Avocados might help you lower your cholesterol.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association by researchers at Penn State University found that incorporating an avocado a day into an otherwise healthy, moderate‐fat diet can lower LDL‐C, LDL‐P, and non‐HDL‐C cholesterol – the trifecta otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol.
And while the study doesn’t give you carte blanche at the buffet, this is good news for fans of the fruit, said Spectrum Health Community Nutrition Educator Jessica Corwin.
“I am a huge fan of avocados, so I’m excited about it,” she said. “The study was looking at healthy diets, so you can’t just live on fries and steak and throw in an avocado and become healthy, but it’s good news.”
Among their many benefits, avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, in addition to more than 20 vitamins, minerals and fiber, according to the California Avocado Commission. That makes them an excellent addition to your diet, Corwin said.
“It’s just a really nutrient-rich food,” she said. “And if we’re supposed to be making half of our plates fruits and vegetables, it’s a good way to reach that goal each day.”
And according to the study, it’s a good way to lower your bad cholesterol in the process.
The researchers studied 45 otherwise healthy overweight and obese people ages 21-70, giving them one of three cholesterol-lowering diets: one low-fat diet, one moderate-fat diet without avocados, and one moderate-fat diet with an avocado a day.
The avocado diet nearly doubled the reduction in bad cholesterol of the other two diets, including a drop in their LDL level of 13.5 milligrams per deciliter.
“It wasn’t a drastic drop, but it was twice as much drop as those who followed the low-fat diet,” Corwin said. “So, there does seem to be something magic about the avocado.”
The new study could increase the avocado’s already-surging popularity, Corwin said.
“It’s a trendy thing, and they’re becoming much more available in stores,” she said. “I really love them. You can put them in your smoothie, in pudding, I even put them on turkey burgers. You can put them on a sandwich to make it just a little more decadent.”