Daily avocado intake reduces “bad” cholesterol, promotes eye health

November 27, 2019

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), US, have recently found that eating an avocado a day led to lower levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) – specifically small, dense LDL particles – and oxidised LDL in adults classed as overweight or obese. Highlights of the study showed that avocados were capable of reducing the number of oxidised LDL particles that affects the human body in a similar way to oxygen browning/damaging food – too much oxidation is notably harmful on the body.

“Previous research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease,” Professor Penny Kris-Etherton said. She explains that dense, oxidised LDL particles can promote atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the artery wall.

This time, the researchers recruited 45 overweight/obese adult participants who followed a two-week “run-in” diet at the beginning of the study. This diet mimicked an average American diet and allowed all participants to begin the study on similar nutritional “footing.” Each participant was then required to complete five weeks of three different treatment diets in a randomised order. The diets either included an avocado a day or were supplemented with extra healthy fats to match the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that would be obtained from the avocados.

Participants on the avocado diet were seen to have significantly lower levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol after about a month and also had higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant important to good eye health.

Kris-Etherton thinks that people on the avocado diet who had more lutein were better protected against LDL oxidation which resulted in fewer oxidised LDL particles.The researchers added that it was likely that the fruit has additional bioactives that contributed to the benefits of the avocado diet.

If you can help protect the body through the foods that you eat, that could be very beneficial according to Kris-Etherton – as avocados are really high in healthy fats and other nutrients “consider adding avocados to your diet in a healthy way, like on whole-wheat toast or as a veggie dip” to improve health.

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Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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