Really Hungry? New Research Suggests Avocados Hit the Spot

Illinois Tech Study Looks at Benefits of Replacing Carbohydrates with the Fruit

May 9, 2019

A study released Tuesday, May 7, by the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology suggests that meals that include avocado in place of refined carbohydrates can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in adults who are overweight or obese. 

The study, released in a paper titled “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 Trial,” was published in April in Nutrients, a peer-reviewed journal. 

Utilizing Hass avocados, the study looked at the underlying effects of including whole and half fresh avocados on hunger, fullness, and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period. Researchers studied the effects on 31 overweight and obese adults in the trial. 

The changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, which further reduces the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibers into a regular daily diet, the researchers say.

“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,” says Britt Burton-Freeman, the director of the Center for Nutrition Research. “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.”

Burton-Freeman, an associate professor of food science and nutrition in Illinois Tech’s School of Applied Technology, led the research team that conducted the study.

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