January 8, 2014
An Avocado At Lunch Helps Curb Those Afternoon Cravings
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Adding a little avocado to your lunch not only adds some extra nutrition, but it also may reduce the desire to keep on snacking, according to a new study. Researchers writing in the Nutrition Journal found that adding one-half of a fresh avocado to a lunch helped reduce people's desire to eat between meals.
The study compared the effects of incorporating fresh avocado into a lunch to determine how it could influence satiety, blood sugar and insulin response and later food intake. Researchers found 26 healthy, overweight adults to participate in the study, some of which added half a fresh avocado to their lunch.
Fresh Hass avocados like the ones used in the study contain three grams of total carbohydrates, less than a gram of natural sugar per one ounce serving and contribute 8 percent of the daily value for fiber.
According to the findings, those who had avocado with their lunch reported a significantly decreased desire to eat, by 40 percent over a three-hour period, and by 28 percent over a five-hour period after the meal. This group of participants also reported increased feelings of satisfaction by 26 percent over the three hours following the meal.
"Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals," said Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University.
"We also noted that though adding avocados increased participants' calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch. This leads us to believe that avocados potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation."
The researchers said that the avocado contained an additional 112 kcal, which may have accounted for the observed increase in satisfaction and decreased desire to eat.
The team said that more research is still needed to help determine whether the study’s results can be applied to adults with varying BMI and among insulin resistant individuals. However, the findings offer a good basis for future research in how avocados effect satiety, glucose and insulin response.
"These research findings provide support for the emerging benefits of avocados," Nikki Ford, PhD, Director of Nutrition at the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), said in a statement. "These results further complement our research efforts in weight management and diabetes as well as our continued work to explore the many benefits that fresh avocados have to offer when consumed in everyday healthy eating plans."