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NMU 130 – Avocadoes for weight loss

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 130 (May 22, 2019)

with Dr. James Meschino


Topic: Avocado May Hold Secret to Weight Loss for Many People

Source: Journal Nutrients (March 2019)


An important study published in the journal Nutrients in March 2019 showed that substituting avocadoes for starchy carbohydrates at meals may help overweight individuals lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived. This strategy also lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, which helps to ward off diabetes and helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study involved 31 overweight subjects who followed three different types of diets in a randomized 3-arm, 6-hour crossover clinical trial. The results showed that compared to the popular low-fat, high carbohydrate diet, overweight subjects showed better outcomes when avocadoes (fairly high in fat) were substituted for carbohydrates at a meal.

Avocadoes are fairly high in fat, but they mostly contain a healthy fat known as monounsaturated fat (oleic acid) and a fair bit of fiber.  For instance, 1 avocado, or 100 gm of avocado or a cup of avocado contains 160 calories, of which most of the calories are in the form of healthy fat and provides up to 7 grams of fiber. Avocado, although classified as a large berry, is low in carbohydrate sugar calories. The study showed that the high-fat content in avocadoes provides hours of satiety (post-meal satisfaction) after a meal without spiking blood sugar levels and the monounsaturated fat does not stimulate excess cholesterol production in the body the way that saturated and trans-fats do. As such, the fats in avocadoes don’t raise blood cholesterol and don’t increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The researchers conclude that using avocado in place of carbohydrates at meals can help overweight patients suppress appetite and improve their internal physiology to facilitate the reduction of body fat and reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So, using avocadoes in place of rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, even French fries, is a strategy to consider if losing weight is on your list of wellness goals.

I have included the reference for this publication in the text below.

Lanjun Zhu, Yancui Huang, Indika Edirisinghe, Eunyoung Park, Britt Burton-Freeman. Using the Avocado to Test the Satiety Effects of a Fat-Fiber Combination in Place of Carbohydrate Energy in a Breakfast Meal in Overweight and Obese Men and Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 2019; 11 (5): 952 10.3390/nu11050952


Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino


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