Recent Blog Articles
Ready for your routine medical checkup?
Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help
Is your vision impaired? Tips to cope
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
Stories connect us
Wondering about a headline-grabbing drug? Read on
Respiratory virus cases tick upward: What parents should know
Hope: Why it matters
Will new guidelines for heart failure affect you?
An avocado a day may keep cholesterol at bay
Adding an avocado a day to a healthy diet may lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Forty-five overweight or obese volunteers followed three different cholesterol-lowering diets, each for five weeks. One diet had 24% of calories from fat; the other two were 34% fat, one of which included an avocado per day. While participants were on the avocado diet, their LDL levels dropped an average of 13.5 points—nearly twice as much as when they were on the other two diets.
Hass avocados (the type used in the study) have bumpy, greenish-black skin. The creamy flesh is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help lower LDL cholesterol when swapped for saturated fat. But other compounds in avocados, such as fiber and plant sterols, may also contribute to their healthful benefits, say the authors. Avocados can be sliced into salads, spread on sandwiches, or mashed to make guacamole. Just be sure to go easy on the high-calorie, salty corn chips often served with the latter.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.