Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers evaluated the effect avocados had on traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors by replacing saturated fatty acids from an average American diet with unsaturated fatty acids from avocados.
*Compared to the baseline average American
diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — the so
called ‘bad cholesterol’ — was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included an avocado. 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.
*Several additional blood measurements were
also more favorable after the avocado diet
versus the other two cholesterol-lowering
diets as well: total cholesterol, triglycerides,
small dense LDL, non-HDL cholesterol, and
For the study researchers used Hass avocados, the ones with bumpy green skin. avocados provides other bioactive components that could have contributed to the findings such as fiber, phytosterols, and other compounds.
According to researchers, many heart-healthy diets recommend replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids to reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because saturated fats can increase bad cholesterol levels and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
1. 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 American Heart Association, January 2015 DOI: 10.1161/ JAHA.114.001355