AN AVOCADO A DAY KEEPS THE CARDIOLOGIST AWAY
Avocados are one of the few fruits that are also a healthy fat food. A 50g serve (or a quarter of an avocado) contains just 6g of total fat, that’s around the same amount of fat as in a teaspoon of cooking oil. Avocados are particularly rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. A healthy varied diet high in fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and contribute to good heart health. Numerous studies have discovered that a diet rich in avocados minimizes overall cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. A study carried out with rats showed that a diet rich with avocados boosted heart disease markers like increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing triglycerides in a period of five weeks. Avocados have high levels of potassium that could minimize blood pressure, a critical risk factor of heart attacks. Avocados are rich in polyphenols that assist in controlling heart disease by reversing acute and chronic inflammation. Beta-sitosterol is cholesterol that is plant-based and present at high levels in avocados. They can aid in lowering cholesterol levels. Avocados also have vitamins E and C. A study revealed that a mixture of vitamins E and C led to the hardening of arteries in individuals with high levels of cholesterol. Additionally, avocados are rich in B vitamin folate that assists to reduce the levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is a heart disease predictor.
If you’re aiming to promote heart health, research has shown that regularly eating avocados can help. Researchers assigned 45 overweight and obese study participants to three types of cholesterol-lowering diets for five weeks each: a low-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet and the avocado diet. The moderate-fat diet and avocado diet were similar in their type and amount of fat. Researchers found that consuming one avocado a day on the avocado diet resulted in more CVD benefits compared to the low-fat or moderate-fat diets. The avocado diet provided benefits beyond just the healthy fat content, leading to reductions in many factors that contribute to CVD, particularly through lowering LDL levels and raising HDL levels. The additional benefits on the avocado diet may be due to the phytosterol (a group of compounds found in plant-based foods that have been found to help lower cholesterol) and fiber content of the avocados. Once again, a whole food confers benefits beyond its individual components. So, let your taste buds enjoy guacamole just as much as your heart does!