Could Avocados Be the Key to Weight Loss?

Updated: Nov. 06, 2020

Go ahead, order extra guacamole: This study suggests adding avocado to your meals may help you lose weight.

Avocado pattern on blue background. Pop art design, creative summer food concept. Green avocadoes, minimal flat lay style. Top view. Banner.Evdokimov Maxim/Shutterstock

Before you start feeling guilty about indulging in that guacamole, consider a new study from the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology that suggests the fat in avocado can help you suppress hunger and stay more satisfied longer.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients on May 8, 2019. It concludes that overweight and obese people who added avocado to their meals as a substitute for refined carbohydrates were able to stave off hunger longer and increase meal enjoyment. On three different days, researchers fed 31 overweight or obese adults one of three meals with identical calories: A high-fat meal with one avocado, a high-fat meal with half an avocado, or a low-fat meal. For six hours afterward, the volunteers reported how hungry they felt.

Everyone reported feeling fuller longer after the meal featuring a whole avocado; even the meal with half an avocado helped satisfy the volunteers longer than the low-fat meal. Further tests revealed that the avocado meals helped boost an intestinal hormone called PYY—when it drops, you feel hungry.

“For years, fats have been targeted as the main cause of obesity, and now carbohydrates have come under scrutiny for their role in appetite regulation and weight control,” said Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, director of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Tech, who was quoted on the study’s press release. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to optimal meal composition for managing appetite. However, understanding the relationship between food chemistry and its physiological effects in different populations can reveal opportunities for addressing appetite control and reducing rates of obesity, putting us a step closer to personalized dietary recommendations.”

Although nutritional experts have long blamed fat for weight gain, more and more studies like this one indicate that eating a judicious amount of healthy fat can help suppress hunger and assist with weight control. This study proves that small, enjoyable changes in your diet like swapping a piece of bread for a yummy half-avocado can lead you to achieve your weight-loss goals. Here are some more tiny changes that can help you shed pounds.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest