Clients struggling with weight and snack cravings may be just half an avocado away from being more successful. Overweight adults who eat about half of this green fruit during lunch can feel more full for a longer period of time, reports a study from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.
Published in the December issue of Nutrition Journal (doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-155), the study could be meaningful for those trying to better manage their caloric intake, since the addition of half an avocado during specific meals may be a simple dietary intervention for those who habitually consume large amounts of snacks between meals. At an “expensive” 112 kilocalories, it seems an almost counterintuitive addition, but researchers surmise that this fact may be what accounts for the observed increase in satisfaction and decreased desire to eat afterwards.
The study examined 26 healthy overweight and moderately obese adults, aged 25-65, each with a body mass index greater than 25 but less than 35. Participants ate lunches with or without avocados, depending on where they were within the study’s time frame. Results showed that adding avocado to a lunch meal caused a 23% increase in satisfaction and a 28% decreased desire to eat over a subsequent 5-hour period as compared with the avocado-free control lunch meal. Over a 3-hour period, adding avocado to a lunch meal yielded a 26% increase in satisfaction and 40% decreased desire to eat. The changes in measurements of appetite sensation tended to taper off after 5 hours.
Aside from satiety, the authors also sought to examine glucose and insulin response and caloric intake among the subjects. Funded by the Hass Avocado Board, the researchers recommended that further experiments observe the impact of avocados on glucose and insulin response.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Engledow Jenni