Eating an avocado a day can help keep levels of the so-called 'bad' LDL cholesterol in check, especially if you are obese or overweight.
It's an example of eating 'good' unsaturated fatty acids that are found in avocados and which replace the saturated fatty acids in the typical diet in America and the West.
Substituting the two fats makes for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, and has a positive impact on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, say researchers from Pennsylvania State University.
They changed the diet of 45 heart patients three times over five weeks, and each sampled a low-fat diet without avocado, and moderate-fat diets with and without avocado. The patients ranged in weight from normal to overweight to obese.
Eating an avocado each day seemed to be the significant difference in the three diets, the researchers found, and especially among the patients who were overweight or obese. But similar healthy effects could be seen if people adopt more of the ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish and foods rich in mono-unsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil or nuts, say the researchers.
(Source: Journal of the American Heart Association, January 2015; doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001355)