As we just discussed last week, I prefer to think of nutrition in a broader sense than labeling food as “good” or “bad.” (Unless we’re talking about sugar, of course!)
That’s why I often talk about healthy eating patterns. Because it’s HOW you eat— regularly and over the long term—that matters the most.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t certain foods that are just plain good for you, though. (Why else would they be referred to as “superfoods”?!) Including one of my absolute favorites: the avocado.
In fact, as a new study suggests, an avocado a day really might just keep the doctor away…
Big changes in just 12 weeks
Researchers recruited 105 adults, all overweight or obese, for this randomized, controlled trial.
The study provided subjects with one meal daily for 12 weeks. One group received meals with a fresh avocado, while the other group received nearly identical meals without a fresh avocado.
Before and after the study period, researchers measured both belly fat and glucose tolerance to assess for metabolic function. And they found that, over the course of 12 weeks, regular avocado consumption was able to redistribute fat away from the belly… in women, at least.
Men didn’t see the same kind of fat redistribution. And neither group experienced changes in blood sugar.
But these findings, which appeared recently in the Journal of Nutrition, still demonstrate a pretty huge victory…
The deadliest kind of fat
The technical term for belly fat is intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat. But no matter what you call it, it’s bad news. In fact, it’s the riskiest kind of fat you can have.
After all, it winds itself around abdominal organs like your liver and intestines. And it’s much more dangerous than the subcutaneous fat that collects on your hips and thighs.
Plus, belly fat can raise the level of inflammation in your body—a major risk factor behind many diseases. And it releases other substances that can raise your blood pressure and boost your insulin resistance.
So it’s really no surprise this type of fat has been linked in studies to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
That’s why I was a bit surprised by the lack of change in glucose tolerance in this latest research. But it was a short, small study—and who knows what else was in those meals besides the avocado. (All of which speaks to my original point about how you can’t hang your health on any one single food.)
Nevertheless, losing belly fat is always a good thing for your health. So be sure to add fresh avocados to your healthy, balanced diet (full of lean protein, fresh produce, and nuts) to reap its many health benefits!
“Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds.” Science Daily. 09/07/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210907110702.htm)