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An avocado a day can improve the overall quality of your diet

Eating one avocado a day can improve the overall quality of your diet, according to a team led by researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State (USA). Poor diet quality is a risk factor for many pathologies, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and many other preventable pathologies.

This study, which was recently published in the journal ‘Current Developments in Nutrition’, was led by Kristina Petersen, associate professor of Nutritional Sciences, and Penny Kris-Etherton, retired professor of Nutritional Sciences at Evan University. Pugh.

The researchers examined how a food-based intervention – one avocado a day – impacts overall diet quality. “Avocado is a nutrient-dense food, containing a lot of fiber and other important nutrients. We wanted to see if regular consumption of this food would lead to an increase in diet quality,” said Petersen.

“Previous observational research suggests that avocado consumers have a higher quality diet than non-consumers. So we developed this study to determine if there is a causal relationship between avocado consumption and overall diet quality,” added the researcher. investigator.

At this point, Petersen stated that because only 2 percent of American adults are regular avocado consumers, researchers wanted to determine whether including avocados in an individual’s daily diet could significantly increase the quality of their diet. .

The researchers interviewed participants by telephone before starting the study and at some points during the study to determine what their dietary intake had been in the previous 24 hours and evaluated their diets using the Healthy Eating Index to determine the extent to which they met the Guidelines. Food for Americans. Compliance with guidelines was used as a measure of overall diet quality.

The study had 1,008 participants divided into two groups. One group continued with their usual diet and limited avocado consumption during the 26 weeks of the study, while the other group added one avocado a day to their diet.

“We found that participants who ate one avocado a day significantly increased their adherence to dietary guidelines. This suggests that strategies, such as eating one avocado a day, can help people follow dietary guidelines and improve the quality of their diets.” Petersen assured.

Although the researchers said they were not surprised to see that eating avocados daily improved diet quality, they had not anticipated how the participants were able to achieve this.

“We determined that participants used avocados as a substitute for some foods richer in refined grains and sodium. In our study, we classified avocados as a vegetable and we did see an increase in vegetable consumption attributed to avocado intake, but also participants used avocados to replace some less healthy options,” Petersen said.

A POOR QUALITY DIET INCREASES THE RISK OF SUFFERING DISEASES

According to the researcher, having a poor quality diet substantially increases the risk of suffering from conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and many other preventable diseases.

“By improving adherence to dietary guidelines, we can help reduce the risk of these chronic diseases and prolong life expectancy,” he says.

Petersen has also conducted similar studies on the impact of food-based interventions, including the relationship between pistachios and diet quality, but says more research is needed to determine what other food-based strategies can be used to improve people’s adherence to dietary guidelines.

“In studies like this, we can determine food-based ways to improve diet quality, but behavioral strategies are also needed to help people follow dietary guidelines and reduce the risk of chronic diseases,” Petersen said.

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