A new study from Penn State University has found that avocados can help lower "bad" cholesterol levels.
The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggest that an avo a day can lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a type of cholesterol that can cause stroke or heart attack.
For the investigation, researchers recruited 45 adults who were either overweight or obese. During the first two weeks, volunteers stuck to a diet that "mimicked an average American diet" to ensure that all participants began "the study on similar nutritional ‘footing,’”
Following the two week spell, the 45 adults were split into three groups, each consisting of a different diet: low-fat, moderate-fat or a moderate-fat including an avocado each day.
After five weeks, scientists noticed that participants who ate an avocado a day “had significantly lower levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol than before the study began or after completing the low- and moderate-fat diets. Participants also had higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant, after the avocado diet.”
"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 oxidised LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which may be the bioactive that's protecting the LDL from being oxidised,” said professor of nutrition Penny Kris-Etherton.
"A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease," Kris-Etherton continued.
"We know that when LDL particles become oxidised, 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."
So how about some avo on toast, huh?