Вадим Дудченко
Администратор портала

A new clinical trial has demonstrated that a differential allotment of avocados may impact overall self-reported caloric consumption, as well as macro- and micronutrient nutrient intake, including saturated fat and sodium, and food groups, including dairy, refined grains, and red and processed meats.

Pacheco et al. investigated the impact of two levels of avocado allotment, plus a standard nutrition education intervention on the nutritional status of Hispanic/Latino families. Image credit: Sandid.

“Based on their nutrient profile, avocados could be a favorable component of a plant-based eating pattern, with half of a medium sized fruit providing up to 20% of the recommended daily fiber, 10% potassium, 5% magnesium, 15% folate, and 7.5 g of monounsaturated fatty acids,” said study first author Dr. Lorena Pacheco, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health at the University of California San Diego.

“However, there are gaps in our knowledge on the effects of avocado intake on nutritional status.”

“Meticulous attention must be given to the delivery of nutrition education emphasizing how to appropriately incorporate avocados as part of a healthy dietary pattern, i.e., so that avocados do not excessively add to total caloric and/or saturated fat intake, or negatively influence snacking behavior (e.g., chips and guacamole), which could also increase sodium intake.”

“Therefore, we conducted a clinical trial aimed to integrate avocados into the diet of families and measure the impact of this intervention on energy, macro- and micronutrient intakes.”

“Our hypothesis was that the high avocado allotment would lead to an improved family-level nutritional status and improved cardiometabolic risk factors.”

For the study, Dr. Pacheco and colleagues enrolled 72 families (231 individuals) consisting of at least three members each over the age of 5, residing in the same home, free of severe chronic disease, not on specific diets, and self-identified as Mexican heritage.

The families were randomized into the two allotment groups for six months, during which time both groups also received bi-weekly nutrition education sessions.

The rationale for focusing on families of Mexican heritage was two-fold: (i) Hispanic/Latino people in the United States have a higher-adjusted prevalence of obesity and lower intake of key nutrients than other demographic groups in the country; (ii) for Hispanic/Latino immigrants, dietary quality worsens as they become acculturated, adopting a Western dietary pattern that is higher in refined carbohydrates and animal-based fats.

The researchers wanted to assess if increased but moderated consumption of a single, nutrient-dense food might measurably improve overall health and decrease diet-related disparities.

The avocado was chosen because it is a traditionally consumed plant-food that was originally domesticated thousands of years ago in Mexico and parts of Central and South America.

Though the scientists discerned no change in body mass index measurements or waist circumference between the two groups during the trial, they did note that consuming more avocados appeared to speed satiety — the feeling of fullness after eating.

They also found that families consuming more avocados correspondingly reduced their consumption of animal protein, specifically chicken, eggs and processed meats, the latter of which are typically higher in fat and sodium.

Current nutrition guidelines recommend reduced consumption of both fat and sodium.

But surprisingly, high avocado consumers also recorded decreased intake of calcium, iron, sodium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium, which researchers said might be associated with eating less.

“Our results show that the nutrition education and high avocado intake intervention group significantly reduced their family total energy intake, as well as carbohydrate, protein, fat (including saturated), calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium and vitamin D,” Dr. Pacheco said.

“In secondary energy-adjusted analyses, the nutrition education and high avocado allotment group significantly increased their intake of dietary fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin E and folate.”

“The trial may provide a strategy for supporting existing public health efforts to reduce saturated fat and sodium, both nationally consumed in excess of nutritional guidelines,” the authors concluded.

“In addition, there was high adherence to the study protocols by participants, underscoring the value of using a single, nutrient-dense plant food already familiar and favored by participants.”

“Testing of a culturally appropriate plant-foot on energy intake, by bicultural and bilingual community health workers, should be extended to other populations.”

The findings were published in the journal Nutrients.


Lorena S. Pacheco et al. 2021. Effects of Different Allotments of Avocados on the Nutritional Status of Families: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 13 (11): 4021; doi: 10.3390/nu13114021


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