Avocados, as a substitution for carbohydrates, can suppress hunger without adding calories

May 08, 2019

Chicago-May 7, 2019 - A new study released by the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology suggests that meals that include fresh avocado as a substitute for refined carbohydrates can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in overweight and obese adults.

As rates of obesity in the United States continue to rise, the findings from Illinois Tech suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact on managing hunger and aiding metabolic control.

The new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, assessed the underlying physiological effects of including whole and half fresh Hass avocados on hunger, fullness, and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period. Researchers evaluated these effects in 31 overweight and obese adults in a randomized three-arm crossover clinical trial. These dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibers into a regular daily diet.

"For years, fats have been targeted as the main cause of obesity, and now carbohydrates have come under scrutiny for their role in appetite regulation and weight control," said Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Tech. "There is no 'one size fits all' solution when it comes to optimal meal composition for managing appetite. However, understanding the relationship between food chemistry and its physiological effects in different populations can reveal opportunities for addressing appetite control and reducing rates of obesity, putting us a step closer to personalized dietary recommendations."

The research found that meals including avocado not only resulted in a significant reduction in hunger and an increase in how satisfied participants felt, but also found that an intestinal hormone called PYY was an important messenger of the physiological response.
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The study and research team was led by Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., of the Center for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology and was supported by the Hass Avocado Board. The Institute for Food Safety and Health is a one-of-a-kind applied food science and nutrition research consortium comprised of Illinois Tech faculty and staff, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the food industry. In collaboration with the FDA, the institute provides stakeholders with the opportunity to develop and exchange knowledge, experience, and expertise in the areas of food safety, food defense, food processing, and nutrition.

To read the entire study, visit Nutrients at: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/5/952.

About Illinois Institute of Technology: Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university, located in Chicago, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit iit.edu.

Illinois Institute of Technology

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