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Avocado eaters 'are healthier', study claims


People who eat a lot avocado are likely to have a healthier diet and slimmer waistlines than the rest of the population, according to research.

They also have better cholesterol readings and are less at risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes, it is claimed.

The findings, published in the Nutrition Journal, come from a large US health and diet survey. It was funded by the Hass Avocado Board, which promotes avocado consumption.

Researchers analysed data on more than 17,500 individuals who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They focused on 347 adults, half of them women, who reported eating any amount of avocados. Average consumption was about half a medium-sized avocado a day.

These participants were found to have significantly better nutrient intake levels and health indicators than those who avoided the fruits.

According to the study, avocado eaters had generally healthier diets rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Their fibre intake was 36% higher, and they consumed 23% more vitamin E, 13% more magnesium, 16% more potassium and 48% more vitamin K.

People who ate avocados also had significantly higher levels of “good” fats in the blood that those who did not, despite consuming the same number of calories.

Their body mass index readings were lower, and they weighed on average 7.5 pounds less than avocado avoiders. In addition, their waistlines were four centimetres slimmer.

Eating avocados was associated with significantly higher levels of “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, which protects against heart disease, the study showed.

Avocado consumers were also 50% less at risk of metabolic syndrome, a collection of symptoms linked to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Lead researcher Dr Victor Fulgoni, a dietary consultant at the firm Nutrition Impact, said: “These findings suggest an interesting association between the consumption of avocados and better nutrient intakes and other positive outcomes.

“These observations were derived from population survey data, they provide important clues to better understanding the relationships between diet and health, and give direction to future research and endeavours.”

The findings were based on a single snapshot of participants’ diet over a period of 24 hours, combined with test results.

The researchers pointed out there was no evidence of a causal link between avocado consumption and better diet.

Avocados were cultivated in Central America as long ago as 5,000 BC, but did not reach British shores until the late 17th century.

They made their first appearance on supermarket shelves in the UK in the 1960s.


Readers' comments (7)

  • Hmmm, funded by Hass????!

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  • probably won't do me much good. I tend to eat a whole one each time as they don't keep well once cut open, with lashings of herb mayonnaise! However, that is my whole meal and nothing else. Delicious! although they can be tricky to buy and eat when they are just right. Sometimes they are not ripe enough and sometimes blackened inside and I have had to throw them away.

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  • George Kuchanny

    Problem with a study like this is that Avocado eaters are unlikely to be extreme junk food eaters. "The researchers pointed out there was no evidence of a causal link between avocado consumption and better diet." Right. No causal link. However the fact remains that the worst 25% of the population as far as diet is concerned have quite probably never eaten an Avovado. So the study is just a little flawed statistically. A bit like saying skiers are fitter than the average. So sking must be good for you then. Yeah right. However I do like an occasional Avocada and it does not seem to have killed me yet (unlike skiing I bet!)

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  • How about the delicious guacamole with all its additives?

    I was far fitter than average (at least my own average) when I skiied all season and every season for 30 years. It is very 'unhealthly' challenging as it requires a lot of energy, fresh pure clean mountain air, sunshine, etc.

    Après ski and too much alcohol, smoking and plates full of chips in the mountain restaurants, hot chocolates with whipped cream and the odd cream cake can reverse this of course but I was too keen on performance to indulge in these. more like high protein diet, lots of fruit and veg. and early nights!

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  • well said George, my thoughts were the same about the flawed research - not the ski-ing ;)

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  • tinkerbell

    what's an avacado?

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    This conversation will close in 25 days, 11 hours and 46 minutes, on March 25, 2013 at 22:06:37.

    Can you recall a time when you were given bad advice or unknowingly followed bad advice? What happened? How did you learn from this?

    Far too often companies and individuals try to profit off the ignorance of others or simply try to deceive them. It may not always be an outright lie but sometimes they choose to share favorable info while hiding the rest. This is especially common in the dietetics/nutrition field and it had lead to some people making ill informed decisions so I`d like to know, can you think of a time when you were misled or took bad advice.

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    Topics:HUMAN HEALTH Health research child malnutrition diet e-health health care healthy eating healthy food healthy lifestyle nutrition

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