An avocado a day keeps the doctor away?
It is all about healthy fats if your goal is to get a slimmer body, a healthier heart, and steady blood flow. Avocados (not apples) keep your metabolism running smoothly.
Avocado is a fruit but a special kind of fruit. Avocados contain 23% percent of fat and only 3 % of carbohydrates. A fruit with almost zero sugar, but with loads of fiber, suitable for a keto, paleo, and vegan diets. Consumed for breakfast, avocado, especially if eaten to partially replace a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, significantly improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar balance.
Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), for example, one of the vital heart disease markers; when daily exercise is suspended for short five days, your FMD significantly drops. Eating high carbohydrate breakfast and not moving around reduces blood flow in the arteries even further.
What if, instead of a sugar-loaded muffin, you try half of an avocado as your first meal of the day?
Scientists from the Center for Nutrition Research in Chicago tested a group of healthy volunteers to examine this idea. They offered three different breakfast meals matched by caloric intake: a standard carbohydrate breakfast, a meal containing half avocado, or a whole avocado. Those who ate avocado for breakfast had a 10% increase in the arterial blood flow. To compare with the positive effect of exercising on blood flow, an eight-week program of brisk walking resulted in a 50% increase in FMD.
Whether you have eaten one avocado or half of it, the insulin response to the meal was significantly improved and lasted for 6 hours among the trial participants. Intriguingly, the effect on cholesterol depends on your ethnicity. During 6 hours after avocado consumption, the mean concentration of total LDL ( lower-density lipoproteins) did not change. But wait, cholesterol is not only about the level of lipids in the blood, more importantly, but it is also about the size of the lipid particles. Having a higher concentration of larger HDL (high-density lipoproteins) and LDL particles are suggestive of lower cardiovascular risk. After consuming avocados for breakfast, trial participants (Caucasians, Hispanics) showed a lower concentration of small LDL particles; however, Asians did demonstrate a higher level of small HDL particles. No kidding, guacamole, after all, is a Mexican national dish. Interestingly, the new cholesterol guidelines acknowledge race and ethnic backgrounds as “risk-enhancing factors” for specific populations. As an example, an average African-American tends to have higher HDL-C concentrations compared to an average Caucasian, suggesting genetic differences in liver activity.
Better vascular health indicates better heart function, more blood flow to the extremities, better circulation, and avocado for breakfast is a definitive winner if you compare with other sugar-rich fruits. Fats in avocado keep you full and hunger-free for hours, and avocados are a relatively easy nutrient-rich dietary option to help manage post-meal blood sugar levels.
No avocado — no problem, the next best thing full of monounsaturated fats are almonds. Replacing high carbohydrate snacks for 50 g almonds over four weeks proved to increase arterial flow as well. So does a popular Mediterranian diet with a copious amount of olive oil.
Have you heard of Almond Dukkha? Top your avocado toast with a crunchy Morrocan spice, and start your day on the right food. Combine coriander, peppercorns, cumin, and fennel; add shredded almonds and thyme, mix and top sliced or mashed avocado for a delicious meal.
Toast for avocado toast! Indeed!