According to the research carried out by Penny Kris-Etherton and her team of researchers, it was uncovered that taking one avocado a day could help keep bad cholesterol at bay for heart-healthy benefits.
At Penn State, researchers looked at 45 participants with obesity and overweight between the age of 21 to 71
Mimicking the average American diet, these researchers placed the participants on similar nutritional diets for two weeks. After this, they were randomly allotted to a sequence of 3 weeks diets for an additional five weeks.
During this controlled feeding study, these participants were placed on a low-fat diet, moderate-diet (this includes one avocado a day), and also moderate-fat diets without avocado (but introduced some extra healthy fats to balance the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids contained in the avocados.)
In the randomized state, these researchers discovered that eating one avocado a day contributed to lower levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and oxidized LDL in adults with obesity and overweight as it was seen evident among the 45 participants on the test (before, between, and after the five weeks on the avocado diet).
After following these five weeks on avocado diet plans, participants also had higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant.
Also, these researchers explained how bad cholesterol could refer to both small, dense LDL particles and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL). According to them, using cut apple as a case study – “oxidation processes are bad for the human body just as a cut apple turns brown when exposed to oxygen.”
According to the words of study author Penny Kris-Etherton, she said
When you think about bad cholesterol, it comes packaged in LDL particles, which vary in size.
All LDL is bad, but small, dense LDL is particularly bad. A key finding was that people on the avocado diet had fewer oxidized LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which may be the bioactive that’s protecting the LDL from being oxidized.
A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease.
We know that when LDL particles become oxidized, that starts a chain reaction that can promote atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the artery wall. Oxidation is not good, so if you can help protect the body through the foods that you eat, that could be very beneficial.
Consequently, people should consider adding avocados to their diet in a healthy way, like on whole-wheat toast or as a veggie dip.
However, Penny Kris-Etherton, in her further speech, noted that, even though the research work she and her team carried out maybe so useful and promising, more research is still required.
Nutrition research on avocados is a relatively new area of study, so I think we’re at the tip of the iceberg for learning about their health benefits.
Avocados are really high in healthy fats, carotenoids – which are important for eye health-and other nutrients. They are such a nutrient-dense package, and I think we’re just beginning to learn about how they can improve health.
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Penny Kris-Etherton is a distinguished professor of nutrition. A world-recognized expert on the effects of diet on established & emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease. She published these findings in the Journal of Nutrition.