Avocados are distinctive fruits having both fats and fibers along with various micronutrients and bioactive phytochemicals. This study aimed to assess the effects of replacing carbohydrate energy in meals with half or whole avocado on postprandial indices of metabolic and vascular health. A single-center, randomized, controlled, 3-arm, 6 h, crossover study was conducted in overweight/obese middle-aged adults (n = 31). Participants consumed energy-matched breakfast meals containing 0 g (Control), 68 g (Half-A) or 136 g (Whole-A) fresh Hass avocado on 3 separate occasions. Post-meal glycemic (p < 0.0001), insulinemic (p < 0.0001) and flow mediated vasodilation (FMD) responses were reduced compared to Control meal (p < 0.01), independent of dose. Nuclear magnetic resonance analyses indicated lower concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and higher concentrations of larger high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles after the Whole-A vs. the Control meal (p = 0.02, p < 0.05, respectively). Race/ethnicity influenced sub-class lipoprotein concentrations (p < 0.05). Oxidized low-density-lipoproteins, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interleukin-6 were not different among meals. Tumor necrosis factor-α tended to be lower after Whole-A vs. Control meal (p = 0.07). Replacing carbohydrate components with avocados in a meal improved FMD, a measure of endothelial function, and improved glycemic and lipoprotein profiles in overweight/obese adults. The study provides insight on the acute cardio-metabolic benefits of incorporating avocados into a meal.
Keywords: endothelial function; flow mediated vasodilation; glycemic response; hass avocado; lipoprotein particles; monounsaturated fat.