Eating This Fruit Once a Day Can Decrease Bad Cholesterol, Says New Study
According to a randomized trial conducted with researchers from Penn State, Loma Linda, Tufts, UCLA, and Wake Forest universities, participants who ate one avocado a day for six months saw a decrease in unhealthy cholesterol levels in their bodies. This study was in an effort to determine whether eating avocados can help lower body weight, body mass index (BMI), and weight circumference. Out of the 1,000 overweight and obese participants, half were assigned to eat one avocado a day while the other half were encouraged to continue their normal way of eating.
While the study did not find regular avocado consumption to have an effect on belly fat, liver fat, and waist circumference, the differences in lower LDL cholesterol levels were enough for researchers to take note of.
Keeping LDL cholesterol low is good for your heart health
The body is known to produce two types of cholesterol—high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol and can help to get rid of the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood, which can build up in your arteries.
According to the American Heart Association, consuming a diet that is high in saturated and trans fats can build up your LDL cholesterol, which increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, while avocados are known for having a higher fat count—with 29 grams of fat in one fruit—they are popularly known for being a rich source of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels, which in turn decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study from the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a higher avocado intake was associated with lower cardiovascular and coronary heart disease risk—especially when replaced with other fat-containing foods.
One in every four deaths in the United States is the result of heart disease and is known to be the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Avocado consumption also did not result in body weight gain
Even though the trial did not result in a difference in belly fat and waist circumference, consuming an avocado a day did not result in extra weight gain—despite avocados being calorically dense.
“This is positive because eating extra calories from avocados doesn’t impact body weight or abdominal fat, and it slightly decreases total and LDL cholesterol,” said Joan Sabaté, professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, in the study overview.
While one avocado is 322 calories, it is also high in fiber, with 13 grams in just one fruit. Avocados contain soluble fiber, a type of fiber that is known to absorb cholesterol in your bloodstream and flush it out. Eating at least 30 grams of fiber in a day can also help with weight management, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s insulin levels.
The researchers also concluded that for participants who ate one avocado a day, the quality of their diets also significantly improved.
“This is important because we know a higher diet quality is associated with lower risk of several diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers,” said Kristina Petersen, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University, in the study overview.
So why not avocados into your daily diet for improved cholesterol levels with these 9 Delicious Avocado Recipes?