It’s still early in the New Year and many of you are trying to stick to your resolution to lose weight. But, like many of my patients, you may be having trouble controlling your appetite and snacking between meals. A few days ago, I came across a very interesting piece of research that reveals how eating 1 common fruit for lunch could knock out your appetite and control snacking for up to 5 hours later! Here’s what the report said…
Avocado For Lunch Can Control Your Appetite All Day
Researchers out of Loma Linda University in California took on the task of learning what effect adding a daily avocado to your diet might have on your blood sugar and how your body uses insulin. In their study, 30 participants were asked to eat 3 meals a day, some that included avocado, and some not (the control group) for 5 weeks.
The study consisted of the control group – those that ate a regular lunch with no avocado added; a second group which replaced calories from the control group lunch; and a third group which added avocado to the control lunch and referred to as the “avocado supplement lunch”.
The results of the study, funded by the Hass Avocado Board and published in the journal, Nutrition, revealed a hidden asset to weight loss. The group that ate the avocado supplement lunch – 1/2 avocado added to the control lunch – reported a 40% decrease in the desire to eat over the 3-hour period afterwards and a 28% decrease over the 5 hours afterwards. The participants reported an “increased satiety” – feeling full and not desiring anything else to eat – by 26% for about 3 hours after eating.
The results also showed that those participants who ate the avocado with their lunch had no increase in blood sugar above the control group, even though the avocado added more carbohydrate to the lunch. The researchers concluded that avocados can be a helpful asset to both weight loss – helping to control appetite – and controlling diabetes.
What is it about avocados that they have this positive effect on your blood sugar and appetite?
Well, for one thing, avocados are high in both fiber and dense, monounsaturated Omega-9 fats – the combination of the two creates a powerful appetite suppressant. Foods that contain these are digested much more slowly so they help you maintain a feeling of fullness much longer. And, because they’re digested so slowly, they also keep blood sugar levels steady for hours afterwards. This has the result of turning off your hunger switch. You don’t have the desire to eat, or snack, for much longer and gain better control over how many calories you take in.
The higher fat level of avocados boost intestinal peptides that help you absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins from your food and maintain a healthier intestinal flora. However, you may be confused because you’ve always heard that to lose weight, you need to cut out fat in your diet. Contrary to what’s been touted as good diet advice in the past, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, eating a high refined, and even natural sugar, diet without adequate fiber, healthy fats (from avocado, walnuts, olives, coconut, etc) and protein to balance is the real culprit behind our “diabesity” epidemic today.
Diabesity is type 2 diabetes caused directly by obesity. It creates dangerous inflammation throughout your body and can lead to other degenerative diseases like heart disease, kidney dysfunction, and can worsen other inflammation-based chronic conditions like arthritis. The Omega-9 fats, which avocados are particularly high in, also help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol while it helps raise HDL “good” cholesterol. So, eating avocados can also help normalize your cholesterol levels as well and better protect your heart and its vascular system.
You can now appreciate how adding an avocado to your daily diet can actually help your weight loss goals, and blood sugar control, in your aim to become healthier this year. As I know that avocado’s can be relatively expensive, you may only want to include them in your recipes a few times a week. But, the good news is that you can still get the same appetite suppressing effect by combining higher fiber foods with good fats at each meal. Take the high fiber foods you like and add 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats to them. For example, have a high fiber vegetable filled salad dressed with olive, walnut, or flaxseed oils, with your high protein lunch or dinner, or make a high protein, vegetable-stuffed, omelet with coconut oil for breakfast. Get creative with fiber and good fats, control your appetite, and watch those pounds fall off.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.