fitness · nutrition

Avocado: friend or foe? Maybe neither

CW: discussion of body weight change in the context of nutrition research.

This week, while skimming the weekly newsletter I get on new nutrition and metabolic research on body weight, the following caught my eye:

No significant changes in body weight, body mass index, % body fat, and neither in visceral adipose tissue in response to intervention was seen in the avocado group compared to the control group. 

Catchy, huh? Could avocado have replaced the egg as the center of nutritional controversy? Turns out, people are have many questions about avocados.

Google queries about avocados.
Lots of google questions for such a small fruit…

The new avocado study I quoted above is out to settle the matter. But first, a little background about avocados (from the paper):

graphic showing an avocado and listing o many vitamins and minerals
I think this graphic indicates that avocado is good, but I’m not sure.

Okay, glad that’s settled. Now, what’s the answer? Are avocados good for you or bad for you?

Turns out, they’re likely neither. The researchers were unable to find any significant differences between the avocado-consuming and the control group:

No significant changes in body weight, body mass index, % body fat, and neither in visceral adipose tissue in response to intervention was seen in the avocado group compared to the control group.

Avocado consumption didn’t seem to produce weight loss or weight gain (as they also mentioned in their abstract). They found some potential benefits relative to the type of fat found in avocados, but as they say, “further studies are needed to elucidate this effect.”

So, go forth and eat avocados. Or not, as you please. But I recommend this guacamole recipe from the California guacamole board. Who can resist?

Luscious, tomato-studded chunky guacamole, with cilantro and lime. Yum.
Luscious, tomato-studded chunky guacamole, with cilantro and lime. Yum.

One thought on “Avocado: friend or foe? Maybe neither

  1. We have a habit in this culture of fetishizing foods. The notion of eating a balanced diet is too simple. We need to make one food a miracle and another a villain. Even better is if we can periodically reverse those roles. (See eggs, coffee, chocolate, wine.) “Everything in moderation, including moderation” – that’s my motto.

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