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Avocado a Day to Keep Heart Disease Away?

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Avocados could be the new apple, if a recent clinical trial is correct.

The small study of 45 overweight adults, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that a moderate-fat diet, which included one avocado per day, cut participants’ LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 13.5 points in just five weeks. Two other avocado-free diets—one low-fat, one moderate-fat—also lowered LDL, but not to the same degree.

For the study, researchers recruited adults who were free of heart disease but were overweight or obese. Each participant followed a typical “American” diet, then spent five weeks on each of three study diets: the moderate-fat avocado diet, where about one-third of calories came from fat; a similar but avocado-free diet; and a low-fat diet with about one-quarter of calories from fat.

All of the diets included fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. In the end, the avocado diet proved to be the most effective at cutting LDL. What’s so special about avocados? It’s not clear, but they are a good source of monounsaturated fat, fiber and plant-based chemicals called phytosterols, which can help lower LDL levels.

There is no “magic-bullet” food, so if you do eat avocados, do so as part of a generally heart-smart diet. Instead of going the guacamole-and-chips route, include avocado in salads or sandwiches, or simply eat them whole.

 

 

Posted in Heart Health on April 6, 2016


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


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