The avocado burger

Holidays provoke all sorts of unusual behaviour in people. As we in the Southern Hemisphere enjoy our summer holidays it is no different. Strange fashion decisions are made (there is a reason those shorts have remained in the cupboard all year!), suddenly an extra glass or two of alcohol surely won’t do any harm, and food choices take on a life of their own. It’s all probably to do with being in unusual locations, removed from the usual norms. When you have been frolicking on the beach how could eating a burger and chips seem anything but natural? The problem is that even though things may seem different to you that burger is still packed with blood-thickening ingredients that could be bad news for your heart. The good news though is that a new study has found that a tasty addition to your burger could avoid a lot of that damage.

In a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles males aged between 18 and 35 were asked to eat a hamburger. Some of the burgers had half a Haas avocado added and half did not. At regular intervals after eating the burgers the men’s blood was tested to see what effect the burgers were having.

In the men who ate burgers without avocado there was a 70 per cent increase in interleukin-6 (an inflammatory protein) whereas the burgers with avocado only resulted in a 40 per cent increase in interleukin-6. Additionally, the burger without avocado resulted in a 27 per cent reduction in blood flow while the burger with avocado only reduced blood flow by four per cent.

It does need to be acknowledged that this study was partly funded by the Haas Avocado Board. That doesn’t entirely invalidate the findings though. Avocadoes are a healthy food containing healthy monounsaturated fats, folate, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, and potassium. Given that they are also tasty there is good reason to add an avocado to your burger this summer.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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