According to a new study by the State University of Pennsylvania, one avocado per day can be a great help in combating so-called “bad cholesterol,” which is understood both as oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and as small and dense LDL particles, especially in obese or overweight adults.
Researchers analyzed the effects of one avocado per day on 45 overweight or obese adult participants. The experiment, which lasted two weeks, provided a first phase in which the participants performed an average American diet. After this first phase, each participant in a second phase underwent three different therapeutic diets in random order of five weeks, one containing one avocado per day, while another was supplemented with extra healthy fats to compensate for the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids obtained by one avocado per day.
After five weeks, the researchers found that participants who consumed one avocado per day had a much lower oxidized LDL cholesterol content than at the beginning of the second phase of the study and than in the other two groups. These participants also showed a higher content of lutein, an antioxidant.
“When you think of bad cholesterol, you think of particles of LDL that vary in size,” reports Penny Kris-Etherton, the author of the study. “All LDLs are bad, but small, dense LDLs are particularly bad. An important finding is that people on an avocado diet had fewer oxidized LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which could be the bioactive agent that protects LDL from oxidation.”
In addition, the moderate low-fat diet without avocado, which contains the same monounsaturated fatty acids as this fruit, shows that the avocado itself must have additional positive bioactive elements. According to Kris-Etherton, this research shows that we still only know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to avocado and that there are many things that can be known in further research into this fruit, which is rich in healthy fats, carotenoids and many other nutrients.
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