Avocados, as a substitution for carbohydrates, can suppress hunger without adding calories

A new study released by the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology suggests that meals that include fresh avocado as a substitute for refined carbohydrates can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in overweight and obese adults.

As rates of obesity in the United States continue to rise, the findings from Illinois Tech suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact on managing hunger and aiding metabolic control.

The new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, assessed the underlying physiological effects of including whole and half fresh Hass avocados on hunger, fullness, and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period. Researchers evaluated these effects in 31 overweight and obese adults in a randomized three-arm crossover clinical trial. These dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibers into a regular daily diet.

“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, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Tech. “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.”

The research found that meals including avocado not only resulted in a significant reduction in hunger and an increase in how satisfied participants felt, but also found that an intestinal hormone called PYY was an important messenger of the physiological response.


Provided by: Illinois Institute of Technology

More information: Lanjun Zhu, Yancui Huang, Indika Edirisinghe, Eunyoung Park, Britt Burton-Freeman. Using the Avocado to Test the Satiety Effects of a Fat-Fiber Combination in Place of Carbohydrate Energy in a Breakfast Meal in Overweight and Obese Men and Women: A Randomized Clinical TrialNutrients (2019). DOI: 10.3390/nu11050952

Image credit: CCO Public Domain

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