Avocado is one of the most popular fruits out there, and that’s because of the many benefits it has for our health and diet. It can be consumed in many different ways and recipes, and can fit anyone’s tastes. Thanks to its properties, this wonder fruit is ideal for people who have cholesterol-related conditions.
Avocados are extremely rich in nutrients
The avocado is at the top of the so-called “superfoods”. It is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and among these we can list:
Lutein. This powerful antioxidant is very good for eye health, as it protects us against ultraviolet rays and improves night vision.
Vitamins. Among the many vitamins that avocados contain, we can mention vitamin B (B5, B6 and B9), folic acid, and vitamins C, D, E and K.
Potassium. The avocado fruit is one of the richest sources of potassium, the content being even higher than that of a banana. This is an essential electrolyte that helps regulate our heartbeat, and is extremely important for our health.
Fiber. An avocado contains, on average, 11 grams of fiber. More specifically, half of the recommended daily allowance.
Unfortunately, the biggest disadvantage of this fruit is the large amount of fat it contains. Of course, in this case we are talking about a healthy fat source, source derived from monounsaturated fats. On average, an avocado contains 200-300 calories, the amount being larger than that of any other fruit or vegetable. So it is ideal to not consume avocados in too large quantities, in order to avoid any unwanted weight gain.
Avocados and their effect on cholesterol
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has shown the benefits of avocados in successfully lowering cholesterol levels. These fruits are rich in monounsaturated fats and other healthy fats that help lower LDL cholesterol levels associated with coronary atherosclerosis and infarction. Researchers studied the progress of 45 participants considered overweight and at the risk of obesity, who were also found to have high cholesterol levels. In order to reduce cholesterol levels, they split the participants into three groups and tried different diets:
- A low fat diet, without avocados
- A diet containing moderate fats and a fresh avocado a day
- A diet containing moderate fats and no avocados.
The participants (aged between 21 and 70) followed each diet for five weeks, then returning to their usual routines for two weeks before switching to the next diet.
The results were quite exciting:
- The diet including an avocado per day resulted in a significant decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol. On average, after five weeks, it decreased by about 13.5 mg / dL.
- The avocado-free diet resulted in a decrease of 8.3 mg / dL over the same time interval.
- The low-fat diet that did not include avocado resulted in a decrease of 7.5 mg / dL.
Also, when following the avocado diet, two other aspects enjoyed favorable results in participants: the total cholesterol and triglycerides levels.