Illinois Tech Researchers Find Avocados for Breakfast Could Boost Heart Health

October 1, 2018

A new study from researchers at Illinois Tech recently published in the journal Nutrients suggests that eating a meal containing one half or a whole avocado compared to a meal with similar calories, but low in fat and high in carbohydrate (the control meal), improved post-meal responses important for metabolic control and heart health in middle-aged, overweight/obese adults.

Adults who were overweight or obese came to the Clinical Nutrition Research Center at Illinois Tech and consumed avocado as part of a breakfast meal followed by measurements of blood vessel function, glycemia, and lipoprotein profiles. The results showed improved blood vessel flexibility and reduced blood glucose, insulin, and triglyceride rich lipoproteins, while larger HDL particle concentrations tended to increase and smaller HDL particle concentrations decreased. The study examined the effects of replacing carbohydrate energy in meals with a half or whole avocado on markers of metabolic and vascular health in 31 participants.

“The findings in this study align with a growing body of evidence supporting avocados as heart healthy,” says Britt Burton-Freeman of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Tech's Institute for Food Safety and Health. “We’re really looking forward to expanding this research to uncover how avocados affect other indicators of heart health.”

The study, funded by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), is a result of the HAB’s science research pipeline of ongoing clinical studies investigating the relationship between the consumption of fresh avocados and weight management and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Conclusions drawn are from one single-meal study and cannot be generalized to all populations. The study design does not allow for making conclusions about long-term effects, which will require additional studies.

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