Avocado Consumption by Adults is Associated with Better Nutrient Intake, Diet Quality, and Some Measures of Adiposity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2012
Avocados contain a beneficial lipid profile, including a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as dietary fiber, essential nutrients, and phytochemicals. However, little epidemiologic data exist on the effect that consumption of avocados has on overall nutrient intake, diet quality, adiposity parameters, and other metabolic disease risk factors.
The objective of this research was to investigate whether there were any associations between avocado consumption and overall diet quality, energy and nutrient intakes, physiological indicators of health, and risk of metabolic syndrome.
Avocado consumption and its association with these diet and health parameters were assessed using a nationally representative sample of adults (n=27,684) participating in the 2001-2012 NHANES. Intake was determined from one day 24-hour dietary recalls. Covariate adjusted means, standard errors, and ANOVA for food groups, nutrients, and health biomarkers were determined using appropriate sample weights. Diet quality was measured using the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010). For linear and logistic regression analyses, p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively were used.
Average consumption of avocados by consumers (n=667) was 75.6±3.8 g/day. Avocado consumers had higher intakes of dietary fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and fruit and vegetables and lower intakes of sodium and meat, poultry, and fish than non-consumers. Consumers also had a higher total HEI-2010. Consumers had lower mean weight, body mass index, waist circumference, insulin, and homocysteine levels and had a lower percentage of those with an elevated waist circumference and metabolic syndrome. Avocado consumers were 33% less likely to be overweight/obese and 32% less likely to have an elevated waist circumference.
Avocado consumption was associated with better dietary measures and weight parameters than seen in non-consumers; consumption should be encouraged as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
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