High cholesterol: a daily serving of avocado could lower your level – ‘Important’
High cholesterol describes a waxy substance that can build up in your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow. Characterized by the absence of warning signs, high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Luckily, what you eat could help you get your red-zone levels back.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a powerful food that could help lower your cholesterol levels is avocado.
The study shares that while eating an avocado a day has no effect on belly fat, liver fat, or waistline, it may help fight cholesterol.
Additionally, small food can be bought for as little as 79p in some shops.
The specific type of cholesterol that the fruit can lower is what is known as LDL low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
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Although not all cholesterol is harmful, the type known as LDL or “bad” cholesterol is responsible for increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
You might be surprised, but your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells. This is where “good” cholesterol comes in.
While previous smaller studies have linked avocados to lower body weight, BMI and waist circumference, this new study represents the largest and most thorough research on the effects of avocados on health.
Penny Kris-Etherton said: “Although avocados did not affect belly fat or weight gain, the study still provides evidence that avocados can be a beneficial addition to a well-balanced diet.
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“Incorporating one avocado daily in this study did not lead to weight gain and also led to a slight decrease in LDL cholesterol, all of which are important findings for better health.”
Additionally, researchers also found that daily consumption of avocados can improve participants’ overall diet quality by eight points on a 100-point scale.
Kristina Petersen said, “Adherence to dietary guidelines for Americans is generally poor in the United States, and our results suggest that eating an avocado a day can significantly increase overall diet quality.
“This is important because we know that a higher quality diet is associated with a lower risk of several diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.”
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Looking at more than 1,000 overweight or obese participants, the researchers conducted a six-month experiment.
Half of these subjects were told to eat avocado daily while the others followed their usual diet and limited their fruit intake.
The research team found that avocados were able to lower total cholesterol by 2.9 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and LDL cholesterol by 2.5 mg/dL.
Now, the researchers plan to continue analyzing the data, eventually finding an effective way to include avocados in a diet.
Avocados are a powerful source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
The general rule for a cholesterol-lowering diet is to reduce saturated fat while including unsaturated fat in your diet.
Saturated fats can raise your bad cholesterol – think sausages, cookies and cheese.
However, the unsaturated fats found in avocado, fatty fish, and nuts contain a healthier type of fat.
And indeed, the fruit stuffed with unsaturated fats may have slightly lowered your cholesterol levels.