According to recent research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and partners, one avocado a day might help women transfer abdominal fat toward a healthier profile. A brilliant green fruit with a huge pit and black leathery skin, an avocado is a popular snack. Alligator pears and butter fruit are other names for them.
One hundred and five overweight or obese people took part in a 12-week randomized controlled experiment that supplied one meal each day. Avocado consumption as part of a daily meal reduced deeper visceral belly fat in women.
The researchers, led by Naiman Khan, an Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health, published their study in the Journal of Nutrition, which was financed by the Hass Avocado Board.
“The goal wasn’t weight loss; we were interested in understanding what eating an avocado does to the way individuals store their body fat. The location of fat in the body plays an important role in health,” Khan said.
“Fat that collects just under the skin, known as subcutaneous fat, and fat that accumulates deeper in the belly, known as visceral fat, that surrounds the internal organs, are the two types of fat found in the abdomen. Individuals who have a larger amount of deeper visceral fat are more likely to acquire diabetes. So we were interested in determining whether the ratio of subcutaneous to visceral fat changed with avocado consumption,” he said.
Avocadoes are high in calories. The recommended serving size is 1/3 of a medium avocado, which is less than you may think (50 grams or 1.7 ounces). One ounce of chocolate has 50 calories. Avocados have a lot of fat in them. Monounsaturated fat, on the other hand, is a “healthy” fat that helps decrease bad cholesterol when consumed in moderation.
The goal wasn’t weight loss; we were interested in understanding what eating an avocado does to the way individuals store their body fat. The location of fat in the body plays an important role in health.Naiman Khan
Two groups were formed from the participants. The first group received meals that included a fresh avocado, while the second group received a meal with almost comparable components and calories but no avocado.
The researchers evaluated participants’ abdominal fat and glucose tolerance, a measure of metabolism and a sign of diabetes, at the start and conclusion of the 12-week period.
Female participants who ate an avocado every day as part of their meal saw a decrease in visceral abdominal fat, a hard-to-target fat linked to increased risk, as well as a decrease in the ratio of visceral to subcutaneous fat, indicating fat redistribution away from the organs. Male fat distribution, on the other hand, remained unchanged, and neither males nor females improved their glucose tolerance.
“While daily consumption of avocados did not change glucose tolerance, what we learned is that a dietary pattern that includes an avocado every day impacted the way individuals store body fat in a beneficial manner for their health, but the benefits were primarily in females,” Khan said.
“It’s critical to show that dietary changes may influence fat distribution. The fact that the advantages were exclusively seen in women hints to the possibility of sex playing a role in dietary intervention responses.”
Avocados are low in sugar and high in fiber, which helps individuals stay full for extended periods of time. In one research, those who ate half of a fresh avocado with their lunch were less hungry for the next three hours than those who didn’t.
The researchers want to perform a follow-up study in which they will give individuals all of their daily meals and look at additional markers of gut health and physical health to obtain a more full picture of the metabolic impacts of avocado intake and see if the gender gap persists.
“Our research not only sheds a valuable light on benefits of daily avocado consumption on the different types of fat distribution across genders, it provides us with a foundation to conduct further work to understand the full impact avocados have on body fat and health,” said study co-author Richard Mackenzie, a professor of human metabolism at the University of Roehampton in London.
“By taking our research further, we will be able to gain a clearer picture into which types of people would benefit most from incorporating avocados into their diets and deliver valuable data for health care advisers to provide patients with guidance on how to reduce fat storage and the potential dangers of diabetes,” Mackenzie said.
Researchers at the University of Florida and Eastern Illinois University also collaborated on this work.