An Avocado a Day for a Healthy Heart
An apple a day may keep the doctor away…. but it’s a daily avocado we need to lower bad cholesterol, a study shows.
The so-called avocado diet was also found to improve other blood fat levels linked to heart disease, even in the overweight.
US researchers put 45 healthy overweight or obese participants aged from 21 to 70 on three cholesterol-lowering diets for five weeks. They were either put on a lower fat diet without avocado, moderate fat diet without avocado, or moderate fat diet with one avocado per day.
Compared to the average American diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the so called bad cholesterol – was 13.5 milligram per deciliter (the unit used in medicine to measure the concentration of substances in the blood) lower after the avocado diet.
In a patient with high LDL, this would be the equivalent of a 10 per cent fall.
LDL also improved on the moderate fat diet without the avocado (8.3 mg/dL lower) and on the lower fat diet (7.4 mg/dL lower) but not as much as the avocado diet.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Study leader Penny Kris-Etherton of the American Heart Association said: “Most people do not know how to incorporate avocados in their diet except for making guacamole.
‘But guacamole is typically eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and sodium. Avocados, however, can also be eaten with salads, sandwiches, lean protein (chicken or fish) or even whole.’