An avocado a day keeps the cholesterol away

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You knew that avocados are tasty and good for your health, but did you know how good? According to a study conducted by researchers at Penn State University, regular consumption of avocado can help lower LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad cholesterol” thanks to its association with cardiovascular disease.

A previous study by the same group “showed that the inclusion of 1 avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet had additional benefits on lowering small, dense LDL (sdLDL) and lipoprotein remnants in overweight and obese adults compared with a lower-fat diet, as well as a macronutrient- and fatty acid–matched diet.”

This new study was an extension of that previous research, the goal being to further examine the beneficial effects avocado can have on our health, particularly in comparison to other diets believed to lower cholesterol levels.

Researchers gathered 45 overweight or obese participants and had them eat a typical Western diet for two weeks. The participants were then divided into three diet groups: (1) low-fat, (2) moderate-fat and (3) moderate-fat including one avocado per day. The participants stayed on said diets for five weeks, after which their cholesterol levels were measured. According to the study, group 3 showed “significantly lower levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol than before the study began or after completing the low and moderate-fat diets.”

“Including 1 avocado per day in a heart-healthy diet decreased circulating oxLDL and increased plasma lutein concentrations compared with a typical Western diet, a macronutrient- and fatty acid–matched moderate-fat diet, and a lower-fat, high-carbohydrate diet,” the study states, adding:

“Avocados have a unique nutrient and bioactive profile that appears to play an important role in reducing LDL oxidation, hence decreasing LDL atherogenicity. Additional long-term prospective and intervention studies are needed to evaluate the effect of avocado consumption on clinical CVD [cardiovascular disease] outcomes and determine the role that avocados may play in the primary and secondary prevention of CVD.”

Now could you pass the guacamole, please?