Avocado: America’s Most Powerful Fruit

The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit (yes, it is a fruit). While most fruit consist primarily of carbohydrates, the avocado is high in healthy fats, have more potassium than bananas and has proven to help prevent cancer.

The American Heart Association also has officially approved of a healthy avocado addiction with real research.

According to their findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating an entire avocado every day can dramatically improve heart health! The study involved 45 overweight, yet healthy adults. Over the course of two weeks their average American carb heavy and saturated fat diet was monitored. Then for the following five weeks their diet was switched to one of two diets: a low fat (avocado) or moderate fat diet (like sunflower and canola oil).

As expected the once the diet switched to the five week low- or moderate-fat diet, all participants’ cholesterol levels decreased, but what was a surprise was how much healthier the avocado eaters got.

Researchers found:

  • Compared to the baseline average American diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the so called ‘bad cholesterol’ – was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included an avocado. LDL was also lower on the moderate fat diet without the avocado (8.3 mg/dL lower) and the lower fat diet (7.4 mg/dL lower), though the results were not as striking as the avocado diet.
  • Several additional blood measurements were also more favorable after the avocado diet versus the other two cholesterol-lowering diets as well: total cholesterol, triglycerides, small dense LDL, non-HDL cholesterol, and others.

“This was a controlled feeding study, but that is not the real-world – so it is a proof-of-concept investigation. We need to focus on getting people to eat a heart-healthy diet that includes avocados and other nutrient-rich food sources of better fats,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., senior study author and chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.

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