Want to banish unhealthy snacking between meals? Then add an avocado to your lunch.
Eating half an avocado at lunchtime can boost feelings of fullness and reduce the temptation to snack between meals, experts claim.
Their study compared the effects of incorporating a fresh avocado into a lunch with the effects of eating a standard lunch.
They aimed to determine how avocado consumption would influence satiety, blood sugar, insulin response and snacking.
The researchers studied 26 healthy but overweight adults.
They found that participants who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported 40 per cent decreased desire to eat in the following three hours as well as a 28 per cent reduced desire to eat over the subsequent five hours.
In addition, they reported increased feelings of satisfaction over the three hours following the meal.
Study leader, Dr Joan Sabate, a nutritionist from Loma Linda University, in California, said: ‘Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals.
‘We noted that though adding avocados increased participants' calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch.
‘This leads us to believe that avocados’ potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.’
She said that while the findings were generally positive, more research is needed to determine whether the conclusions drawn from this study can be applied to the general public.
People feel a 40 per cent reduced desire to snack in the three hours after eating avocado
However, the results do provide promising clues and a basis for future research to determine avocados' effect on satiety, glucose and insulin response.
Half of a fresh avocado contains about 150 calories and is also high in fibre. However, it is high in fat.
The research was published in the Nutrition Journal.