Avocados ‘can suppress hunger without adding calories’

Replacing potatoes or pasta with avocado at dinner time can help overweight people lose weight, according to new research.

The trendy superfood suppresses hunger – without adding calories, suggests the study.

Researchers found that 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.

They say that their findings, published in the journal Nutrients, suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact on managing hunger and aiding metabolic control.

The research team 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 in 31 overweight and obese adults.

The dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease by adding healthy fats and fibres into a regular daily diet.

Associate Professor Britt Burton-Freeman, director of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology in the US, said: “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.

“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.”

She added that 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 discovered that an intestinal hormone called PYY was an important messenger of the physiological response.

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