Eating One Avocado Per Day May Improve Your Overall Diet Quality: Study

Avocados are one of the trendy food items out there. From guacamole to avocado on toast, the fruit is widely consumed in a variety of dishes. Introducing avocado to your daily diet may improve your overall diet quality, according to a team led by researchers in Penn State’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. The researchers examined how one avocado per day impacts overall diet quality. Diet quality refers to a diversified, balanced and healthy diet, which provides energy and all essential nutrients for growth and a healthy and active life, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. A variety of foods is needed to cover a person’s nutrient needs.

This study was led by Kristina Petersen, associate professor of nutritional sciences, and Penny Kris-Etherton, retired Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences. “Avocados are a nutrient-dense food, containing a lot of fibre and other important nutrients. We wanted to see if regular intake of this food would lead to an increase in diet quality,” Petersen said.
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The findings of the study were published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition.

Health Risks Associated With Poor Diet Quality

It is important to monitor and improve your diet quality for good health. According to Petersen, having a poor diet quality may increase your risk for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and many other preventable diseases. “By improving people’s adherence to dietary guidelines, we can help to reduce their risk of developing these chronic conditions and prolong healthy life expectancy,” Petersen said.

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How Eating One Avocado Everyday Improved Diet Quality

The study involved 1,008 participants divided into two groups for the 26-week study. One group continued their usual diet and limited their avocado intake. The other group ate one avocado per day in their diet.
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“We found that the participants who had an avocado per day significantly increased their adherence to dietary guidelines,” Petersen said, referring to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “This suggests that strategies, like eating one avocado per day, can help people follow dietary guidelines and improve the quality of their diets.”

Replacing Unhealthier Foods With Avocado

The researchers found that participants’ diet quality improved as they consumed the avocado in place of unhealthier foods in their diet. “We determined that participants were using avocados as a substitute for some foods higher in refined grains and sodium,” Petersen said. “In our study, we classified avocados as a vegetable and did see an increase in vegetable consumption attributed to the avocado intake, but also participants used the avocados to replace some unhealthier options.”

About Jigyasa KakwaniJigyasa finds her solace through writing, a medium she is exploring to make the world more informed and curious with every story published. She is always up for exploring new cuisines, but her heart comes back to the comforting ghar-ka-khana.

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