In the United States, ≈60% of adults have visceral adiposity, defined as a waist circumference of ≥40 inches for women and ≥35 inches for men, which is associated with an elevated risk of multiple health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.
Independent of total caloric intake, diet quality has been reported to affect visceral adiposity. Avocados had gained interecent in recent years due to their nutritional properties. They are a good source of fiber and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA).
Different studies have shown the benefits of consuming avocado, including lower rates of metabolic syndrome, higher postprandial satiety and weight loss.
Recently, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that eating one avocado per day for 6 months led to a decrease in unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Reduction in Levels of Total and Bad Cholesterol
For the study, the team conducted a six-month experiment involving more than 1,000 participants that were overweight or obese. Half of them were instructed to eat an avocado per day while the other half continued their usual diet, while also limiting their avocado consumption to less than 2 per month.
The researchers used MRI before and at the end of the study to measure fat in the abdomen and around other organs (visceral fat).
The team found that daily avocado consumption led to a decrease in total cholesterol of 2.9 mg/dL and an LDL cholesterol decrease of 2.5 mg/dL.
Although the researchers did not find significant improvements in abdominal fat, consuming avocado didn’t result in gain of body weight and had a positive effect in total and LDL cholesterol levels.
The researchers are planning to continue their research, and in the future instruct patients on how to eat their avocados each day to see if the way they are consumed have any effects on the results.
Alice H. Lichtenstein, et al. Effect of Incorporating 1 Avocado Per Day Versus Habitual Diet on Visceral Adiposity: A Randomized Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2022; DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.122.025657