New research published in the journal Nutrients reported that eating a breakfast that includes half or a whole avocado to replace the same amount of carbohydrate-derived energy may improve markers of heart health in overweight or obese individuals.
The study included 31 overweight and/or obese adults between the ages of 25 and 60. Participants were asked to fast from 10pm. The next morning, each participant ate one of three breakfast meals which either contained no avocado, half an avocado (68g) or a whole avocado (136g). This was repeated on three different occasions.
Avos for breakfast lowers glucose & insulin levels
Blood samples were taken just prior to the meal being eaten and six hours later. When either half an avocado or a whole avocado was eaten as part of their breakfast, participants had lower glucose and insulin levels after six hours compared to when an avocado was not eaten at breakfast.
This is good news because insulin, when high, is a hormone that promotes fat storage, decreases fat breakdown, and increases hunger.
Broader health benefits from eating avo revealed
Researchers also found an improvement in markers of heart health such as endothelial function and vasodilation. The endothelium is a thin membrane lining the inside of the heart and blood vessels, which helps with healthy relaxation and constriction of the cardiovascular system, thus determining how much blood is received by the body’s tissues.
In addition, participants who ate a whole avocado had higher levels of the good, heart-protective HDL cholesterol and lower levels of triglycerides. Having a high level of triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease.
Science affirms, avo is a heart-healthy ingredient
These findings support the growing body of evidence that avocados are heart-healthy foods that should form part of a heathy and balanced diet. Whether as good old fashioned avo on toast or as part of your green smoothie, add an avocado to your day, every day.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.