Could eating more avocados make you healthier? A new study on avocado nutrition looked at that very question.
Identifying shared elements in the lives of healthy individuals is an inherently tricky proposition, because it is contingent upon the subjective and somewhat unreliable measure of human perception. Some may value exercise to a greater degree and report that the their healthy condition is the result of running, swimming or Zumba-ing with the enthusiasm of rabbits during mating season. Others may place more emphasis on diet and attribute their health to eating a wheelbarrow full of fruits and vegetables each day.
While diet and exercise are certainly both valuable components in the lifestyle choices of healthy individuals, personal bias can impair the reliability of any self reported measure of health and wellness.
Imperfect as these measures may be, their ability to identify the how and why of healthy living has the potential to greatly improve the health of those struggling with poor health or lifestyle disease.
A shining example: a recent study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and reported in the December edition of Nutrition Journal found a positive association between diet quality, health and the consumption of avocados.
Measuring a variety of health indices against the consumption of these creamy, nutrient dense gems found that people who regularly eat avocados maintain a higher quality diet and have a lower body weight, BMI and waist circumference than their non-avocado-eating counterparts. Citing the dependency of weight control on the energy density, macronutrient bioavailability and the physical properties of food, this study accurately illustrates the impact high quality nutrition plays on a variety of widely accepted measures of health.
The proverbial icing on the cake, those whose regularly consume avocados have significantly higher HDL, ‘good’, cholesterol levels and a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This is awesome news considering that metabolic syndrome is a precursor to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD is responsible for approximately 1 in 4 deaths in the United States.
For a more in depth look at metabolic syndrome, here is a previous post of mine that tries to demystify the condition a little bit.
If nothing else, this new information certainly adds a tasty new dimension to the argument that diet is the most important consideration when striving for total health and wellness. If you need to kickstart your avocado-eating, check out this avocado, quinoa, and kale salad recipe to get you going!
Image Credit: Avocado photo via Shutterstock