In a new study, avocados are in the spotlight for their cholesterol-reducing benefits.
A randomized trial found that eating one avocado a day for six months does not impact body fat; it contributes to a decrease in LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol. This research was recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
More than 1,000 participants were used for this six-month study, all of whom were overweight or obese. Half the participants were instructed to eat one avocado a day, and the other half were told to limit their avocado intake.
Kristina Petersen, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University, noted that this study found daily avocado intake to improve the overall quality of a participant’s diet, serving as a good influence. “Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is generally poor in the U.S., and our findings suggest that eating an avocado per day can substantially increase overall diet quality,” Petersen says. “This is important because a higher diet quality is associated with lower risk of several diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.”
The abdominal fat of the participants was measured via MRI before and after the trial. The results showed that avocados neither reduced nor increased belly fat.
“While one avocado a day did not lead to clinically significant improvements in abdominal fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors, consuming one avocado a day did not result in body weight gain,” according to Joan Sabaté, professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. “This is positive because eating extra calories from avocados doesn’t impact body weight or abdominal fat, and it slightly decreases total and LDL-cholesterol.”
More research is needed, as this study did not monitor how participants ate their avocados or what time of day. Future studies will examine these nuances to see how they affect the outcomes.
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