For science, researchers are paying people to avocados

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Loma Linda University has teamed up with Penn State University, Tufts University and the University of California Los Angeles to answer a big question: Can someone reduce the visceral adipose fat - that's the unsafe kind of fat - in their abdomen by eating one avocado a day for six months?

Avocados are a rich source of heart-healthy fats that can help cholesterol, but there are concerns that this fruit is not as healthy as it may seem.

Tufts University is pairing with three other universities - Loma Linda University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of California, Los Angeles - to evaluate the effects of avocados on a person's body-fat levels.

To sweeten the deal, Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, is willing to pay 250 people to help researchers determine if moderate avocado consumption actually promotes weight loss'.

The announcement was made in the news section of Loma Linda University's website last August 28.

- Measure at least 40 inches around the waist if they are male, or at least 35 inches around the waist if they are female.

You have to be willing to eat one avocado a day for six months.

The universities are looking for 1,000 total participants, with 250 people at each of the four schools.

When it's all said and done, participants in both groups will be paid $300 each.

And because they had to hold back, members of the control group will be given 24 avocados. Those chosen will be assigned to one of two groups.

You also need to attend clinical visits at the corresponding campus, undergo two abdominal MRI scans and attend a monthly dietary meeting.

The study is funded by the Hass Avocado board, although the university says the sponsorship won't affect the science. "We are rigorous in our selection of projects", he said.

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