A new clinical trial has been published that links avocado consumption with improved statistics in areas such as caloric consumption, and micro and macro-nutrient intake, leading to overall healthier diets in families.
Avocado Consumption and Its Benefits
Based on the nutrients you find in an avo, just half of a medium-sized fruit provides 20% of your daily fiber, 10% potassium, 15% folate, and 5%magnesium. It also provides 7.5 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids.
The clinical trial aimed to integrate avocados into the family diet and measure the impact on the family’s intake in terms of energy and nutrients. The hypothesis was that a high avocado consumption would lead to improved nutrient intake overall and improved cardiometabolic risk factors. The study enrolled 72 families of at least 3 members over the age of 5 residing in the same home a total of 231 individuals. Participants were free of severe or chronic diseases, not previously on any specific diets, and self-identified Mexican heritage. Why Mexican heritage? One: Hispanic/Latino people in the US have a higher prevalence of obesity and lower intake of key nutrients than other demographics. Two: for Hispanic/Latino immigrants, diet tends to worse as they acculturate to the Western dietary patterns of more refined carbohydrates and animal-based fats. Researchers wanted to assess if increases, but moderated, consumption of a single, nutrient-dense food might help improve overall health while decreasing diet-related disparities. Avos are the chosen food because it is a plant-food traditioanally consumed in Mexico and parts of Central/South America.
These families were sorted into two groups for 6 months, each group given a certain allotment of avos and nutrition education sessions every 2 weeks. The scientists in the study did not discern any changes in body mass index or waist circumference in either group. However, they did not consuming more avos sped satiety, aka the feeling of fullness after eating. The families reduced their consumption of animal proteins like chicken, eggs, and processed meats. This led to reduced consumption of fat and sodium as recommended by current nutrition guidelines.
In addition, high avo consumers also reduced their intake of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, magnesium, iron, and overall calories. The high allotment group also increased their intake of fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and folate.
The study also enjoyed a high adherence to protocols by the participants, indicating the combination of nutrition education and introduction of a healthy food already familiar to study participants (avocado consumption, in this case) leads to actual changes in diet and nutrient intake.