You've heard it before, "Guac will be extra." But for once, you won't be the one paying. In some science that I can definitely get behind, researchers are paying people to eat avocados every day. The study is called "The Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial," and it may offer you the chance to get paid for eating one of nature's greatest gifts.
The team of researchers behind this study comes from Loma Linda University, Penn State, Tufts University and the University of California, Los Angeles. They are looking for 1,000 participants to help answer the pressing question of whether or not avocados aid in weight loss, CNN reported. While avocados have long been hailed as a superfood high in healthy fat, some remain concerned about the actual benefit of eating them (aside from amazing deliciousness, that is).
While it certainly sounds too good to be true, it's not. It's science. According to a statement released by Loma Linda University, "Since avocados contain the highest fat content of any fruit, it seems illogical to think they might actually help people lose their belly fat." But there remains some optimism that the fruit actually does serve that purpose. So, in the name of scientific curiosity, Dr. Joan Sabate, director of the university's Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention, will lead her team in determining how eating one avocado per day impacts fat loss in the abdomen. The study is funded by the Hass Avocado Board.
If you're interested in participating, here's what you need to know, according to the Sacramento Bee. Each of the four universities is looking for 250 avocado-aholics who are willing to eat a set amount of avocados on a regular basis. Participants must live in or around Inland Empire in Southern California, be 25 years or older, and measure at least 35 to 40 inches around the waist. Unfortunately, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive are not eligible, according to USA Today. But, if you do meet the requirements, you could be doing a happy dance like the lady below:
The participants will be divided into two groups, according to the Loma Linda press release:
The test group will be given 16 avocados every two weeks and required to eat one avocado per day throughout the six-month study. The control group will be required to eat no more than two avocados per month during the same period.
Throughout the study, participants will attend regular clinical visits at the university, have two abdominal MRI scans, and participate in monthly dietary meetings. Along with a supply of free avocados, those involved in the study will receive a $300 stipend and small gifts over the course of the study's six month duration, the New York Post reported. At the end of the study, Wake Forest University will evaluate and analyze the results.
This isn't the first study to look at how avocados impact fat deposits. A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that consuming high amounts of monounsaturated fats (like those found in avocados) may help to prevent the development of belly fat by regulating the expression of fat genes, according to the Huffington Post. Perhaps the new study will build upon those findings and give me even more of a reason to indulge in some avocado toast.
It probably won't surprise you to hear that this study has gained a lot of interest. Due to the high number of responses, the team has not been able to accommodate all of the requests, according to the study website. But don't give up hope! They are asking people to check back in two weeks to apply! As for me, I'll be busy performing an avocado related experiment of my own. How many avocados can I eat before I turn into one?