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Daily helping of avocado helps keep cholesterol down

Researchers have revealed that consuming one avocado a day can help improve bad cholesterol levels. Known as the ‘avocado’ diet, the fruit is said to improve blood fat scores linked to heart disease, including significantly lowering cholesterol.

By simply using the fruit to replace unhealthy fats such as fried foods, sweets, margarine, pastries and those bad snack foods we all love from time to time, individuals with high cholesterol can expect to benefit from a 10% drop in LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

The study looked at 45 healthy, overweight or obese patients between the ages of 21 and 70. All participants were put on three cholesterol-lowering diet plans. They consumed an average diet for two weeks prior to starting on one of the three diets.

The first diet was lower fat without the use of avocado, the second diet consisted of moderate-fat without avocado and the other was moderate-fat with one avocado a day.

Each participant in the study consumed each test diet for five weeks before having their LDL, ‘bad cholesterol’ levels measured.

Researchers found that compared to the average American diet, LDL levels were 13.5mg/dL lower after eating the diet which included the avocado.

Although LDL levels dropped on all diets, the results were far more significant on the one which involved the daily consumption of avocado.

It wasn’t just the LDL cholesterol which improved either, with several additional blood measurements including total cholesterol and triglycerides.

In addition to helping lower cholesterol levels, avocados also contain compounds such as fibre and phytosterols which helped improve the overall heart health of the patient.

Dr Kris-Etherton, the Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University said: “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.”

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