1. Eating one avocado every day can help improve cholesterol levels
Researchers have found that consuming one avocado every day for 6 months resulted in a slight reduction in harmful cholesterol levels.
Including an avocado every day didn’t lead to weight gain and also resulted in a slight reduction in LDL cholesterol.
The researchers carried out a 6-month study involving over 1,000 obese or overweight individuals, half of whom were told to consume an avocado every day while the other half carried on consuming their normal diet and instructed to limit consumption of avocados to less than 2 each month.
Abdominal fat and fat surrounding other organs were precisely measured making use of MRI before the study and at the conclusion.
Although one avocado a day didn’t result in abdominal fat and other cardiometabolic risk factor improvements that were clinically significant, eating 1 avocado every day also didn’t result in body weight gain, and total and LDL-cholesterol was slightly reduced.
It was also found that daily avocados reduced total cholesterol by 2.9 mg/dL and reduced LDL cholesterol by 2.5 mg/dL.
Another study found that eating one avocado every day was linked to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, particularly small, dense LDL cholesterol particles, and oxidized LDL cholesterol in obese or overweight individuals. Bad cholesterol can mean both oxidized LDL cholesterol and small, dense LDL cholesterol particles.
The researchers found that when 1 avocado was included every day in their diet, participants had fewer small, dense LDL cholesterol particles compared to before the diet. Small, dense LDL cholesterol particles are especially harmful for promoting artery plaque buildup.
The study discovered that avocados helped decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol particles. Just like the way food is damaged by oxygen, such as an apple turning brown after being cut, oxidation is also harmful to the human body.
The researchers enlisted 45 obese or overweight individuals to participate in the study. All individuals adhered to a 2-week “warm-up” diet at the start of the study which resembled the average diet allowing all individuals to start the study on equivalent nutritional “footing.”
Each individual then completed 5 weeks of 3 different intervention diets randomly ordered. Diets included a low-fat intervention diet, a moderate-fat intervention diet, as well as a moderate-fat intervention diet that included 1 avocado every day. The avocado-free moderate-fat diet was supplemented with additional healthy fats to correspond to the avocados’ monounsaturated fatty acids.
After the avocado diet had been followed for 5 weeks, individuals had significantly reduced oxidized LDL cholesterol levels compared to before the start of the study or after the low- and moderate-fat diets were completed. Individuals also had higher lutein levels following the avocado diet.
2. Eating one avocado every day can help improve cognitive function
According to a study, eating 1 fresh avocado every day could result in improved cognitive function in healthy older individuals because of increased levels of lutein in the eye and brain.
The researchers monitored 40 healthy individuals aged 50 and older who consumed 1 fresh avocado every day for 6 months and experienced a 25% increase in levels of lutein in their eyes and a significant improvement in problem-solving skills and working memory.
Lutein is a carotenoid normally found in vegetables and fruit that accumulates in the brain, eye, and blood and acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
As 1 medium avocado was included in the participants’ daily diet, researchers monitored a gradual increase in the amount of lutein in their eyes and progressive cognition skill improvements as measured by tests created to assess attention levels, processing speed, and memory.
In comparison, the control group participants who didn’t consume avocados had fewer cognitive health improvements throughout the study period.
The study results are according to the daily consumption of 1 whole avocado. More research is required to evaluate if the results could be replicated with the daily consumption of the recommended portion size of 1/3 of an avocado.
The control diet consisted of either 1 cup of chickpeas or 1 medium potato instead of the avocado. Potatoes and chickpeas were chosen as the control diet due to the fact that they provided the same calorie level, but a minimal amount of monounsaturated fats and lutein.
The study results indicate that the lutein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats make avocados especially effective at increasing neural levels of lutein, which could provide benefits for brain health as well as eye health.
The study results also found more than double the levels of lutein in the eye in individuals consuming avocados, in comparison to those consuming a supplement.
3. Eating avocado every day can help improve health of the gut microbiome
A study has shown that including avocado in our daily diet can help improve the health of the gut. The study determined that individuals consuming avocado included in daily meals had a significantly greater abundance of gut microbes that help in breaking down fiber and producing gut health-supporting metabolites.
Greater microbial diversity was also observed in comparison to participants who didn’t have avocado meals. Microbial metabolites are compounds produced by the microbes that have an impact on health. Bile acids were reduced and short-chain fatty acids were increased with the consumption of avocados.
The study consisted of 163 obese or overweight but otherwise healthy individuals between the ages of 25 and 45. One meal was provided every day for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner with 1 group consuming an avocado with every meal, and the control group consuming the same meal but with no avocado.
Fecal, urine, and blood samples were provided during the 12-week study. How much of the provided meals they ate was also reported and everything they consumed every 4 weeks was recorded.
Individuals in this study weren’t advised to change or restrict what they consumed. They instead ate their normal diets except for substituting 1 meal daily with the meal the study provided.
The objective of this research was to take a look at the impact of avocado intake on the gastrointestinal microbiota and to test the theory that the gut microbiota is positively influenced by the fiber and the fats in avocados.
Avocados are full of fat, but the study discovered that although the avocado group participants ate somewhat more calories compared to the control group participants, they excreted more fat.
Greater excretion of fat indicates the individuals were taking in less energy from the consumption of foods. This was probably due to bile acid reductions, which are molecules secreted by the digestion system that enable fat absorption.
The researchers observed that the fat levels in the stool were greater and the bile acid levels in the stool were lower in the group that consumed the avocado. Different kinds of fats have a degree of difference in the effects on the microbiome.
Soluble fiber content is also of significance and consuming fiber is necessary for the microbiome. A medium avo delivers about 12 grams of fiber.
4. Eating an avocado every day can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
According to a study, consuming 2 or more helpings of avocado every week is linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, and replacing avocado for certain fat-containing foods such as processed meats, cheese, or butter is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events.
Avocados contain unsaturated fats, particularly healthy monounsaturated fats, dietary fiber, and other beneficial components that have been linked to improved cardiovascular health.
Over 41,700 men between the ages of 40 and 75 years who had participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and over 68,780 women between the ages of 30 and 55 years who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study were followed for 30 years.
All individuals were free of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer at the beginning of the study. 5,290 strokes and 9,185 coronary heart disease events were reported in the follow-up period of 30 years.
The diets of the participants were evaluated by making use of food frequency questionnaires provided at the start of the study and then every 4 years. Consumption of avocado was calculated from a questionnaire item that inquired about the frequency and amount consumed. One serving equaled half an avocado or half a cup of avocado.
The analysis revealed:
• After overall diet and various cardiovascular risk factors were considered, individuals consuming a minimum of 2 helpings of avocado weekly had a 16% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk and a 21% reduction in coronary heart disease risk, when compared with individuals never or rarely consuming avocados.
• Statistical modeling determined that substituting half a daily portion of margarine, yogurt, cheese, butter, egg, or processed meats with the equal avocado amount was linked to a 16% to 22% reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease events.
• The replacement of half a daily helping of avocado with the equal amount of nuts, olive oil, as well as other plant oils resulted in no additional benefit.
• No associations were reported with regards to the amount of avocado consumed and stroke risk.
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