Why the Amazing Avocado will Help Curb Cravings

Source: Midge Munro; Avocado Industry Council  

Research shows adding a few slices of avocado to your lunch will slash your desire to eat over the next three hours by 40 per cent compared to eating the same meal without it.

A study, published in Nutrition Journal, focused on overweight adults to see if avocado consumption helped them feel more satisfied and reduced their desire to eat in the following few hours.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in the United States conducted randomized single-blind crossover trials where participants ate a standard breakfast followed by one of three test lunches – one without avocado, one that included avocado and one where extra avocado was added.

The volunteers’ glucose and insulin responses were measured, along with their feelings of satisfaction and desire to eat over the next five hours.

The study found those who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported a 40 per cent decrease in desire to eat again over the next three hours, and a 28 per cent decrease in the following five hours.

Participants also reported feeling more satisfied (26 per cent) during the course of the afternoon following their avocado lunch.

Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals, said Dr. Joan Sabaté, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University.

It was 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 them to believe that avocado’s potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.

The study was funded by the American-based Hass Avocado Board.

New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says there are many international studies underway to uncover the health benefits of avocados.

“Other research published in Nutrition Journal found people who regularly eat avocados weigh 3.4kg less on average, and have waistlines around 4cm smaller, than those who don’t,” Scoular says.

“Avocados are rich in monounsaturated (‘good’) fats and are a low GI (glycemic index) food, so they will help you to feel fuller for longer.”

Another reason avocado will help fill you up is they are packed with fibre. Half an avocado will provide more than 25 per cent of your daily recommended fibre intake.

“They’re an absolute powerhouse when it comes to providing your body with the nutrients it needs each day. They also help your body absorb more nutrients from other fruit and vegetables you eat with avocado,” Scoular explains.

Boosting your avocado intake is easy as this home-grown fruit is extremely versatile. You can add a few slices to your favourite omelette, sandwich or salad, or eat them on toast at any time of day.

“You can also blend them into smoothies or use them as a butter and oil substitute when baking or making desserts,” she says. “Their creamy texture makes them perfect for mousses, ice cream and cheesecakes. Delicious and healthy!”

March is National Nutrition Month, California Agriculture Rules!

National Nutrition Month (NNM) this year focuses on following the Dietary Guidelines recommendations by combining taste and nutrition to create healthy meals. Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most.

NNM is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.

University of California Cooperative Extension – Imperial County is ready for NNM’s theme this year, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Eating right can be challenging as healthy foods are often misunderstood to be bland, flavorless, boring, and not worth the time, but this isn’t always true! Eating right can be delicious, flavorful, quick, and easy, and enjoyable.

California Walnuts wants to help consumers defend health all year round, and especially during National Nutrition Month. Their message is including whole foods like walnuts as part of a healthy diet can provide valuable nutrition that defend against diseases. The Natural Defender’s Toolkit has a variety of components that can be used to track personal health and learn more about nutrition.

The BMI Chart allows people to find their BMI value based on height and weight. The Cholesterol Tracker allows people to track cholesterol levels after every doctor’s visit, along with exercise and diet goals. The Medicine Tracker aids folks in keeping track of medications. And, finally, the Personal Prevention Record helps defend people’s health against many preventable diseases. Use the forms in the Natural Defenders Toolkit, complete with nutrition tips from experts, to help people get started on a path towards wellness today.

The California Cling Peach Board suggests as we continue on through the month, we want to make sure we maintain a strong emphasis on the importance of nutrition.

California Strawberry Commission urges, “Just Add Strawberries for National Nutrition Month.”

Melissa Tamargo, on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Blog, says to choose fresh foods that are naturally low in sodium such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs and milk. 

UC California Agricultural Tourism Directory instructs us to read the Nutrition Facts label to choose low-sodium foods and look for terms like “no added salt.”

The Hass Avocado Board tells us to celebrate National Nutrition Month with an avocado-focused menu. Avocados make a great dip for chips and veggies or a flavorful sandwich spread. For creative ideas on how to add Fresh Hass Avocados to menu, stop by AvocadoCentral.com/avocado-foodservice.

Why not celebrate National Nutrition Month by taste-testing different varieties of the same crop, as suggested by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Try some pears, for instance. After all, according to the CDFA, California provides us with more than 400 choices!




         Author: Melissa Tamargo