Some new research is taking a bit of shine away from apples, traditionally known as the daily habit to carve out a little distance from doctors. The new food on the block is avocado, which if consumed daily may limit your need for a regular check-up by lowering cholesterol.
Researchers at Penn State have found that eating one avocado per day can help keep “bad” LDL cholesterol at bay. Using a randomized control study, the team found that overweight or obese participants who ate an avocado each day for five weeks showed reductions in two types of LDL cholesterol.
There are a few different types of LDL cholesterol. Two of particular concern include small dense particles and bigger oxidized particles. The small dense ones can accumulate on the inside of arteries and make it harder for blood to flow through, thereby contributing to high blood pressure. The less-dense oxidized particles may damage tissue by spreading oxidation. To get a visual, think of what happens when you take a bite of an apple and let it sit. That brown color that appears is oxidation caused by exposure to the air.
Penny Kris-Etherton, who worked on the study, said: “A lot of research points to oxidation being the basis for conditions like…heart disease. 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.”
Avocado appears to fight back against LDL as an antioxidant and caretaker. Lutein is the antioxidant that may give avocado its ability to lower levels of oxidized LDL. Its healthy monounsaturated fats may help to clean out small, dense LDL that has, or can, accumulate to clog arteries.
You can fit an avocado into your routine and potentially experience some similar results. Slicing one to spread on toast or eat in a salad are easy ways to take advantage of this heart-healthy fruit.
No food, of course, can eliminate your need to visit the doctor. But making a choice to include nutrient-dense foods into your life can likely limit the number of visits you’ll have to make!