It might be about time to update, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people that eat avocados daily are healthier than those that don’t.
While this is a survey (so we can’t assume that a daily dose of avocado is a cure-all because of study limitations), the results are still pretty interesting. The avocado eaters were about 50 percent less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, which is the stomach punch of bad diseases.
If you have metabolic syndrome, you’re more likely to suffer from type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So anything that keeps you farther from those dangers is always a good thing. (At least in my book it is.)
The avocado lovers also had smaller waists and better cholesterol levels. Not surprisingly, those who ate avocado also had more fiber, fat, vitamins, and minerals in their diets. But that’s like saying people who work out are more likely to have gym memberships.
Studies like this oftentimes make you excited about certain foods, but ultimately we shouldn’t make overarching statements because any direct relationship between the food (avocado) and the result (better health) wasn’t investigated.
Instead, we can learn that people who eat avocados also happen to be healthier. Which is to say, eating avocado is a good habit. And in a world where health is built on habits that are both good and sustainable, eating avocado is a behavior you should add and use as a gateway to other healthier habits.
What’s more, this isn’t the first time avocados have been linked to better health. Avocados are packed with heart-healthy fats that are good for everything from lowering your cholesterol to controlling blood sugar by improving your insulin levels. And studies have shown that the compounds in avocados—namely lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin D—can help fight the growth of cancer cells. They allow for better absorption of phytochemicals of other foods.
So when you pair avocados with other foods (not named fried chicken), the avocados might allow you to receive even more nutritional benefits (think the vitamins and minerals) from your healthy choices.
The Born Reality: Avocados are healthy and part of a good diet. Enjoy, but keep an eye out for how much you eat each day. They are high in calories, so eating too many can restrict the benefits, especially if weight loss is your goal.
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author and the author of You Can’t Screw This Up. He is the founder of Born Fitness, and the co-founder of Arnold’s Pump Club (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Pen Name Consulting. An award-winning writer and editor, Bornstein was previously the Chief Nutrition Officer for Ladder, the Fitness and Nutrition editor for Men’s Health, Editorial Director at LIVESTRONG.com, and a columnist for SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. He’s also a nutrition and fitness advisor for LeBron James, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to The Huffington Post, Bornstein is “one of the most inspiring sources in all of health and fitness.” His work has been featured in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN, and GQ, and he’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and E! News.