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Avocado, ‘ave a go

Researchers in four US universities are paying people to eat avocados every day for six months.

Calling the study the Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial, the scientists from the University of California Los Angeles, Penn State, Tufts University and Loma Linda University are aiming for 1,000 participants to join the trial.

Each of the four universities will take 250 people, with some participants to eat one avocado every day while others only eat two per month.

The study will look at the health benefits or otherwise of regular avocado eating and will pay particular attention to whether Avocados can help with weight loss.

While it is generally agreed that avocados provide a reliable source of the “good fats” that can help control cholesterol levels, concerns have been raised in recent times about just how healthy the fruit actually is.

LLU has already reported that it seems illogical that avocadoes might help with belly fat loss, because they contain the highest fat content of any fruit.

The study will try to determine if eating one avocado a day will help reduce fat in the abdomen.

The Penn State researchers will specifically examine a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that found that replacing saturated fats with one avocado every day could lower blood pressure.  

Participants will receive $300 each and two dozen avocados to eat (after the study) at their own leisure.

They will need to visit clinics at the university campuses, attend monthly dietary meetings, and undergo two abdominal MRI scans.

And they must be 25 years of age or older and be at least 90cm or 100cm around the waist, depending on gender.

Once the trial is complete, a fifth school – Wake Forest University – will analyse and deliver the final results.

The study is being funded by industry group the Hass Avocado Board.