According to new research out of Penn State University, regularly eating avo may assist in lowering our ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels – the kind that causes stroke and heart attacks.
For the study, 45 overweight or obese participants were asked to stick to an eating regime that “mimicked an average American diet” for 14 days. After this time, they were split into three groups, with each group following a low-fat diet, moderate-fat diet or a moderate-fat diet that included one serve of the fruit per day.
After five weeks, the scientists noted that the latter group had “significantly lower levels of oxidised LDL cholesterol than before the study began or after completing the low and moderate-fat diets.”
The participants on the avocado diet also had higher levels of the antioxidant lutein, which previous studies suggest have found to prevent cholesterol accumulation and decrease oxidised LDL.
"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,” professor of nutrition and the study’s author Penny Kris-Etherton explained.
"A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease. 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."
Anyone for smashed avo on toast?