Hispanic Family Nutrition Study
Hispanic Americans are disproportionately more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Hispanic white adults, making them more susceptible to heart disease and stroke risk factors. Unfortunately, all Americans fail to meet federal food recommendations but intake of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium are even higher among Hispanic Americans.
In working towards building the foremost body of credible and comprehensive avocado nutrition health science, the Avocado Nutrition Center supported a study that was published in the Journal Nutrients. In the clinical trial of 72 Hispanic American (97% Mexican) families consisting of at least three people, researchers assessed two levels of avocado intake (3 avocados/family/week vs.14 avocados/family/week) combined with MyPlate nutrition education. Despite the extra calories, families eating 3 (720 extra calories) or 14 (3,360 extra calories) avocados per week experienced no changes in body weight, BMI, or waist circumference. As with all research, findings from a single study should not be generalized yet this study suggests including fresh avocados in nutrition education to support weight management while reducing the overconsumption of saturated fat and sodium for Hispanic families.
Fresh avocados are a staple in most Latin American cuisine. Though technically a fruit, Federal Food Recommendations (MyPlate) counts avocados as a vegetable and recommends that adults eat 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, depending on calorie needs. One avocado counts as one cup of vegetables. Fresh avocados are a healthy and versatile ingredient to add flavor and nutrients to various meals and snacks.
HAB created a handout to help health professionals show their clients how to use fresh avocados as a culturally-appropriate intervention to improve nutrition status of Hispanic American Families. HAB also created a consumer companion handout that highlights how to include fresh avocados in simple nutritious family meals.
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