Avocados + Heart = True?

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Who else loves avocado on toast on a Sunday?

Avocados contain a variety of essential nutrients such as vitamins, fibers and minerals. Unlike other fruits, avocados are low in sugar and contain monounsaturated fatty-acid-rich oil, which helps to increase the bioavailability of carotenoids (precursor to Vitamin A) in your salads.

Eight studies on the heart healthy benefits of avocados have consistently demonstrated positive beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels by increasing HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).This is primarily due to avocado’s high unsaturated fatty acid content and low saturated fatty acids.

It is important to remember, however, that more HDL isn’t the same thing as preventing heart disease, and there are surprisingly few studies looking at heart disease after avocado consumption, or any vegetable whatsoever for that matter (1). Still, you can’t go wrong with Avocados. Taste great, and their natural phytosterols and dietary fibers may also lower cholesterol levels.

Sources:

1. Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009874.pub2

2. Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With and Without Avocados on Lipoprotein Particle Number, Size and Subclasses in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001355

3. Mark L. Dreher. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May; 53(7): 738®C750

4. Wien M. Effect of incorporating avocado in meals on satiety in healthy overweight adults. 2011. 11th European Nutrition Conference of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies. October, 27. Madrid, Spain

5. Unlu N. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J. Nutr. 2005;135:431®C436

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