We all know the old Welsh saying, “Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread.” OK… maybe not. The more common version is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Either way, the idea is that adhering to healthy eating habits means fewer visits to the doctor. Well, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, we might need to add a new saying: “An avocado a day keeps your bad cholesterol low.” That may not be as catchy as the one about the apple, but it’s every bit as important.
According to the study, those eating an avocado a day experienced significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), which is the “bad” cholesterol that can build up within blood vessel walls, sometimes causing a stroke or heart attack. A central finding in the research pointed to fewer oxidized LDL particles for those who ate an avocado a day because their diet also raised levels of the antioxidant lutein. According to nutrition experts, oxidation contributes to heart disease and cancer. Many berries are high in antioxidants, they aren’t generally available year-round, while avocados are increasingly available every month of the year making the avocado the “go-to” antioxidant for a healthy diet.
The bottom line? Eating healthy is obviously crucial to your well-being and avocados, in particular, protect the body from oxidation and help keep high cholesterol at bay. Avocados are a nutrient-dense food that add nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals to our diet. Not only do avocados contribute to a healthy diet directly, but they also help the body to absorb key nutrients like vitamins E, D, A and K from the other foods in our diet. Hmmm… that avocado toast is sounding pretty good right now!