A recent study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggests that eating avocados may be associated with an overall healthier diet.
Avocados are a nutritious source of potassium, containing 60% more potassium than bananas. An avocado has a higher fat content than other fruit, but the fat is monounsaturated fat, considered healthy when consumed in moderation. Diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can reduce total cholesterol and increase the ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) to low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
In the NHANES study, 17,567 adult participants answered dietary surveys about their eating habits. Researchers assessed diet quality from the USDA Healthy Eating Index-2005. 347 participants frequently ate avocadoes, of which the average consumption was half an avocado daily.
Avocado intake was linked to an overall more nutritious diet. The avocado consumers had significantly higher vegetable and fruit intake, in addition to significantly lower sugar intake. Individuals eating avocados also consumed significantly more total fat, vitamins E and K, magnesium, potassium and fiber than those who didn't eat avocados.
Furthermore, avocado consumers had a significantly lower weight, BMI and waist circumference, compared to non-avocado consumers. Avocado intake was significantly linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, defined by waist circumference, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and fasting glucose levels.
For more information about avocados, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.