What is: a berry, loaded with fat and fiber, is sometimes called an alligator pear and, according to researchers, offers far-ranging health benefits, including banishing belly fat? An avocado. All that and guacamole, too!
A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when women who are overweight or have obesity eat an avocado a day for 12 weeks, they lose measurable amounts of visceral, heart-stopping belly fat. And that's even though one Haas avocado contains around 320 calories -- 245 from fat -- and 29.5 grams of total fat, of which 24 grams are poly- and monounsaturated (the good kind).
So what makes this flavor- and calorie-rich berry so good for you? The researchers think the fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids may play a major role: A whole avocado contains around 10 grams of fiber -- about 40% of women's daily recommendation -- and we know the more fiber in a diet, the less visceral belly fat you'll have. Also, insoluble fiber (70% of the fiber in an avocado) increases intestinal bulk and shortens transit time, lowering absorption of excess calories. As for avocados' other benefits, they include:
-- A nutritional boost from vitamins C, E, K and B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, beta carotene, magnesium and potassium.
-- Support for healthy cholesterol levels: In 3.5 ounces of avocado, there are 76 milligrams of a plant sterol that contributes to control of lousy LDL cholesterol.
For recipes for Kale, Avocado & Tomato Salad and Avocado Tapenade Bruschetta, check out Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook."
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.