This One Food Was Just Linked To Healthier Weight Maintenance & More
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, one of the most important factors is nourishing your body with nutrient-rich fuel. And according to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, there's one ingredient that's been linked not only with a healthier weight and smaller waist size but also a lower consumption of nutrient-poor foods. Hint: It's probably already one of your favorites.
Looking at you, avocados.
For this study, Yasmine Probst, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Wollongong in Australia, wanted to explore the effects of avocados on various health metrics. To do this, she and a team of researchers analyzed existing research in Australia's National Nutrition and Physical Activity survey from 2011 to 2012.
They looked at information on avocado consumption across the Australian population, as well as consumption of other nutrients and food groups, and body measurements like body weight and waist circumference.
What this new research found.
Based on the team's analysis, avocados were strongly linked to a number of positive health indicators. For one thing, Probst notes in a news release, increased avocado intake was correlated with lower body weight and smaller waist circumference. (We know that fat accumulation around the waist can affect inflammatory pathways and oxidative stress and promote more fat storage.)
"Then, we noticed that greater consumption of avocados was also associated with significantly lower consumption of discretionary (junk) foods," she adds.
These results track with what we've long known about avocados: As excellent sources of healthy fat, they're also low in carbs and high in fiber, so they're a great option for keeping yourself full. Avocados are also chock-full of vitamins and minerals, with the study authors noting that they even act as a "nutrient booster" when eaten with other foods because so many nutrients are fat-soluble.
When consumed in the place of saturated fats, the good fats in avocados can also be helpful for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.