolism by 4.5 percent compared to a diet rich in saturated fats.3
This means that one scoop of the buttery flesh of avocado might be all that you need to slog it out at the gym.
3. Reduces Belly Fat
Funnily enough, it’s the fat in the avocado, the MUFAs, that keeps your belly fat away.
One study brought in 11 insulin-resistant volunteers whose parents had type-2 diabetes and belly fat deposits. It was found that when they were given a diet rich in MUFAs as opposed to a carbs-rich diet over 28 days, the fat was distributed more evenly across the body and not just the belly.4 The researchers credit the MUFA-rich diet that improved insulin sensitivity and was in turn associated with the post-meal gene expression of adiponectin, a protein that regulates glucose and fat metabolism.
4. Improves Glucose And Fat Metabolism
In that same experiment, it was seen that a carbs-rich diet decreases the levels of adiponectin in the fat tissues.5 Since adiponectin is involved in regulating the body’s glucose levels and helps in breaking down fatty acids, low levels of it is associated with obesity and insulin resistance.
An animal study published in the Journal Of Complementary and Integrative Medicine found that rats fed on avocado pulp for 14 weeks had higher levels of adiponectin and lower BMI, fat pad mass, and body fat.6
This is one of the reasons you ought to have avocados with your meal.
5. Lowers LDL Cholesterol Levels
If your tendency toward obesity is more medical than lifestyle-related, avocados can help. This super fruit can defeat one of the biggest villains of your weight loss journey – bad cholesterol, which is responsible for insulin resistance, which in turn leads to obesity. High amount of bad or LDL cholesterol can lead to other more severe conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that when a moderate-fat diet was complemented with a Hass avocado every day for 3 weeks, the LDL cholesterol levels came down by 13.5 mg/dL, whereas a low-fat diet with no avocado could bring the level down by just 7.4 mg /dL.7
Again, it was the MUFA content in the fruit that helped it lower elevated cholesterol levels. Now you know that though avocados are full of fat, that fat is all good.
Eat Half An Avocado A Day
Now that you are on a weight loss diet, you have to chow down plenty of health foods like veggies and fruits. It might get a lot easier to do that if you have half a medium-sized avocado a day, finds a survey in Nutrition Journal.8
The survey found that people who ate half an avocado a day have better diet quality, with more fruits and veggies becoming a part of their meals naturally. As a result, their diet is full of fiber and vitamin K and less added sugar, all of which are associated with weight loss. To state the obvious, they also have significantly lower body weight, BMI, and waist girth, reports the survey.
Consuming avocados is, thus, a proven way to lose and manage your weight and it is one of the food items that support healthy aging.9 Considering the fruit goes well with both sweet and savory foods, it can be easily included in your daily diet, spread on toasts, chopped and topped on salads, or mixed into desserts. You could even replace oil, butter, or shortening with the fruit while baking cakes or cupcakes. Stick to half an avocado a day since the fruit has a high calorie value, and eating too much may give you a stomach ache as well.
|↑1||Wien, Michelle, Ella Haddad, Keiji Oda, and Joan Sabaté. “A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults.” Nutrition journal 12, no. 1 (2013): 1.|
|↑2||Ozdemir, Feramuz, and Ayhan Topuz. “Changes in dry matter, oil content and fatty acids composition of avocado during harvesting time and post-harvesting ripening period.”; Food Chemistry 86, no. 1 (2004): 79-83.|
|↑3||Kien, C. Lawrence, Janice Y. Bunn, Connie L. Tompkins, Julie A. Dumas, Karen I. Crain, David B. Ebenstein, Timothy R. Koves, and Deborah M. Muoio. “Substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure and with changes in mood.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 97, no. 4 (2013): 689-697.|
|↑4, ↑5||Paniagua, Juan Antonio, A. Gallego De La Sacristana, I. Romero, A. Vidal-Puig, J. M. Latre, E. Sanchez, P. Perez-Martinez, J. Lopez-Miranda, and F. Perez-Jimenez. “Monounsaturated fat–rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects.” Diabetes care 30, no. 7 (2007): 1717-1723.|
|↑6||Padmanabhan, Monika, and Geetha Arumugam. “Effect of Persea americana (avocado) fruit extract on the level of expression of adiponectin and PPAR-γ in rats subjected to experimental hyperlipidemia and obesity.”Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine 11, no. 2 (2014): 107-119.|
|↑7||Wang, Li, Peter L. Bordi, Jennifer A. Fleming, Alison M. Hill, and Penny M. Kris‐Etherton. “Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial.” Journal of the American Heart Association 4, no. 1 (2015): e001355.|
|↑8||Fulgoni, Victor L., Mark Dreher, and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008.” Nutrition journal 12, no. 1 (2013): 1.|
|↑9||Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition53, no. 7 (2013): 738-750.|