Avocado and fresh veg has health benefits. Picture: File
Avocado and fresh veg has health benefits. Picture: File

This is why you should be eating more avocado

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 17, 2020

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Move over apples: eating one avocado per day may help keep cholesterol at bay, while managing the waistline too. 

Did you know that avocado eaters, compared to those who do not consume avocados tend to have healthier diets? According to a 2001-2008 survey from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in us adults:.

Avocado eaters eat more fruit, vegetables, good fats, dietary fibre, and nutrients like 23 percent more vitamin E, 13 percent more magnesium, 16 percent more potassium and 48 percent more vitamin K. Avocado eaters also tend to eat less added sugar. 

Here’s why including avocado in your weekly trip to the grocery store is a must.

An avocado a day keeps cholesterol at bay

Published in the 2019 Journal of Nutrition, researchers aimed to investigate the effect of eating one avocado a day on cholesterol levels. Overweight/obese men and women ate one of three cholesterol-lowering diets for five weeks: a low- fat diet, a moderate fat diet that included one avocado daily, and a moderate fat diet that didn’t include avocado. 

Blood samples were taken to measure the bad LDL-cholesterol levels, along with other blood markers.

Results of the study showed a significant decrease in the bad LDL-cholesterol levels when following the moderate fat diet that included one avocado per day, a reduction which was much lower than if following the low- fat diet or moderate fat diet without avocado. While this was a small study, these findings are in line with a growing body of evidence supporting avocados as a heart healthy food.

An avocado a day is a win for the waistline

Alarmingly, more than half of women and one third of men in South Africa are overweight/obese, a trend seen globally too, according to South African Demographic and Health Survey, 2018. 

Yet including rich and creamy avocados in the diet may help lower this risk. When comparing the risk of becoming overweight/obese in those who ate avocado compared to non-avocado eaters, researchers showed that avocado eaters with a normal weight gained significantly less weight compared to those who did not consume avocado.

Fullness from eating avocados

When replacing carbohydrates with avocado at breakfast, participants said they felt more satisfied than when no avocado was included. This could be due to several components of the avocado, such as the fibre and fat. 

One avocado contains 8g of a unique combination of insoluble fibre and soluble fibre and may impact the gut hormones that keep us feeling full. In addition, avocados are high in fat, most of which is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

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