We all know the old saying our mothers told us growing up, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, it’s almost 2016 now, and I’d like to switch just one little word in that saying … take a look at it.
An avocado a day keeps the doctor away.
That’s right. An avocado, which is technically a fruit, has the nutritional power to keep you out of the doctor’s office and to make you an overall healthier person.
The health benefits of avocados are countless. Here are just a few…
Maintain a healthy heart
Control blood pressure
Promote eye health
Reduce stroke risk
Help prevent birth defects
These are some pretty remarkable effects from a food most of us only relate to binge-eating guacamole with chips.
Now, I could write a substantially long newsletter article discussing all the benefits of eating an avocado a day. But I’d like to focus on a health condition millions of Americans battle every day.
In the U.S., over 102 million people have cholesterol over what is considered healthy levels. Researchers believe what’s even more important to focus on, besides just high cholesterol, is the ratio of two types of cholesterol — HDL to LDL.
Normally, LDL is considered to be the "bad" type of cholesterol. Many experts theorize that lowering this type can provide an individual with a healthier ratio.
New research has found that eating an avocado a day, as part of an overall diet rich in healthy fats, may help lower this LDL cholesterol.
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University recruited 45 overweight participants who agreed to try three different types of cholesterol-lowering diets. Their study was published about a week ago in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers found that the avocado diet led to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, compared with the other two diets performed in the study.
To put the difference in perspective, the avocado diet decreased LDL cholesterol about 14 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Compare that with a decrease of about 7 mg/dL for the low-fat diet, and about an 8 mg/dl drop from the moderate-fat diet.
Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the study, tells Americans …
"Consumers can include avocados in their diet in salads. They can include avocados on top of a sandwich, or in a sandwich. They can make guacamole and use vegetables rather than chips as the dip.
"I love guacamole and with my recipe, I’ll use avocados, cilantro, lime juice and garlic … and then sometimes I’ll put salsa in, or red pepper flakes."
But like anything, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Avocados are definitely not low-calorie food.
So, don’t go avocado-overboard. As Etherton points out:
"One avocado has around 200 to 250 calories. So I would strongly urge people not to just add an avocado a day to their diet, but they have to substitute nutrient-poor calories, which are so popular in the U.S. diet."
As you can see, substituting an avocado a day in place of unhealthy food choices can have incredible benefits to your health. Give it a try, and tell us what you think!
Happy and healthy investing,