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Transcript
A
Australian Avocados
An update on nutrition and health
that avocado feeling
www.avocado.org.au
2
Introduction
This report provides an overview of the nutritional benefits
While avocados are technically a fruit they are often used
of avocados and summarises scientific evidence spanning
as a vegetable and can tick either box when it come to
the past 20 years.
meeting the recommended two serves of fruit and five
serves of vegetables a day. Avocados have also been
Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit that play an important
highlighted in the new Australian Dietary Guidelines as a
role in healthy diets, contributing almost 20 vitamins,
healthy fat alternative to saturated fat spreads, like butter.2
nutrients and phytonutrients. Research shows avocado
eaters consume significantly more key nutrients than non
On behalf of Avocado Australia’s Avocado Nutrition
avocado eaters.
Program, I hope you find this a useful resource.
In addition, avocados are an excellent source of healthy
Lisa Yates
monounsaturated fats and have naturally low levels of
Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian
1
sugars and sodium.
Avocados are an important dietary source of the B group
vitamin folate - an essential nutrient for cell division, blood
production, heart health and during pregnancy. Adequate
folate is critical for the prevention of foetal neural tube
defects.
Research also has identified, that as part of a healthy
diet, this natural whole food may play a role in helping to
manage conditions such as high blood cholesterol,17-24,43
a risk factor for heart disease.
Avocado Health Star Rating
4.5
ENERGY
SAT FAT
SUGARS
SODIUM
FOLATE
605kJ
3g
<1g
3mg
120ug
HEALTH STAR
RATING
LOW
PER 100g
Health Star Ratings are a quick, at a glance guide found on the front of food packaging to help
you choose healthier foods. Star ratings can be from ½ star to 5 stars and the more stars a food
or product has the healthier it is. Avocados score 4.5 stars, indicating a healthy food choice. As
part of the fruit and vegetable category, avocados lose half a star because, even though they
have a low proportion of saturated fat, other fruits and vegetables do not contain saturated fat.
If avocados were categorised in the fats and oils category they would get five stars compared to
other fats and oils.
that avocado feeling
A Research Update For Health Professionals
3
Key findings:
The research shows that avocados, as part of a healthy diet, may;
lower LDL cholesterol and boost HDL cholesterol,
contributing to cardiovascular health
help the absorption of colourful carotenoids
necessary for eye health
assist in weight management
improve glucose tolerance for people
with diabetes.
Avocados are also:
rich in folate, which is needed during
pregnancy for tissue development.
How much is a serve?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest a serve of fruit weighs 150g and a
serve of vegetable weighs 75g, or the equivalent of 100-350kJ energy per serve.1
The edible flesh of an Australian avocado weighs around 160-200g with 100g
containing about 600kJ of energy, so a 50g portion providing 300kJ fits the
Australian Dietary Guideline recommendations.
To keep it simple we recommend 50g of avocado daily, or about a 1/3 of a smaller
or a 1/4 of a larger avocado.
Many research studies from overseas report the benefits of half an avocado but
these are based on smaller avocados with a half weighing 75g.
www.avocado.org.au
4
Nutrient Composition
Avocados are well known as a rich source of healthy fats
but there is much more to this fruit.
Vitamins
Folate
Avocados also provide vitamins C, E and K, minerals such
as potassium, plant antioxidants and unusually for a fruit,
some protein. They are also naturally low in sugar and
sodium.3
Everyone needs the B group vitamin folate as it contributes
to normal blood formation and cell division. During
pregnancy it is particularly important for tissue development.
Avocados are a rich source of folate with a 50g serve
In fact, research shows avocado eaters tend to consume
significantly more of several key nutrients than nonavocado eaters.1
providing 60ug or 30% of the adult regulatory
RDI.3 For more information see page 6.
Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that works with
Healthy fats
vitamin E to help reduce the effects of free radical cell
damage. Vitamin C also helps the body’s absorption of plant
Monounsaturated fats are needed to maintain heart
iron. Avocados are a rich source of vitamin C with a quarter
health and aid in the body’s absorption of fat-soluble
vitamins and carotenoids.
1,4
of an avocado (50g) providing 11mg of Vitamin C or 25% of
Avocados contain healthy
RDI for adults.3
fats with a quarter of an avocado (50g) providing 3g of
monounsaturated fats. As an avocado ripens the amount
of monounsaturated fat it contains increases and saturated
fat content decreases.1
Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin commonly found in healthy
fat foods including avocado. A quarter of an avocado (50g)
provides 1mg of vitamin E or 10% of RDI for adults.3 Vitamin
Carbohydrates and sugars
E works with vitamin C to reduce cell damage by free
radicals and protects cell membranes from oxidation.7
Unlike other fruit, avocados are naturally low in
carbohydrate and sugars with a quarter of an avocado
(50g) containing just 2.3g carbohydrates of which less than
Vitamin K
1g is sugars.
Vitamin K is an important nutrient for building bones and
3
also assists the blood to clot. A quarter of an avocado (50g)
Fibre
contains 11ug of vitamin K or 14% of the RDI for adults.3
Fibre aids a healthy bowel function and increases satiety.
Phytochemicals
Avocados provide a combination of insoluble and soluble
Avocados contain phytochemicals with antioxidant and
fibre, in total around 2g per 50g serve.3
anti-inflammatory properties. These include polyphenols
and colourful carotenoids such as beta carotene, beta
Potassium and sodium
cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin that help give avocado
Research shows that a varied diet high in potassium and
its unique colour. 3 These natural antioxidants contribute to
low in sodium helps to maintain normal blood pressure
cell protection from free radical damage.
5
and protect against heart disease and stroke.6 Avocados
positively contribute to a good potassium/sodium balance,
with a quarter of an avocado (50g) providing
245mg of potassium and less than 2mg of sodium.3
that avocado feeling
A Resource Guide for Health Professionals
5
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Servings per package: 4 serves per avocado
Serving size: ~ 50g or ¼ avocado
Average
Quantity per Serving
Percentage
Daily Intake*
Average Quantity
per 100g or ½ avocado
303kJ (72Cal)
12%
605kJ (144Cal)
Protein, total
0.8g
2%
1.6g
Fat, total
6.4g
9%
12.7g
– saturated
1.5g
8%
3.0g
Energy
– trans
0g
0g
– polyunsaturated
1.0g
2.0g
– monounsaturated
3.2g
6.4g
Cholesterol
0mg
0mg
Carbohydrate
2.3g
– sugars
Dietary fibre, total
<1%
Less than 1g
4.5g
Less than 1g
2.1g
7%
4.2g
Sodium
1.5mg
<1%
3.0mg
Potassium
245mg
490mg
Folate **
60ug
30%
120ug
Vitamin C
11mg
25%
22mg
Vitamin E
1mg
10%
2mg
11ug
14%
Vitamin K
Polyphenols
22ug
71mg GAE
142mg GAE
Beta carotene
127ug
254ug
Beta cryptoxanthin
117ug
234ug
Lutein & zeaxanthin
271ug
542ug
Plant sterols
42mg
84mg
* Percentage daily intakes are based on the average adult diet of 8700kJ. Your daily intakes may be higher or lower depending on your
energy needs.
** The RDI used to calculate the %DI is the RDI for adults (200μg), whereas for women, at least one month before pregnancy and three
months during pregnancy, the recommended intake of folate is 400μg per day which increases to 600ug for the remainder of pregnancy
and lactation.
Source: NMI Laboratory Analysis results May 2010 average of Hass and Shephard varieties except for:
-V
itamin C and Beta cryptoxanthin - NUTTAB 2010 http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/nutrientables/nuttab/
Pages/default.aspx
-V
itamin E, lutein zeaxanthin, plant sterols - USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26
- Polyphenols - USDA ORAC Release 2, 2010
www.avocado.org.au
6
Avocados and Folate
What is folate?
Folate is the commonly used name for a water-soluble
B-group vitamin found in plant foods, especially avocados
and green leafy vegetables. There are also man-made forms
of folate, such as folic acid additives and supplements.
Folate from plant foods is not as readily absorbed as
folic acid,8 but it comes with the added health benefits
that plant foods provide, such as nutrients and additional
phytochemicals. A serve of avocado (50g) contains 60
micrograms of folate or 30% regulatory RDI for adults,
which is 200ug.3
Folate for pregnancy
Folate plays an essential role in the healthy development
of babies, helping to create DNA, divide cells and in the
formation of the neural tube. The baby’s neural tube fuses
very early in pregnancy. If it doesn’t close, the result is a
neural tube defect (NTD). Spina bifida and anencephaly
are the most common forms of NTD affecting about 1 in
500 pregnancies in Australia.9 A varied diet rich in folate
may reduce the risk of foetal neural tube defects.10
There are specific folate RDIs for women of childbearing
Why is folate important?
age due to the importance of this vitamin during
pregnancy. FSANZ recommends women of child bearing
Folate is important for healthy growth and development
age consume a minimum of 400ug of folate for the
at all life stages.
month before and three months after conception.10 The
National Health and Medical Research Council however,
Folate for children
recommends an adequate intake of folate being 600ug
Children and adolescents require folate to produce blood
during pregnancy.8 Advice could be that 400ug of folate
and help cells divide to meet their growth and development
could come from a folic acid supplement, with the
needs.
remaining 200ug from food sources such as avocado,
green leafy vegetables, grains, legumes and fortified
Folate for adults
foods. A serve of avocado (50g) contributes 60ug of
Folate is essential in
folate3, which is approximately 15% of the folate RDI
bone marrow as it
of 400ug per day for women of childbearing age.
works with vitamin
B12 to produce blood
Folate fortification of bread making flour alone may not
cells. Too little of either
be sufficient to meet the increased folate needs of pregnant
of these key vitamins
women and therefore eating plant foods naturally rich
can cause some forms
in folate as well as taking folic acid supplements is also
of anaemia resulting
recommended.11
in weakness, fatigue,
irritability and heart
Recommended Daily Intakes
(Regulatory RDIs) of Folate*
palpitations.8
• 100μg for children aged 1-3 years;
• 200μg for children aged 3 years and
older; and
• 200μg for adults.
* Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
Food Standards Code 1.1.1 12
that avocado feeling
A Research Update For Health Professionals
7
Avocados and Heart Health
Clinical studies have consistently demonstrated the positive
heart health effect of diets including avocado, particularly
on blood lipid profiles. This is primarily because of the
Plant sterols
Plant sterols help reduce cholesterol re-absorption in the
whole food effects of this nutrient-dense fruit.1
intestine, increasing the amount of cholesterol excreted
Healthy fats
foods can have added plant sterols. Avocados naturally
The fats in foods are always a mix of saturated and
a quarter of an avocado (50g)3.
from the body.15 Certain margarine spreads, milks and other
contain small quantities of plant sterols, around 40mg in
unsaturated fat, but usually one type predominates.
The fats in avocados, like other plant foods, are mostly
healthy monounsaturated fats.
As well as providing fat-soluble vitamins, the
monounsaturated fats in avocados help to control
cholesterol production and may reduce the risk of
cardiovascular disease.4 Diets high in foods that contain
Soluble fibre
In a similar way to plant sterols, soluble fibre can lower
cholesterol re-absorption from the intestine.16 Avocado
provides around 2g total fibre per 50g serve3 with two
thirds soluble fibre.16
monounsaturated fats, such as a Mediterranean diet with
Antioxidants
its olive oil and nuts, have also been shown to shown to
Vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenols are
reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.13,14
The extensive body of research supporting the
cardiovascular benefits of monounsaturated and
polyunsaturated fats resulted in the 2013 Australian
Dietary Guidelines recommending avocado as a healthy
compounds with antioxidant effects that help to protect
cells from free radical damage. These compounds also
have anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent
atheroschlerosis or the thickening and hardening of
arteries associated with heart disease.1
fat alternative to saturated fat spreads.2
Sodium and potassium
Australian Dietary Guidelines - Guideline 3 “Replace high
fat foods that contain predominately saturated fat such as
butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut and palm oil
with foods that contain predominantly polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/
pastes and avocado.”2
A healthy varied diet that contains
a high intake of both fruits and
vegetables, such as avocado, reduces
the risk of heart disease.5
Reducing sodium and maintaining an adequate intake of
potassium can help to guard against high blood pressure,
heart disease and stroke.6 A 50g serve of avocado
contributes less than 2mg of sodium and 245mg of
potassium.3
A healthy diet, which is also low in
sodium and contains a variety of foods,
such as avocado, can reduce high blood
pressure.5
www.avocado.org.au
8
Latest Research
Participants with high cholesterol
and/or type 2 diabetes
A recent randomised controlled trial, published in the
Cholesterol
Journal of the American Heart Association, found that when
Eating avocados as part of a healthy diet may lower total
ate an avocado (136g) a day for five weeks as part of a
and LDL (bad) cholesterol,17-24, 43 major risk factors for heart
moderate fat diet, their LDL cholesterol level, LDL particle
disease.
size number and small dense LDL as well as LDL:HDL ratio
45 overweight/obese people with high LDL cholesterol
were all significantly reduced.43
Avocado clinical trials have consistently shown positive
effects on blood lipids in studies using a variety of diets and
A study published in the Archives of Medical Research
on a range of participants including healthy, overweight
demonstrated a diet enriched with avocado could
or obese, hypercholesterolemic and participants with type
significantly lower cholesterol in a week. The 30 participants
2 diabetes. Some of these studies are highlighted below,
with normal cholesterol and 37 participants with mild to
however, further larger, longer-term studies are required,
high cholesterol (15 of whom had type 2 diabetes) were
particularly in those with type 2 diabetes.
placed on a diet enriched with 300g avocado to replace all
Healthy participants
Avocado intake in those with normal cholesterol can
significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol, as well as
maintain HDL cholesterol. An Australian study, published
in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 15
women consuming 0.5-1.5 avocados a day as part of a high
carbohydrate diet. After three weeks, researchers noted
an 8% reduction in total cholesterol and no change to HDL
cholesterol. However, the no avocado control diet reduced
HDL cholesterol by 14%.18 Another study, published in
the Archives of Medical Research, followed 16 healthy
volunteers consuming a high carbohydrate, moderate fat
diet (50% of energy from carbs and 30% from fat of which
75% of the fat was from avocado) for two weeks. It found,
their total and LDL cholesterol was reduced while HDL
was maintained, whereas the low saturated fat control
diet reduced HDL.19 In short, eating avocado helps maintain
other fats each day. At the end of a week, those with normal
cholesterol reported a 16% decrease in total cholesterol,
while those with mild to high cholesterol reported a 14%
reduction in total cholesterol, a 23% reduction in LDL
cholesterol and a 14% increase in good HDL cholesterol.
Those with type 2 diabetes saw reductions in total and
LDL cholesterol of about 20%.22 Since heart disease risk is
increased in those with type 2 diabetes including avocado
in their diets maybe worthwhile.
Also published in the Archives of Medical Research,
another small, randomised study examined the effects
of avocado as a source of monounsaturated fat on
serum lipids. Thirteen people with high cholesterol were
randomly assigned one of three vegetarian diets. After
four weeks, those consuming the vegetarian diet with
30% of energy from fats (the majority from avocado) had
significantly reduced LDL cholesterol.23
HDL levels while lowering LDL cholesterol.
Summary
The addition of 75-300g of avocado to a variety
of healthy diets has been shown to lower total
and LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL
cholesterol. These benefits have been noted
in participants exhibiting a range of health
profiles.
that avocado feeling
A Research Update For Health Professionals
9
Weight Management
Type 2 Diabetes
There have been three studies looking at the effect of
Two studies have examined the effects of avocado in
avocado on an aspect of weight management. 24-26
those with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The Archives of Medical
Research study, mentioned previously, also found blood
The first study, published in the Nutrition Journal, examined
glucose levels were reduced in 13 of the 15 participants
the effects of avocados as part of an energy-restricted
with T2D, however, authors noted only five of the 15
diet on weight loss, serum lipids and vascular function in
had clinical significant reductions.22 A more recent
55 overweight and obese people. The participants were
study, published in 2013 in the Nutrition Journal, also
randomly divided into two groups – one group consuming
investigated the effects of avocado in those with T2D.
an energy restricted diet including 200g of avocado a day
A small randomised crossover study involving 12 women
(30.6g of fat) in place of 30g of other dietary fats, the other
with T2D, found that after four weeks each of a high
group consuming an energy restricted control diet with no
monounsaturated fat diet (with an avocado a day, eating
avocado. Following six weeks, body weight, body mass
a third at each meal) and a high carbohydrate diet, both
index, and percentage of body fat all decreased significantly
diets caused a minor cholesterol lowering effect with no
in both diet groups. The researchers concluded that 200g a
major changes in HDL cholesterol. The avocado diet was
day of avocado could be consumed in an energy-restricted
associated with a greater decrease in blood triglycerides
diet without compromising weight loss when substituted for
(20% vs. 7% in the high-carbohydrate diet) and glycemic
30g of other dietary fats.
control was similar with both diets. Researchers concluded
24
that including avocado in the diet of those with T2D
A randomised crossover study by Loma Linda University
could help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides without
found that overweight people adding half an avocado (75g)
compromising blood glucose control.20
to lunch increased their satiety by 25% and decreased their
desire to eat by 30% for 3-5 hours following the meal.25
Clearly more research in the area of T2D is needed but
Adding avocado to lunch may help reduce mid meal
there have also been interesting T2D preliminary animal
snacking.
studies that suggest that extracts of avocado leaf and seed
may improve blood glucose control.28-33
A recent US analysis of the National Health Survey,
published in Nutrition Journal, found that avocado
consumers had a lower body weight (an average of 3.4kg
less), BMI and waist circumference (4cm smaller waist)
compared to those who didn’t eat avocado.26
Further research is required to replicate these findings in
larger, long-term trials as well as identify mechanisms for
Summary
For people with type 2 diabetes, consuming
avocado as part of a healthy diet may help
manage blood glucose levels as well as
lower cholesterol and triglycerides without
compromising blood glucose control.
the role of avocados in weight management. One potential
mechanisms, could be that an extract of avocado fruit
inhibits the action of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, a key enzyme
in production of fat in the body.27
Summary
Initial studies indicate a role for 75-200g of
avocado a day in promoting satiety and as
an alternative to other dietary fats in energyrestricted diets. People who eat avocado
may weigh less, have a lower BMI and
waist circumference.
www.avocado.org.au
10
Eye Health
The macula lutea is a “yellow spot” in the centre of the retina
of conversion to vitamin A by 4.6 fold. In the case of
responsible for central vision. Macular degeneration is the
carrots, absorption was increased six fold and the efficiency
result of age related damage and it impacts central vision.
of conversion to vitamin A by 12.6 fold.42 This may be
particularly important for those who are vitamin A deficient
The macula is yellow because it is rich in carotenoids lutein
or who avoid eating vitamin A rich foods such as dairy.
and zeaxanthin that are thought to combat light-induced
damage caused by free radicals.34 Carotenoids help reduce
the risk of macular degeneration35,36 and are transported to
the macula by HDL cholesterol.37,38
Avocados provide a wealth of benefits as they contain
carotenoids39, help boost HDL cholesterol22 and their healthy
fats absorb fat soluble carotenoids from other foods.
Research shows that adding 75-150g of avocado to a salad
or salsa increases the absorption of carotenoids from other
Summary
Avocados contribute carotenoids that are
important for eye health. New research
has revealed that adding 75g-150g of
monounsaturated fat-rich avocados helps
to significantly increase the absorption of
carotenoids from other vegetables and aids
in their conversion to vitamin A.
salad vegetables five-fold.40
The colour of avocados comes from natural carotenoid
pigments that are important for eye health. This includes
beta carotene and beta cryptoxanthin (oranges), lutein
and zeaxanthin (yellows), as well as chlorophyll (green).
Pigments in avocado
Average in 50g of avocado
Conclusion
Its wide range of nutrients makes avocado an excellent
plant based whole food, and an important addition to a
beta carotene^
127ug
healthy diet. Avocado eaters consume significantly more
beta cryptoxanthin#
117ug
of several key nutrients including dietary fibre, vitamin E
lutein and zeaxanthin*
271ug
chlorophyll+
1000ug
Sources: ^NMI analysis 2010 average of Shepard and Hass
varieties # NUTTAB2010 *USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26, + Reference 39
vitamin K, potassium and magnesium.
While the scientific evidence suggests avocado
consumption has health benefits for weight management,
eye health and assisting people with type 2 diabetes,
most of the research underpins a potential role for
avocado in lowering cholesterol and for heart health.
Carotenoids are considered to be proVitamin A as they
can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a
necessary fat-soluble vitamin that is needed for normal
reproduction, vision and immune function. Preformed
vitamin A is found in animal products while carotenoids are
largely found in plant foods and eggs.41
Research has recently revealed that eating 150g of avocado
with other vegetables rich in carotenoids boosts both the
absorption of carotenoids and their conversion to vitamin
A. Specifically, avocado enhanced the absorption of beta
carotene from tomatoes 2.4 fold and enhanced the efficiency
Avocados also are an important dietary source of folate,
which is essential during pregnancy for healthy foetal
development.
Australian Avocado Nutrition is committed to sharing the
latest scientific evidence supporting the health benefits
of avocados. Our message is simple, eat 50g of avocado
daily – that’s about a 1/3 of a smaller or a 1/4 of a larger
avocado – either as a tasty addition to meals or as a
healthy sandwich spread, as suggested by the Australian
Dietary Guidelines.
that avocado feeling
A Research Update For Health Professionals
11
References
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December 2014
3. Australian Avocado website - http://avocado.org.au/nutrition-informationpanel accessed 9 December 2014
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disease: synopsis of the evidence available from systematic reviews and
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9 December 2014
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December 2014
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accessed 9 December 2014
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fatty acids on plasma lipid levels. Arch Med Res. 1992 Winter;23(4):163-7.
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www.avocado.org.au
5 AVOCADO FACTS
This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation
Australia Limited using the Australian Avocado Industry
levy and funds from the Australian Government.
1.There are 850 Australian Avocado growers.
2.Avocados are grown in most states of Australia, across eight main
regions. Australia’s diverse climate means we are lucky enough to
have year round availability.
3.The industry produces around 60,000 tonnes of fruit per year,
95% of which is consumed in Australia.
4.The two most popular varieties of avocado are Hass (the darker skin
variety), which accounts for 80% of all avocados grown, and Shepard
(the green skin variety), which accounts for 15%.
Atherton/Mareeba
5.Aussies love Avocados, with nearly 3kg of fresh avocados consumed
for each person each year.
Bundaberg
AVOCADO GROWING AREAS
Carnarvon
Sunshine Coast
West Moreton
Mt Tambourine
Far North Coast
Mid North Coast
Riverland
Perth
Sunraysia
Pemberton
Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian Lisa Yates prepared this document on
behalf of Avocados Australia’s nutrition program – Australian Avocados Nutrition.
Avocados Australia is the peak industry body for the Australian avocado industry. The not-for-profit organisation
representing avocado growers and associated businesses is committed to improving the health and wellness of all
Australians by sharing credible up to date information about the health benefits of avocado.
Australian Avocados
Connect with us:
www
www.avocado.org.au
@avonutrition and @AusAvos
[email protected]
www.pinterest.com/AusAvos
www.facebook.com/AustralianAvocados
www.youtube.com/user/AustralianAvocados
This material has been independently reviewed by the Dietitians Association of Australia.
To find an Accredited Practising Dietitian freecall 1800 812 942 or www.daa.asn.au
©2015
For more nutrition information as well as recipes and tips on selecting Australian avocados please visit
www.avocado.org.au