“Including one avocado each day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet compared to a comparable moderate-fat diet without an avocado provides additional LDL (low-density lipoproteins) lowering affects, which benefit CVD risk,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition.
Ms Kris-Etherton and colleagues tested three different diets, all designed to lower cholesterol: a lower-fat diet, consisting of 24 percent fat, and two moderate fat diets, with 34 percent fat. The moderate fat diets were nearly identical, however one diet incorporated one Hass avocado every day while the other used a comparable amount of high oleic acid oils — such as olive oil — to match the fatty acid content of one avocado. Hass avocados are the smaller, darker variety with bumpy green skin and have a higher nutrient content than Florida avocados which are larger and have smoother skin and a higher water content.
The researchers tested the diets with 45 healthy, overweight adults between the ages of 21 and 70. Compared to the participants’ baseline measurements, all three diets significantly lowered LDL — also known as bad cholesterol — as well as total cholesterol. However, participants experienced an even greater reduction in LDL and total cholesterol while on the avocado diet, compared to the other two diets, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The avocado diet decreased bad cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dL, while LDL was decreased by 8.3 mg/dL on the moderate-fat diet and by 7.4 mg/dL on the low-fat diet.