Consuming avocado every day can help reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers conducted a six-month experiment involving more than 1,000 overweight or obese participants. The study was conducted by Penn State researchers in conjunction with Loma Linda University, Tufts University and UCLA, with coordinating support from Wake Forest University.
Adding one avocado per day to the study did not affect abdominal fat or cause weight gain, and did slightly reduce total and LDL cholesterol.
The researchers also found that participants who ate avocados had better quality diets during the study period.
“While avocados did not affect abdominal fat or weight gain, the study still provides evidence that avocados may be a beneficial addition to a well-balanced diet,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutritional sciences at the University Evan Pugh at Penn State.
Eating avocado associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease
Previous studies have associated avocado consumption with benefits for heart health.
Research also published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that study participants who ate at least two servings of avocado per week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados.
Consuming avocado to replace animal products such as butter, cheese, or bacon was also found to be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease events.
One serving of avocado is equal to ½ avocado or ½ cup of avocado weighing approximately 80 grams.
Avocados contain dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, also known as good fats, and other components, including potassium, that are associated with good cardiovascular health.
Potassium helps regulate blood pressure by maintaining normal fluid levels within cells and helping muscles contract.
“Avocados are a good source of fiber and contain more fat (the good kind) than carbohydrates, which is why they are popular on low-carb dieters, such as those with diabetes,” notes the Harvard Nutrition Source.
Healthy fats can improve blood cholesterol levels, relieve inflammation and stabilize heart rhythm.
Avocados do not contain cholesterol, they contain phytosterols, according to the American Heart Association, it has been found that Phytosterols lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in the body by reducing cholesterol absorption.
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