One Avocado a Day
According to researchers, eating one avocado a day can lower “bad cholesterol”, where bad cholesterol can refer to both oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and small, dense LDL particles.
Small, dense LDL particles are considered particularly harmful for promoting plaque buildup in the arteries. In addition, a lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease.
A Randomized Controlled Trial (in overweight and obese participants)
All participants followed a two-week “run-in” diet at the beginning of the study.
This allowed all subjects to begin the study on similar nutritional “footing.”
Next, came three different treatment diets in a randomized order for five weeks:
A low-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet plus one avocado a day.
The moderate-fat diet without avocados were supplemented with healthy fats to match the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that would be obtained from the avocados.
The Role of Lutein
A key finding was that the avocado diet led to higher levels of Lutein (a carotenoid linked to improved eye and brain health). Moreover, only the avocado diet significantly improved the biomarkers of heart disease. This suggests it was not the monounsaturated fats in the avocado, but rather Lutein that may be the bioactive that’s protects the LDL from being oxidized?
Avocados are really high in healthy fats, carotenoids and other nutrients. So nutrient-dense; we’re only just beginning to learn the full extent to which they can improve health.