Hass Avocado Board Reveals Major Avocado Nutrition Research Initiative

IRVINE, Calif. (March 12, 2012) – For the first time ever, the Hass avocado industry has come together to unveil a major nutrition research program focused on heart health, weight management and diabetes, and healthy living. The comprehensive nutritional initiative will be one of the Hass Avocado Board’s (HAB) key strategic priorities moving forward, with an overall goal of helping to drive increased consumption of Hass avocados. This multi-year effort will build a strong case for touting the nutritional benefits of the fruit, using the science to provide a solid foundation for health and nutrition marketing communication programs.

Today, HAB announced that Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects, the most comprehensive avocado research literature review to date. The findings are based on a review of more than 124 scientific references (published between 1960 and 2011), including more than 60 studies .

“The release of the Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects study is just the beginning in terms of our long-term nutrition research plan for avocados,” said Emiliano Escobedo, HAB Executive Director. “We needed to see what existed so we could determine what direction we wanted to take. From this, we have developed three pillars of our avocado research – heart health, weight management and diabetes, and healthy living. This research will help confirm what many people have known all along – that avocados are a super food.”

Following is a summary of key findings from the study:

  • Preliminary studies suggest diets that include avocados may have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, compared to low fat, high carbohydrate diets or typical American diets that do not include avocados.
  • Avocados may be included in a weight loss regimen.
  • Avocados can fit into a full range of healthy eating plans.
  • Avocados are the richest known fruit source of phytosterols, with about 26 mg per serving (30 g).
  • A serving of avocado (30 g) contains less than 1 g of total sugar. In addition, avocados contain a unique type of sugar called D-mannoheptulose, which nutritionally acts more like a unique phytonutrient, not like conventional sugar.

“This paper suggests that there are promising research areas to explore with avocados and heart health, weight management and type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Mark Dreher, Nutrition Scientist, Avocado Nutrition Center. “Additionally, based on their nutrition and phytochemical components, avocados may play a positive role in many emerging areas including skin, eye, joint and cellular health.”

About the Hass Avocado Board

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs the HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.

For fast and easy access to the most comprehensive compilation of published nutrition and scientific literature and resources on avocados, visit avocadonutritioncenter.com