Avocados are consumed in a variety of ways at different meal occasions. With many Australians wanting to lose weight, it helps to know avocados fit well into any eating pattern including diets for weight loss, and partner well with other nutritious foods.
University of Wollongong researchers set out to identify food choices associated with avocados at different eating occasions. They developed an avocado-specific database and explored the food habits reported by overweight and obese volunteers in weight loss clinical trials.
Thirty-four avocado and avocado-containing food and beverages were identified. Fifty-one percent of the pooled cohort consumed avocados and ate on average 21.6g per day.
A total of 68 food items containing avocados were identified at breakfast, lunch and dinner occasions. Almost half (49.5%) of participants consumed avocado at lunch, followed by dinner (34.7%) and then breakfast (8.9%).
The highest avocado content was found in dips (81g), Mexican-style taco/tortilla dishes (25g), salads (23g) and mixed seafood dishes (15.3g). Most Mexican-style dishes were high in saturated fat due to the presence of other ingredients.
- The evidence is clear that avocados do not cause weight gain and can be included in weight loss diets
- Avocado dip (e.g. guacamole) is a common way to enjoy avocado, and in useful amounts (a serve is 75g, or half a medium avocado). Recommend raw vegetable sticks (crudites) for dipping to increase vegetable intake
- Avocados are perfect in Mexican cuisine – suggest avocado instead of sour cream to reduce saturated fat content and boost nutrition
- Avocados are great in salads. Recommend dressings based on unsaturated oils (e.g. extra-virgin olive oil) for flavour and enhanced nutrient absorption
- At breakfast, avocado is a common partner to eggs for a higher protein start to the day
- Avocado partners well with seafood. Aim for two seafood and avocado meals a week to achieve healthy eating recommendations
Guan VX, Neale EP, Probst YC (2023) Identifying usual food choices with avocados in a clinical trial cohort of overweight and obese adults in Australia. PLoS ONE 18(1): e0279567. https:// doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0279567