Scientists from Penn State found that eating one avocado a day has no effect on belly fat, liver fat, or waist circumference in overweight and obese people.
Visceral body fat, also known as ‘hidden’ fat, is fat stored deep inside the belly, wrapped around the organs, including the liver and intestines.
It makes up about one-tenth of all the fat stored in the body.
Belly fat makes the belly stick out or gives a person an ‘apple’ shape. It also produces chemicals and hormones that can be toxic to the body.
Excess belly fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
Previous clinical studies suggest that eating avocado regularly may help manage body weight, belly fat, and satiety.
Avocados are a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
They also provide lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, which can help a person feel fuller between meals.
In the study, researchers aimed to test whether eating one large avocado per day for 6 months in people with a big waist circumference compared with a habitual diet would decrease belly fat.
The team also examined other risk factors linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions.
They found during the period, there was no big change in belly fat between the avocado diet group and the habitual diet group.
There was also no big change in other risk factors of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver fat, and metabolic syndrome.
However, the team found the avocado diet group showed lower total and low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol compared to the habitual diet group.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of the body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that eating one avocado a day for 6 months in people with large waist circumference does not reduce belly fat.
But it could help reduce ‘bad’ blood cholesterol and hence may benefit heart health.
The research was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and was conducted by Penny Kris-Etherton et al.
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