Episode 6: Avocados and Almonds


How Avocados and Almonds can Help With Weight Loss

Obesity is a huge problem in America. It increases one’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancer and the list goes on. So let’s focus on two foods that we should eat if we want to lose weight—avocados and almonds.Dr. Mark Reeves

Patricia Kelikani, Health Journalist (Co-Host): With two-thirds of our population either overweight or obese, the emphasis tends to be on what you should not eat. However, when it comes to losing weight, instead ask yourself,  “what should I eat?”

Dr. Mark Reeves, Surgical Oncologist (Co-Host): Obesity is a huge problem in America. It increases one’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancer and the list goes on.

KELIKANI: So let’s focus on two foods that we should eat if we want to lose weight—avocados and almonds.

REEVES: Researchers added half of an avocado to the subjects’ lunch meals and found that they felt fuller over a longer period of time and had less of a desire to eat. Not only that, but their insulin levels decreased after the meal.

Avocados contain monounsaturated fat; it’s a healthy type of fat that our bodies need to reduce LDLs, that’s the bad cholesterol in our blood. Patricia Kelikani

Dr. Ella Haddad, Loma Linda University Associate Professor of Nutrition: A lot of people think that because avocados are high in fat that they are fattening. But that is not necessarily so, because higher fat foods help you feel full.

KELIKANI: You see, avocados contain monounsaturated fat; it’s a healthy type of fat that our bodies need to reduce LDLs, that’s the bad cholesterol in our blood.

REEVES: This fruit also contains 20 vitamins and minerals. And almonds have a similar effect. The high protein, high fat, and high fiber content in these nuts help us feel more full.

KELIKANI: In fact, a researcher found in a weight control program that those who ate almonds as a snack had longer and better sustained weight reduction than those in the popcorn group. The study also found that people do not gain weight by eating a handful of almonds every day.

But more than losing weight, it’s what these foods do to help combat the negative health effects of obesity.

So how should we incorporate avocados and almonds into our daily diet?

HADDAD: My recommendation would be about half an avocado. So, to substitute that too for maybe some of the butter, or the high fat cheese that is usually consumed at meal times.

REEVES: And, for almonds, eat a handful a day. You can also substitute it for saturated fats like cheese and meat for added health benefits.

KELIKANI: Liven up your diet by being creative with these foods. Instead of putting butter on your toast, top it with almond butter or avocado. You can even make a delicious avocado shake with almond milk. For a healthier take on dessert, make chocolate pudding with avocado instead of the dairy. Then top it with slivered almonds.

There’s your tip for the day…

REEVES: … on how you can live healthier, longer.

Chef Cory Gheen

Cory is a Chef and foodservice expert with over 25 years of experience and a lifelong curiosity about the culinary arts. A professionally trained culinarian he has worked in a broad range of food outlets including some of the finest kitchens in the Napa Valley. He now brings that passion into the classroom, teaching future dietitians and inspiring their curiosity about food. With his wealth of experience in the culinary world, knowledge of foodservice management, passion for teaching, and commitment to creating healthy yet engaging menus, Chef Cory is raising the bar for quality foodservice.

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Ella Haddad, DrPH


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