October 28, 2019
Eating one avocado every day could reduce a person's bad cholesterol levels, Penn State University researchers said in new study.
The study looked at the effects of a diet that included avocados on overweight or obese adults. Adults who ate avocados daily lowered their levels of oxidized low-density lipoproteins, or LDLs, scientists from University Park said. The study was published in Journal of Nutrition this month.
Like how oxidation causes an apple to turn brown when it's exposed to the air, the study said oxidation's affect on bad cholesterol also is bad for the human body.
"A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like cancer and heart disease," said professor of nutrition Penny Kris-Etherton. "We know that when LDL particles become oxidized, 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."
To measure the LDL particles, the study recruited 45 overweight or obese adults to follow an average American's diet for two weeks. Then, the participants completed five weeks of three different treatment diets in a randomized order. The diets included a low-fat diet, a moderate-fat diet and a moderate-fat diet that included one avocado per day.
After five weeks on the avocado diet, scientists found participants had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol.
Kris-Etherton said that while the results of the study are promising, avocados are a new area of study and need to be further investigated about how they improve health.