This means South Africa has the highest proportion of adult diabetics on the African continent.
Diabetes is the sixth most common cause of death in the country.
Added to this, uncontrolled diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and amputations, a pandemic fuelled by soaring rates of individuals who are overweight and obese.
Each year, World Diabetes Day (November 14) aims to educate and inform the public on this devastating disease and how it is completely possible to prevent and even reverse your risk of getting diabetes.
And while diabetics are encouraged to make healthy food choices to control glucose levels, it is equally important to manage other diabetes-related complications, like the increased risk of heart disease and being overweight and obese.
Lauren Anceriz from Protactic Strategic Communications, on the behalf of the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), shared reasons why eating avocado is a double win for diabetics.
Avocados for the heart
Did you know the risk of heart disease is two to four times higher in diabetics compared to non-diabetics?
Heart disease is the primary cause of death in diabetics.
The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados are the standout nutritional win that earns this creamy fruit’s place on a diabetic’s eating plan.
In a study on over 120 000 participants followed for 24 years, replacing saturated fats (like coconut oil, fatty cuts of meat, chicken skin, and butter) with the same amount of mono-unsaturated fats (like avocado, avocado oil, olives and olive oil) lowered the risk of coronary heart disease by a whopping 15 per cent. All the more reason to choose an avocado.
How avocados may help slim the waistline
Contrary to popular belief, avocado can be helpful as a part of an energy-controlled eating plan for weight loss.
Researchers have found the mono-unsaturated fats in avocado give a quicker feeling of fullness, which means less overeating.
The mono-unsaturated fats in avocados will help make the diet more appetising, reducing the temptation to binge on foods high in energy from sugar and bad fats, supporting our weight-loss efforts.
Clearly, it’s a double-whammy win for the humble avocado, which, in portion-controlled amounts, can and should be a healthy addition to the diabetic’s healthy eating plan to manage heart disease risk and help maintain a healthy weight.
For avolicious recipes, visit www.avocado.co.za, like their Facebook page @iloveavocadoSA and follow them on Instagram (@iloveavosSA)