The Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board has invested in a nutrition program that has helped health professionals and consumers understand how avocados are beneficial to their health, said Gina Widjaja, director of marketing and communications.
One heart healthy study supported by HAB indicated that a moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day increases plasma antioxidants and decreases the oxidation of small, dense LDL cholesterol in those who are overweight/obese, Widjaja said.
“In a clinical study of 45 overweight/obese adults, researchers explored whether eating a diet with one avocado a day would reduce oxidative stress markers for LDL cholesterol and improve antioxidant status when compared to a low-fat diet or a moderate-fat oil diet,” she said.
“While the conclusions from a single study cannot be generalized to all populations and should be interpreted with caution, the study provides additional insights into potential mechanisms of why avocados are heart-healthy,” Widjaja said.
Other research, a cognitive function study, looked at the effects of 12-week avocado consumption on cognitive function among overweight and obese adults.
The clinical study found that 84 overweight and obese adults performed better on a cognitive test when consuming fresh avocado daily for 12 weeks, she said.
“Attentional inhibition, as measured by the Flanker task (a set of response inhibition tests) increased, but other cognitive measures were not changed,” she said.
The findings are limited, and longer-term research is needed in a larger U.S. representative population with one serving of avocado, she said, “but the outcomes of this Hass Avocado Board funded-study adds to the growing research on the potential benefits of avocados and cognitive function.”