Avocados lower bad cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health

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A study published in the Journal of the  has revealed that consuming one avocado a day improves bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in overweight and obese individuals.

The researchers investigated the effects of avocados by replacing saturated fatty acids from an average American diet with unsaturated fatty acids from avocados.

The research participants consisted of forty-five healthy, overweight or obese patients between the ages of 21 and 70 were put on three different cholesterol-lowering diets. The participants were exposed to an average American diet (consisting of 34 percent of calories from fat, 51 percent carbohydrates, and 16 percent ) for two weeks prior to starting one of the following cholesterol lowering diets: lower fat diet without avocado, moderate-fat diet without avocado, and moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day. The diets were consumed for five weeks and that particpants were randomly sequenced through each of the three diets.

The results reflect that after consuming the moderate fat diet including avocado the bad cholesterol was 13.5 mg/dL lower compared to the baseline of the average American diet. LDL was also lower on the moderate fat diet without the avocado (8.3 mg/dL lower) and the lower fat diet (7.4 mg/dL lower), though the results were not as striking as the avocado diet. l

“This was a controlled feeding study, but that is not the real-world — so it is a proof-of-concept investigation. We need to focus on getting people to eat a heart-healthy diet that includes avocados and other nutrient-rich food sources of better fats,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., senior  and Chair of the ’s  Committee and Distinguished Professor of  at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park, Pennsylvania.

“In the  avocados are not a mainstream food yet, and they can be expensive, especially at certain times of the year. Also, most people do not really know how to incorporate them in their diet except for making guacamole. But guacamole is typically eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and . Avocados, however, can also be eaten with salads, , sandwiches, lean  foods (like chicken or fish) or even whole.”


Li Wang, Peter L. Bordi, Jennifer A. Fleming, Alison M. Hill, and Penny M. Kris‐etherton. Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With and Without Avocados on Lipoprotein Particle Number, Size and Subclasses in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Journal of the , January 2015 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001355

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