According to a new study by the State University of Pennsylvania, an avocado a day can be of great help in countering the so-called “bad cholesterol” intended both as oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and as small and dense LDL particles, particularly in obese or overweight adults.
The researchers analyzed the effects of one avocado per day on 45 overweight or obese adult participants. The two-week experiment saw a first phase during which participants carried out an average American diet. Following this first phase, in a second phase, each participant completed three different therapeutic diets in random order lasting five weeks and one of these included an avocado per day while another was supplemented with extra healthy fats to counterbalance the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids obtained through an avocado per day.
After five weeks the researchers noticed that participants who consumed an avocado per day showed much lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol than at the start of the second phase of the study and compared to the other two groups. These participants also showed higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant.
“When you think of bad cholesterol, you think of LDL particles, which vary in size,” reports Penny Kris-Etherton, the study’s author. “All LDLs are bad, but small and dense LDLs are particularly bad. A key finding is that people on an avocado diet had fewer oxidized LDL particles. They also had more lutein, which could be the bioactive that protects LDL from oxidation.”
Furthermore, the diet based on moderate fats without avocado but which included the same monounsaturated fatty acids as this fruit show that the avocado itself must have additional positive bioactive elements.
According to Kris-Etherton, this research shows that, as regards the “avocado” topic, we still know only the tip of the iceberg and that there are many things that can be known with further research regarding this fruit rich in healthy fats, carotenoids and numerous other nutrients.
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