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Avocado for Lunch Stops Afternoon Hunger

Here's a delicious (and nutritious) way to quell afternoon munchies.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,

If you eat a healthy lunch but then find yourself distracted by hunger by mid-afternoon, try adding some avocado to your midday meal.  New research out of Loma Linda University (and funded by the Hass Avocado Board) found that subjects who enjoyed half an avocado with their lunch felt more satisfied at the end of the meal and -- even more importantly -- had less desire to eat for up to 5 hours after the meal. 

The fact that avocado has a positive impact on satiety is not surprising. Avocado contains fiber and a substantial amount of healthy fat...two things that help you feel full for longer. 

See also Satiety vs. Satiation

 

Of course, adding a half an avocado to your lunch also adds about 115 calories. However, the subjects who ate the extra avocado calories at lunch went on to eat fewer calories that night at dinner -- even though they weren't trying to restrict their intake. So, the overall impact on calorie intake would appear to be a wash. And if it keeps you away from the vending machine for the afternoon, I'd count that as a win!

For those who are consciously limiting their calorie intake, spending those precious calories on a nutritious but relatively high-calorie food like avocado might seem unwise. However, this research suggests that doing just that might make it a bit easier to stick to your calorie budget over the course of the day. 

Check out more of Nutrition Diva's tips for eating well and feeling fabulous.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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