Consuming an avocado a day seems to be the solution to eliminate the fat accumulated in the body, at least the abdominal fat and especially in women. This is what emerges from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois on 105 overweight adults and published in the Journal of Nutrition. The scientists, after measuring the participants’ abdominal fat and their glucose tolerance, divided them into two groups. The former received meals that included an avocado every day for 12 weeks. The second group, on the other hand, was given a menu with more or less identical ingredients and calories, but without avocado.
The purpose of the experiment, the researchers explain, was not so much to focus on weight loss as on how the fruit was assimilated and what the beneficial effects might be. Effects that according to the study are positive for the fat that is more difficult to get rid of and more dangerous, not the one called “subcutaneous” that is under the skin, but the “visceral” one, located deep inside, which surrounds vital organs such as liver, pancreas, heart and which affects cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Il professor Naiman Khan of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health explained that “the position of fat in the body plays an important role in health”, because it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is what is commonly referred to as the “metabolic syndrome”.
At the end of the experiment, the scholars pointed out how, in women who consumed this fruit every day, there was a reduction in visceral abdominal fat, and in the ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat. “Female participants who regularly ate avocado – the researchers write – showed a beneficial reduction in visceral abdominal fat and in the ratio of deep to subcutaneous fat, indicating a positive redistribution away from the organs.” However, the same did not occur in men. “Knowing that the benefits are only evident in women tells us more about the potential that gender plays in these dietary responses,” they concluded.
In the meantime, avocado sales are growing by 35%, as a report signed by OECD and FAO, and many Italian companies are also converting to this type of crops.