Alligators and Your Waistline?

By Joel Marion, CISSN

Today I want to tell you about an exotic fat-burning fruit that you may have never heard of: The Alligator Pear.

Actually, that’s just another name for one of my All-time, favorite foods: Avocados, which are loaded with belly-flab-blasting nutrients, including fiber and a unique type of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.

Researchers from the University of California Irvine found that oleic acid stimulates the body’s production of a key appetite-suppressing compound that activates specific sites in the brain that help curb hunger.1 This compound, known as oleoylethanolamide, has been shown to reduce appetite and boost fat loss.2

According to research recently published in Nutrition Journal, researchers found that folks who added ½ an avocado to their lunch were 40% less likely to snack in the 3 hours after eating and 28% less likely to snack for up to 5 hours after the meal.3

Additional studies suggest that regular avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality, weight management and overall health. In another study published in Nutrition Journal, researchers examined the dietary habits of over 17,000 men and women, and they found that those folks who regularly consumed avocados were more likely to have a lower body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.4

If that’s not enough, research shows that consuming avocados alongside vegetables can lead up to a 15-fold increase in the absorption of their fat-fighting phytochemicals, which combat oxidative stress—a process associated with aging and obesity.5–9

Take it from me and include this tasty superfruit in your diet daily by adding it to salads and salsas, making guacamole, or as one of my secret weapons, blended in protein smoothies—it yields an amazing creamy consistency!

References:

  1. Schwartz GJ, Fu J, Astarita G, et al. The lipid messenger OEA links dietary fat intake to satiety. Cell Metab. 2008;8(4):281-288. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2008.08.005.
  2. Verme J Lo, Gaetani S, Fu J, Oveisi F, Burton K, Piomelli D. Regulation of food intake by oleoylethanolamide. Cell Mol Life Sci CMLS. 2005;62(6):708-716. doi:10.1007/s00018-004-4494-0.
  3. Wien M, Haddad E, Oda K, Sabaté J. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J. 2013;12:155. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-155.
  4. Fulgoni VL, Dreher M, Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutr J. 2013;12:1. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-1.
  5. Fernández-Sánchez A, Madrigal-Santillán E, Bautista M, et al. Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Obesity. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(12):3117-3132. doi:10.3390/ijms12053117.
  6. Rao A, Rao L. Carotenoids and human health. Pharmacol Res. 2007;55(3):207-216. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2007.01.012.
  7. Betteridge DJ. What is oxidative stress? Metabolism. 2000;49(2 Suppl 1):3-8.
  8. Floyd RA. Antioxidants, oxidative stress, and degenerative neurological disorders. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med Soc Exp Biol Med N Y N. 1999;222(3):236-245.
  9. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005;135(3):431-436.