Avocados help modify the distribution of abdominal fat in women

Avocados help modify the distribution of abdominal fat in women. image: wikimedia

A TRIAL has revealed that including avocados in the daily diet can help to modify the distribution of abdominal fat in women

According to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in the United States, published in the ‘Journal of Nutrition’, an avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women towards a healthier profile.

A randomised controlled trial, funded by the Hass Avocado Council, was carried out, involving 105 overweight and obese adults, who were provided one meal a day for 12 weeks, and the results showed that the women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a deeper reduction in visceral abdominal fat.

As Naiman Khan, an Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health and director of the study, explained, “The goal was not weight loss. We were interested in understanding what consuming an avocado does to the way individuals store their body fat. The location of fat in the body plays an important role in health”.

She pointed out, “In the abdomen, there are two types of fat: the one that accumulates just under the skin, called subcutaneous fat, and the one that accumulates deeper, known as visceral fat, which surrounds the internal organs. Individuals with a higher proportion of that deeper visceral fat tend to have a higher risk of developing diabetes so we were interested in determining if the proportion of subcutaneous and visceral fat changed with the consumption of avocado”.

Divided into two groups, one group received meals that incorporated a fresh avocado, while the other group received a meal with nearly identical ingredients and similar calories, but no avocado, and at the beginning and end of the 12 weeks trial, the researchers measured the participants’ abdominal fat and glucose tolerance, a measure of metabolism, and a marker of diabetes.

Results showed that the women who ate an avocado a day as part of their meal had a reduction in visceral abdominal fat, and experienced a reduction in the ratio of visceral to subcutaneous fat, which indicates a redistribution of fat away from the organs. However, the distribution of fat in men did not change, and neither men nor women had improvements in glucose tolerance.

Khan observed that, “Although the daily consumption of avocados did not change glucose tolerance, what we learned is that a dietary pattern including one avocado each day had an impact on the way that individuals store body fat in a beneficial way for their health, but benefits were mainly for women”.

Noting, “it is important to demonstrate that dietary changes can modulate fat distribution. Knowing that the benefits were only evident in women tells us a bit about the potential for sex to play a role in responses to dietary intervention”,  as reported by granadadigital.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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