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.

avocadoThe 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.’

“Wish I liked avocados! –  don’t like statins either!!”

£15Billion NHS Pill Bill

The NHS cost as half of woman are on prescription drugs.

The Sun newspaper reports that almost half England’s population takes prescription drugs – costing the NHS £15billion a year.

fifty per cent of woman and 43 per cent of men used at least one medicine in the last week.

And almost a quarter of both sexes took at least three – hitting 70 per cent for over-75s, the Health Survey for England revealed.

Cholesterol-lowering statins, pain relief and anti-depressants were among the most common.

More than 30 per cent of prescriptions – of which 2.7million are dispensed daily – are for cardiovascular disease and the total pill bill out of the NHS’s near-£100billion annual budget is more than £15billion.

The survey also showed the proportion of woman smokers from 2003 to 2013 fell from 24 to 17 per cent, and from 27 to 24 per cent of men.

About a quarter of men and women are obese, while 41 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women are overweight.

For the over-65s, a third of women and almost a quarter of men needed some social care, and that will spiral as the population ages, the report said.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre, who ran the survey, said it provided “valuable information” on the nation’s health and lifestyle.

A much needed solution to save and sustain our NHS, never mind improve it, is just not forthcoming.