Researchers found that avocados may protect the heart, as do olive oil and nuts in the Mediterranean diet.
A 2018 analysis of 10 studies found that people who ate an average of 1 to 3.7 avocados per day experienced an increase in HDL (protective cholesterol). While this may seem like a lot of avocados, keep in mind that most guacamole recipes use about one avocado per person. Avocados are also high in monounsaturated fat, fiber (9 grams in a medium avocado), and potassium—all of which are associated with cardiovascular health.
In addition to improving heart health by affecting cholesterol levels, new research shows avocados may further improve your heart health by affecting your gut biome.
A 2020 study tracked 163 overweight and obese subjects and divided them into two groups: one that included avocados in three meals a day and one that did not. The gut microbiota of the avocado group was richer and more diverse, with reduced bile acids and increased short-chain fatty acids, which are thought to help reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.
Avocado Calories and Weight Loss
Of course, anyone who keeps track of their daily calorie intake on their phone or in a meal diary probably knows that avocados are high in calories. But does that necessarily mean eating avocados will sabotage your weight loss goals?
The simplest answer is no.
The National Health and Examination Survey study found that people who ate avocados had significantly lower body mass index, waist circumference, and weight than those who did not eat avocados.
Additionally, the Adventist Health Study 2, which followed 55,000 participants for four to 11 years, found that participants of normal weight who ate about one-fifth of an avocado per day had the lowest odds of being overweight or obese. , while participants who were overweight or obese, who ate about one-fifth of an avocado per day, had the lowest odds of being overweight or obese. Over time, a fifth of avocado per day makes it more likely that you will achieve a normal body mass index.
The ABCs of avocado
Avocado is a unique fruit native to the Mexican highlands, Guatemala, and the Pacific coast of Central America. They're a staple in diets limited to fatty meat, fish, or dairy; in fact, avocados are often used as a meat substitute in sandwiches. In East Asia, they are also used in milkshakes.
Typically eaten raw—we all know guacamole—Haas avocados can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter; other varieties are too hot to eat.
Ripe avocados should be able to withstand slight pressure when squeezed. If they squeeze too easily, they may be overcooked. The flesh browns easily, so it's best to peel and cut the avocado before eating or sprinkle lemon or lime juice on the slices to prevent discoloration.
Avocados are also rich in potassium, fiber and vitamins B, E and C. Additionally, they contain a variety of phytonutrients, including:
- Phytosterols – When consumed in recommended amounts, this compound can lower cholesterol (a risk factor for heart disease).
- Leuflavin and Zeaxanthin – These carotenoids act as antioxidants and protect healthy cells, especially those in the human eye.
So if you're eating avocado during the football playoffs or the Super Bowl—whether it's guacamole or a bean-and-avocado burrito (see recipe below), you can be sure that it not only tastes good, but it's also good for So are heart health benefits.