Craving some guacamole or avocado toast? Go ahead and indulge; it may help manage obesity and prevent diabetes, new research suggests.
The study from the University of Guelph in Canada found that a compound in avocados can help thwart the cellular process that tends to lead to diabetes.
The researchers found that avocatin B, a fat molecule present in avocados, helps reduce resistance to insulin.
It adds to the list of research that suggests adding avocados to your daily diet. A separate study released earlier this year found avocados may also help keep bad cholesterol at bay.
"Avocados are really high in healthy fats, carotenoids — which are important for eye health — and other nutrients. They are such a nutrient-dense package, and I think we're just beginning to learn about how they can improve health." researcher Penny Kris-Etherton said.
In the new study, researchers fed a team of mice a diet meant to induce insulin resistance for eight weeks. Then, for five more weeks, they added avocatin B to some of the mice’s diets.
They found the mice that were fed high-fat diets had an improved response to insulin and were less likely to gain excessive weight.
The researchers have seen similar results in humans. They conducted a clinical study that added an avocatin B supplement to a traditional western diet for 60 days, in which they determined the compound could be tolerated well.
They also saw some weight loss among participants. However the results are not statistically significant yet.
And while the early results are positive, researchers say they still recommend an overall healthy lifestyle as the best practice for preventing diabetes and obesity. However, they say they are hopeful they will be able to help supplement traditional methods.
“We advocate healthy eating and exercise as solutions to the problem, but that's difficult for some people. We've known this for decades, and obesity and diabetes are still a significant health problem,” Nawaz Ahmed, the study’s lead author, said.
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