In honour of World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2023, the World Avocado Organization is putting the limelight on a powerful ally for those looking to reduce their risk of disease – the avocado.
In a world inundated with processed foods laden with excessive sugars, salts, and artificial additives, rates of diabetes across the world have been rising over the past decades. In the UK alone, more than 4.3 million people live with diabetes. While sugary processed foods can contribute to health issues such as diabetes, avocados, in contrast, are a natural fruit packed with essential nutrients that help improve health.
Avocados are the perfect go-to choice for those looking to lower their intake of unhealthy foods and make their diet more green and nutritious.
They are a nutrient powerhouse
Half an avocado contains just 114 calories but it is jam-packed with vital vitamins and minerals – making it a very nutrient-dense food. On top of this, they contain hardly any sugar or salt and have a low glycaemic index (GI), meaning that they are the perfect match for those who need to watch their blood sugar levels. The World Health Organization recommends a healthy diet with low sugars and saturated fats to reduce the risk of diabetes. Adding this fruit as a topping on a salad, chopping it up and enjoying it as a snack or creating exciting avocado-based recipes – this fruit ensures that you get your boost of nutrients and contains monounsaturated fats that help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes.
They can improve your heart health
Those suffering from diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease, and avocados have been associated with numerous heart-healthy benefits. Thanks to the large amount of monounsaturated fats they contain, avocados can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A 2023 study in the US showed that in some populations a significant link has been noticed between eating avocados and lower rates of Type 2 diabetes in adults. Also, a study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating one avocado a day for six months could lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. This shows that avocados are a great ally for anyone looking to manage diabetes or improve their heart health.
They can increase satiety
One of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. The World Health Organization recommends maintaining a healthy weight to prevent or delay the onset of Type diabetes. One way to curb heightened appetite is to eat healthy fibrous foods that make you feel fuller for longer, and just half an avocado contains a whopping 4.6 grams of fibre. Furthermore, research has shown that avocados can increase satiety and aid weight management. Another study also revealed that adding half an avocado to a standardised meal led to a remarkable 40% decrease in the desire to eat over the three hours following the meal compared to those who consumed the same meal without avocado.
Make the healthier choice and choose the avocado over foods that are processed or contain saturated fats, such as butter, red meat and sugary snacks. Avocados are nutrient-dense, high in healthy fats and can contribute to your overall health as well as lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood sugar or cholesterol.
Top reasons why avocados can help combat diabetes
- Low glycaemic index and low in sugar, which is ideal for diabetics and others who need to monitor blood sugar levels
- High in monounsaturated fats, which helps to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes
- They can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease (often linked to diabetes)
- They can increase satiety, which helps to aid weight management
About the World Avocado Organization
The World Avocado Organization is a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 whose members are avocado growers, exporters and importers from around the world – including the top four grower supplier countries to the EU and UK. The World Avocado Organization promotes the consumption of avocados based on their nutritional value and recognised health benefits. It also shares information and insights on avocado production, supply chains and sustainability with the public.
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