What You Need to Know about Avocado, Blood Glucose Levels, and Weight Management

AvocadoWe ask the question, do you know why adding avocado to smoothies & salads is key to weight management but we already know the answer. Let us explain.

The avocado, a fruit (a berry really) banished by fat-free diet proponents during the 1990s, is now back in vogue — and, of all things, it’s a diabetes breaker.

But what about the effect on blood sugar levels?

A medium size avocado has a glycemic load of 15 on the glycemic index from 1-100. The higher the number on the scale, the higher and faster the food raises blood glucose levels. Avocado is lower than an apple (36 GI) or a banana (48 GI). So, in any diet where you are trying to limit the glycemic load of the foods you eat, the avocado is your new best friend.

Avocados are rich in vitamins C, K, E, and B6 as well as minerals such as folate, potassium, lutein, and magnesium. It’s a nutrition bonanza (including high fiber content) whether you cut slices into your salad, spread it on your toast, or make fresh guacamole.

It’s high in calories, though, right?

Now, we all know that if you are a diet (almost any diet), the critical component is calories. Limiting calories is the key to weight management in most diets. The health benefits from eating avocados are too important to lose because of a limit on calories.

A whole avocado is 250-300 calories (Yikes!) but 1/5 of an avocado is only 50 calories so it doesn’t add that much to your salad or your smoothie. Besides, you can always substitute the avocado for something else of equal caloric value, like those cheese cubes or that second scoop of mayonnaise.

The American Diabetes Association goes along with this?

The American Diabetes Association says that, more than calories, we should watch the kinds of fat we ingest. The Association recommends adding avocado to the diet because the berries are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which raise “good cholesterol” levels and are heart healthy. In addition, a recent UK study underscored the Association’s stand that lowering blood glucose, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels proved metabolic control is important to maintain cardiovascular health. Maintaining a healthy weight involves metabolic control.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease and strokes than people without diabetes. Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death for diabetics. High cholesterol is a factor in insulin resistance, excess weight and obesity. it is critically important for diabetics to maintain healthy cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure as well as healthy blood sugar levels. Research shows that avocado helps lower bad cholesterol levels and helps with insulin resistance, too.

Blood Sugar Levels and Insulin.

Besides being low in both its glycemic load and in fats, research tells us that the healthy fats in avocados can help reduce blood sugar levels.

Avocados are high in soluble fiber. Fiber, as any dieter knows, is important to feeling full and helping you not overeat. Well, it turns out, that research shows that soluble fiber can lower cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels. This is great news for all of us because not only are avocados available and healthy, they taste great on foods you normally eat for a healthy diet.

Is it easy to add avocados to your diet?

Avocados taste great so no problem there for most people. The meat of the berry has the consistency of butter when ripe. This make it easy to spread avocado on toast or crackers instead of your high-fat friend, butter. As we noted earlier, adding avocado to a healthy salad is popular and adds color, a buttery flavor in place of mayonnaise or salad dressing or butter, and a different texture. Avocado goes well with eggs, too, if you are in the habit of adding a bit of protein to your salad. You can also bake the avocado filled with egg and then add as a topping to your salad or serve with your favorite vegetables.

If you would like to learn more about avocado as the key to your weight-loss component, read the Huffingtonpost.com article entitled “8 Reasons Avocado is a Perfect Weight-Loss Food.”

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