New Study Suggests a Role for Avocados in Weight Management

The avocado is well-loved but little-understood. That’s why the Avocado Nutrition Center (ANC) works to deepen the world’s scientific understanding of it. The ANC is the world’s only independent resource for comprehensive avocado nutrition research. The ANC helps advance the mission of the Hass Avocado Board, but operates independently of it to build the leading body of credible and comprehensive avocado nutrition health science. A new study supported by the ANC and published in the Journal of Nutrition adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests a role for avocados in weight management.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excess body weight presents a major public health challenge in the United States, affecting nearly 70% of adults. Overweight and obesity are linked to abdominal (belly) fat, which increases the risk for chronic diseases. Following a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan that includes more fruits and vegetables, at an appropriate calorie level, can help people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

A recent clinical trial1 of 105 overweight-obese adults studied whether eating a diet with one avocado a day for 12 weeks would alter body fat distribution.

  • Results showed that daily avocado consumption was associated with a decrease in belly fat around the internal organs, among women.
  • Among men, there were no changes in abdominal fat.
  • Oral glucose tolerance was not affected by the avocado.
  • Although more research is needed to generalize the results to all people, the findings suggest avocados may beneficially alter belly fat.

This is not the first study supported by the ANC to show potential weight management benefits of consuming avocados. In a study2 of 55,000 adults who follow the Seventh-Day-Adventist lifestyle, researchers found that regularly eating avocados is linked to a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.

In another study3 of 29,000 adults, avocado consumers were 33% less likely to be overweight or obese and 32% less likely to have an elevated waist circumference than non-consumers.

Although these studies’ findings cannot be considered causal, and more studies are needed, the data suggests a role for avocados in weight management.

Avocados are considered a low-energy-dense fruit and a great option to boost fiber intake. Making small dietary changes to include more fiber and replacing foods higher in energy density with avocado may help your patients consume fewer calories and manage their weight.

  1. Khan N, et al. “Effects of avocado consumption on abdominal adiposity and oral glucose tolerance.” Journal of Nutrition. 2021.
  2. Heskey C, et al. “Avocado Intake, and Longitudinal Weight and Body Mass Index Changes in an Adult Cohort.” Nutrients. 2019.
  3. Fulgoni VL, et al. “Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008.” Nutrition Journal. 2013.

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