Most folks love avocado for being the key ingredient in guacamole and a tasty topping for toast. But according to new research, this popular produce may also be a wonderful substitute for carbs. (Keto dieters, rejoice!)
A May 2019 study published in Nutrients found that meals that swap avocado in place of refined carbs (like white bread or white rice) can suppress hunger in overweight and obese adults. Researchers evaluated 31 overweight and obese participants to determine the physiological effects of subbing in whole and half fresh Hass avocados for carb-ier foods.
Not only did the people feel less hungry and more satisfied over a six-hour period, they also showed promising signs of improvement in health. Researchers said this simple dietary change was shown to limit insulin and blood sugar excursions, which can help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease in the future.
Although we already knew that avocado is a healthy fat, there's now even more of a reason to add them to a tasty recipe, such as pork chops, taco salad, or even a keto margarita. When subbing avocado for carbs, you might consider replacing white rice in a chicken-and-rice dish with the green fruit. Or if you're feeling really ambitious, you may even use a whole avocado cut in half to replace the bread in a typical sandwich. Just keep in mind that it's best not to have more than one avocado per day — they're pretty high in calories, after all. As long as the rest of your meal includes healthy fiber and protein, you might be pleasantly surprised by how satisfied you feel after eating.
"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 researcher Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, in a press release. "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."