November is National Diabetes Month, and with October drawing to a close, it’s time to pay attention to the risks involved with diabetes and what we can do about them. According to the CDC, 30 million adults are living with diabetes in the United States, and another 88 million are what’s considered pre-diabetic. Prediabetics have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic—emphasis on that “yet.” Prediabetics can avoid diabetes with dietary and lifestyle changes.
At a time when we’re not only thinking about diabetes, but when many of us are thinking about our general health more than ever—and remembering that diabetes actually poses a greater risk with COVID—an expert has some exciting news about avocados. Avocados really are a super superfood: they’re packed with vitamins, nutrients, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, they can make you feel fuller longer, they can lower cholesterol, and they might even help prevent cancer. They’re also delicious and so trendy that you can easily incorporate them into meals both at home and out, so essentially, avocados are a win-win. (Much like these 21 best healthy cooking hacks of all time.)
As if they needed to work harder, Food Science Professor and Co-Founder of SP Nutraceuticals Dr. Paul Spanguolo says that avocados are key for both diabetics and prediabetics. All of the aforementioned benefits of avocados provide a healthy foundation, he explains, but a recent discovery made by his team is specifically promising for regulating blood sugar levels.
Avocatin B (AvoB) is a bioactive naturally found in certain avocados, Dr. Spanguolo explained in an email to Eat This, Not That!. “When we talk about bioactives, think of it like the nutrients we get from other foods: we get Omega-3 fatty acids from eating fish and Vitamin C from oranges. AvoB is a bioactive ingredient in avocados, which can be an important dietary choice for diabetics and prediabetics.”
So what how does Avocatin B work, exactly? Dr. Spanguolo says that this bioactive can be used to maintain a healthy metabolism, blood sugar, insulin levels, and weight in adults. These factors are important for everyone, but crucial for diabetics and prediabetics.
“When your metabolism is working, everything is in balance,” Dr. Spanguolo says.” You have ideal levels of blood sugar, good cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. If your metabolism has become inefficient, you are burning either glucose or fat, one more than the other, causing a build-up of either one in your blood. Science tells us that blood sugar imbalances can have a profound and negative impact on our health. They can impact our energy levels, concentration, mood, and much more. And for diabetics, unbalanced blood sugars could lead to even more serious health complications like heart attack and stroke.”
AvoB can help rebalance those blood sugar levels. That’s why Dr. Spanguolo recommends working avocados into your diet, along with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, and proteins, especially proteins from plants. Along with eating less sugar and carbohydrates and getting in more physical activity, avocados can help make an effective difference in warding off diabetes and staying healthy.
For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.