If your mid-afternoon hunger pangs making snacking irresistible, you are not alone.  Many people find the time between lunch and dinner to be the hardest time of the day to resist turning in to the cookie monster.

Researchers followed 26 healthy but overweight adults found that eating avocado can help you from snacking during the day.

They found that those who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported 40% decreased desire to eat in the following three hours as well as a 28% reduced desire to eat over the subsequent five hours.

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The research was published in the Nutrition Journal

.Avocado has sometimes received a "bad rap" as a vegetable too high in fat. While it is true that avocado is a high-fat food (about 85% of its calories come from fat), the fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits.

A report from the Health Medicinet.com says the study leader, Dr Joan Sabate, a nutritionist from Loma Linda University, in California, said: ‘Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals.

‘We noted that though adding avocados increased participants’ calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch.

‘This leads us to believe that avocados’ potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation.’

She said that while the findings were generally positive, more research is needed to determine whether the conclusions drawn from this study can be applied to the general public.

People feel a 40 per cent reduced desire to snack in the three hours after eating avocado

However, the results do provide promising clues and a basis for future research to determine avocados’ effect on satiety, glucose and insulin response.