An Avocado a Day Keeps Hunger Pangs at Bay

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles | June 21, 2018

Who doesn't love to add a perfectly ripe avocado to their meal? Whether it’s sliced avocado in a sandwich, mashed avocado on toast or diced avocado in a salad, there’s no denying that this nutrient-rich food livens up any meal by adding flavor and texture. But can adding avocado to a meal help with weight loss? Will it contribute to satiety? What about controlling insulin release and regulating blood sugar?

Oftentimes, we are told to limit avocado intake because it’s high in calories and fat. However, the tables have turned on the most important ingredient in guacamole! Avocado is more than just a fancy fad; it’s now seen as a wellness game-changer.

According to clinical research on overweight adults published in the Nutrition Journal, there are plenty of reasons why we should all be slicing up some green goodness and adding it to our daily diets.

This particular study was a randomized crossover study that included 26 healthy, overweight adults. Subjects in this study claimed that they felt more satiated after consuming lunch with one half of an avocado added to it compared to a lunch without avocado. The addition of avocado added to the total calorie content of the meal, yet the blood sugar levels and insulin response were both lower after the avocado lunch than they were after the non-avocado lunch.

The study was funded by the Hass Avocado Board, but it’s an interesting springboard to further investigation on the role of avocado on human health risks such as metabolic syndrome, insulin levels, blood sugar control and weight management. The findings of this study lead to many interesting questions about the influence of avocado on myriad of health risk factors. The study also sparks interest in a food-first approach to weight management, insulin control and a host of other weight-related health issues.

While we keep our eyes and ears open for future research on this topic, we can still appreciate the taste, texture and nutrients of avocados. Add half an avocado to your green smoothie to enjoy all the health benefits avocados have to offer!

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles's profile picture

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles

Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.

Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/ Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.

She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.

Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!

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