Nutritionists suggest that eating half an avocado at lunchtime can increase feelings of fullness and cut down on temptations to eat between meals, which may be helpful in weight management.
A research team, led by Dr. Joan Sabate, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Loma Linda University in California, says its study delves into the effects of having half avocado with lunch with the effects of eating lunch without avocado.
The avocado fruit tree is native to Mexico and Central America and Avocado is very commonly used in salads and is the main ingredient in the Mexican dip, guacamole.
Dr. Sabate's research aimed to understand how avocado consumption at lunchtime influenced satiety, blood sugar, insulin response and snacking. The research was conducted on 26 healthy but overweight adults.
The researchers found that participants who included just half a fresh avocado in their lunch, reported 40 percent reduced desire to eat in the following three hours and 28 percent reported decrease in desire to eat over the consequent five hours.
The researchers also found that the participants of the study also reported increased feelings of satisfaction over the three hours following their lunch that included avocado.
Dr. Sabate says that satiety is a significant factor in weight management. People who feel satisfied after food intake are less likely to snack between meals and hence, help reduce weight.
The research also pointed out that adding just half avocado for lunch increased calorie and carbohydrate levels in participants but there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was found after standard lunch intake. The study makes the researchers believe that avocado's potential role in blood sugar management is subject to further study.
The current research can also form a base for future studies to understand avocado's effect on satiety, glucose and insulin response.
Dr. Sabate also says that the research findings were generally positive; however, more research is needed to define if the conclusions from the study can be useful to the general public.
Half of a fresh avocado comprises around 150 calories and is also high in fiber.