Avocados help lower levels of bad cholesterol

avIn spite of their strange appearance, avocados pack a serious health punch and are full of healthy fats, vitamins and other nutrients.

New research has found they may also help with your cholesterol. The study, conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, analyzed the effect avocados had on cardiovascular risk factors by replacing saturated fatty acids from an average American diet with unsaturated fatty acids from avocados.

Researchers found that compared to the baseline average American diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as ‘bad cholesterol’ was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included avocado – a significantly lower level than those consuming less fat without a daily avocado in their diet.

“Avocados are packed with vitamins, minerals, and potential health benefits. They are rich in monounsaturated fat, which helps reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol within the blood,” says Cara Sloss, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association. “They contain more potassium than bananas and are rich in vitamins B, C, and K.”

“Research has suggested benefits including a reduced risk of stroke, cancer, and coronary artery disease, along with improved diabetes control. Although there are many benefits, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet,” she says.

The results held regardless of the weight of the participant on the diet.