Avocado Toast

Selling Avocado Toast for Breakfast

Does less toast and more avocado make for a more satisfying breakfast? Does that mean that we’d all lose a little weight if we made this swap? Thanks to the Hass Avocado Board, we have some actual data to tell us that the answers are yes and maybe not.

So feel free to go easy on the toast and enjoy the avocado. But don’t expect weight loss miracles.

A Randomized Controlled Breakfast Study

Lanjun Zhu and colleagues tested the satiety effects of three variations on a toasted bagel sandwich for breakfast. The study had three arms with everything constant between them except for the amount of avocado in the bagel sandwich and thus the balance of fat and carbs in the meal. The sandwich in the control arm had no avocado. One test arm had half of an avocado. The third arm had a whole avocado.

To keep the calories constant across all three arms, the bagels were trimmed down. Thus it was a trade-off of calories from the fat in the avocados replacing refined carbs (sugars) in the bagels.

Naturally, researchers got the result they were seeking. People were fuller and more satisfied with more avocado and less bagel. In addition, levels of satiety hormones – PYY and GLP-1 – were higher.

Weight Loss?

Note, however, that this tells us nothing about the implications for weight loss or maintenance. You might naturally jump to the conclusion that all this extra satiety might translate into a healthier weight status. But the real world has many moving parts. Not everyone will trim down their toast to add in more of that lucious avocado.

And in fact, other studies sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board suggests we shouldn’t expect weight loss miracles. In an observational cohort study, investigators found “minor changes” in weight gain over time people who regularly consumed avocados. They gained a little less weight and had slightly lower odds of progressing into overweight or obesity. But those differences were small.

In addition, a systematic review and meta-analysis found no difference in body weight associated with eating avocados. They only found differences in other risk factors for heart disease.


So you don’t need science to tell you to enjoy avocado toast for breakfast. Eat it if you like it. Let it be part of an overall healthy pattern of eating in moderation. It’s food, not medicine.

Click here for the satiety study, here for the cohort study, and here for the meta-analysis.

Avocado Toast, photograph © Kjokkenutstyr Net / flickr

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May 26, 2019

One Response to “Selling Avocado Toast for Breakfast”

  1. May 26, 2019 at 8:46 am, David Brown said:

    Endless studies and persistent uncertainty.

    Scientists now have the tools to help the consumer determine what sort of diet is appropriate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z03xkwFbw4