An Avocado A Day: The Benefits You Don't Know About

Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Sure, we know avocados are full of nutrients and delicious on pretty much everything. Now new research suggests eating avocados could be more dear to our hearts than we thought.
The study, published yesterday in the Journal of the American Heart Association with support from the Hass Avocado Board, investigated the effects of eating avocados on various heart-disease risk factors in 45 overweight adults. Study participants were each put on three different diets for five weeks at a time in a randomly-assigned order.
One diet was lower in fat, consisting mainly of fruits, veggies, poultry, and whole grains. The second was a moderate-fat diet, which included many of the same options with the addition of oils and nuts. The third was a slightly altered version of the moderate-fat diet that incorporated one avocado per day as part of the allotted fat intake. Participants' cholesterol levels were assessed at the end of each five-week diet.
Results showed that while all three diets were successful in reducing both LDL and total cholesterol levels, participants saw their numbers decrease the most after following the avocado plan. The study suggests that, in addition to being packed with vitamins, avocados could also help lower cholesterol when eaten as part of a moderate-fat diet. Though recent research indicates that the link between cholesterol levels and heart disease is probably more complicated than we realize, this could still be your scientifically-backed excuse to nosh an avocado a day.
Unfortunately, as we reported last month, California's recent drought has been tough on the avocado industry. So, you may have to pay a bit more for that side of guac, but at least you'll know it packs a mighty healthy punch.

More from Diet & Nutrition