1. It's a bad guy bouncer.Apples are so cliche. Researchers now say it's an avocado a day that can really keep the doctor -- and your cholesterol levels -- at bay. One study in the Journal of the American Heart Association put 45 overweight people on one of three different cholesterol-lowering diets for five weeks. One diet was lower in fat, providing 24 percent of total calories (11 from monounsaturated fats), and didn't include an avocado. A second, non-avocado diet was more moderate in fat, providing 34 percent of total calories (17 percent from MOFAs). The third was equally moderate in fat, at 34 percent, but included one whole Haas avocado per day.
2. It's a belt shrinker.Do a little belly dance! Make a little lunch! And get down on avocado oil. Researchers say swapping your cooking and finishing oils for varieties like avocado oil that are rich in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids can spot-reduce abdominal fat, which may decrease the risk for metabolic syndrome -- the name for a combination of negative health markers associated with weight gain.
3. It's a nutrient booster.Low-calorie, vitamin-rich and chock-full of important nutrients that can shrink your waist, vegetables are a dieter's best friend -- but you won't get much benefit from a garden salad without adding a little fat, researchers say. And when it comes to fat, the type found in avocados reigns supreme.
4. It's a radical fighter.There's a war going on inside your body! The free radicals have launched an attack on the mitochondria and it's sabotaging your metabolism! What the what? Free radicals are destructive rogue oxygen molecules -- natural byproducts of metabolism -- that trigger various chain reactions in the body that destroy cells and DNA, causing all kinds of health problems.
5. It's a hunger squasher.A scoop of guacamole may be one of the most effective hunger-squashers known to man. In a study published in Nutrition Journal, participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterwards. At only 60 calories, a two-tablespoon serving of guacamole (on top of eggs, salads, grilled meats, etc.) can provide the same satiety benefit with even more of a flavor-punch. Just 86 the chips and be sure when buying store-bought guac that avocados actually made it into the jar. Believe it or not, many are made without the real fruit! We love Wholly Guacamole as a store brand, and they've just released perfectly portioned "minis" so you don't have to worry about going overboard.
You know that friend who's always thinner, lighter and healthier than you? What's his secret? Not money, not genes... perhaps just regular consumption of avocado, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).