As a superfood, avocados have a nutrient-dense profile with particularly high concentrations of healthy monounsaturated fats (the good fats). Certain berries and green tea are also noted as powerful health benefits in their own right. In addition to being a food packed with powerful nutrients, the avocado may also help change how the body distributes and stores fat in and around the belly, which may reduce an individual’s risk of developing conditions like diabetes.
Researchers sought to understand how eating avocados could change the way fat is distributed around the abdomen. According to Naiman Khan, the study’s lead author, the research team’s focus was “understanding what eating an avocado does to the way individuals store their body fat. The location of fat in the body plays an important role in health.” Specifically, the research team looked at the effects avocados could have on visceral adipose tissue (VAT), the fat below the surface of your skin. Accumulation of this type of fat could cause a range of metabolic health problems, such as diabetes, because it increases insulin resistance. Understanding ways to change where fat is stored, such as through diet, could improve health outcomes.
A key finding from the study was that women who received avocados regularly showed a greater reduction in VAT. The research team speculated that part of the connection between avocado consumption and VAT could be the high levels of fibre and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados.
The researchers found that avocados did not seem to have an effect on insulin sensitivity in either gender. The study also collected blood samples for future research into the effects of fat distribution between males and females, but this deserves more attention before any conclusions can be made from it.