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An avocado a day: does it help you lose weight?

An avocado a day: does it help you lose weight?

An avocado a day: does it help you lose weight?

The fruit is good for cholesterol but scientists worry it’s not all that healthy, especially when it comes to your will to lose weight.

This may be an option for frustrated Auckland, Sydney or Melbourne house-hunters: if you think there is no life without avocado toast, four US universities are looking for you. They want to know whether avocados help people lose weight.

Researchers from Loma Linda University, Penn State, Tufts University and the University of California-Los Angeles are paying volunteers to eat avocados every day for six months. The scientists call it The Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial and are looking for 1000 participants.

Avocados are a rich source of heart-healthy fats that can help cholesterol but there are concerns the fruit is not as healthy as it may seem.

“Since avocados contain the highest fat content of any fruit, it seems illogical to think they might actually help people lose their belly fat,” Loma Linda University reports.

Dr Joan Sabate, director of the university’s Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention, says the study is funded by the Hass Avocado Board, an industry group. It will examine whether eating one avocado per day will help reduce fat in the abdomen.

A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found replacing saturated fats with one avocado each day could result in lower blood pressure. 

Penn State researchers plan to examine this idea by monitoring the effects on abdominal fats and health outcomes related to cardiovascular disease. Each university is looking for 250 avocado lovers willing to eat one avocado per day or two per month.

To qualify, you must be 25 or older and measure 90-100cm around the waist, depending on gender. You need to attend clinical visits at the corresponding campus, undergo two abdominal MRI scans and attend a monthly dietary meeting, which may rule out volunteers from Down Under. You can’t participate if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.

The participants will receive $US300 each at the end of the study and 24 avocados to enjoy as they please. Once all the data has been collected, Wake Forest University will perform the final analysis and deliver the results – and determine if an avocado a day helps you lose weight.

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