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Do You Do Avocado?

Sep. 21, 2015|204 views
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Avocados are growing in popularity.  And I can assure you that’s a good thing. Back when Americans were taught to fear the fat, avocados and other high-fat natural foods (like nuts, for example) fell out of favor. Experts assumed that fat—which has more calories per unit than carbohydrates or protein—was inherently bad for you.

Those so-called experts were wrong. We now know that certain fats are actually beneficial. For example, peanuts and tree nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat (in moderation, of course). They’re good for cardiovascular health, probably due to their high content of heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, and various minerals. They’re even a dieter’s friend, because research has shown that snacking on nuts helps curtail hunger, which translates to greater weight loss and better weight management.

Getting back to avocados; it’s true that this handsome fruit is high in fat. But the monounsaturated fats in avocados are good for the heart, and according to new research, published recently in the Journal of the American Heart Association, one of the reasons has to do with their ability to lower blood levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol. In fact, according to the results of the study, a moderate-fat diet featuring an avocado a day slashed LDL-cholesterol levels more than a low-fat diet without avocados.

You read that right. Avocado eaters were consuming more fat overall, but had better blood lipid results. On average, subjects cut their LDL levels by almost 15 mg/dL by eating one Haas avocado daily, for five weeks. If your LDL is borderline high, that alone could make the difference between too high and perfectly acceptable. Even better, the greatest reductions were in a form of LDL called small, dense LDL, which is especially problematic in terms of the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Wang L1, Bordi PL2, Fleming JA1, Hill AM3, Kris-Etherton PM1. 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):e001355. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001355.

 

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