Avocados may lower cholesterol in overweight patients

Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that eating one avocado per day as part of a healthy diet can help to lower cholesterol

In a crossover, controlled trial, researchers randomly assigned 45 overweight or obese participants with high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels to one of three cholesterol-lowering diets: a lower-fat (24% fat) diet, a moderate-fat (34%) diet and a moderate-fat diet that included one fresh avocado per day.

All three diets were maintained for 5 weeks, and after a 2 week washout period, participants switched diet groups until they had all experienced each of the three diets.

At the end of the trial, all three diets resulted in lower LDL and total cholesterol levels when compared with baseline measures.

The lower-fat and moderate-fat diets reduced LDL by approximately 5% and total cholesterol by about 4%. The moderate-fat diet including avocado resulted in significantly greater decreases in LDL (10% reduction) and total cholesterol (8% decrease).

Additionally, only the avocado diet significantly decreased LDL particle number, small dense LDL cholesterol the ratio of LDL to high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

The researchers concluded that adding one avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat cholesterol-lowering diet has beneficial effects on risk factors for heart disease, thanks to the avocado’s monounsaturated fatty acid content that can easily replace saturated fatty acids in the diet.