Avocados Counter Cholesterol
With previous studies showing a capacity to reduce a person’s risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, fresh avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Enrolling 45 healthy, overweight adults between the ages of 21 and 70 years, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues tested three different diets, all designed to lower cholesterol: a lower-fat diet, consisting of 24 percent fat, and two moderate fat diets, with 34 percent fat. The moderate fat diets were nearly identical, however one diet incorporated one Hass avocado every day while the other used a comparable amount of high oleic acid oils — such as olive oil — to match the fatty acid content of one avocado. Whereas all three diets significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL; “bad”) cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol, only those on the avocado diet showed an even greater reduction in LDL and total cholesterol. The avocado diet decreased bad cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dL, while LDL was decreased by 8.3 mg/dL on the moderate-fat diet and by 7.4 mg/dL on the low-fat diet. Observing that: “Inclusion of one avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet has additional LDL-C, LDL-P, and non-HDL-C lowering effects, especially for small, dense LDL,” the study authors conclude that: “Our results demonstrate that avocados have beneficial effects on cardio-metabolic risk factors that extend beyond their heart-healthy fatty acid profile.”
Wang L, Bordi PL, Fleming JA, Hill AM, Kris-Etherton PM. “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.” J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Jan 7;4(1). pii: e001355.