avocado improves weight loss, cholesterol and cognition

Avocados taste great and have a texture that is totally unique amongst fruits. They are great in salads and great as guacamole. And, despite their bad rap as fattening, it turns out that they’re great for you. And here’s a hole new weird reason why.

Although, avocado gets a bad wrap for being fattening, people who eat half an avocado a day have lower body weight, lower body mass index and lower waist circumference (Nutr J 2013;12:1).

In fact, all kinds of research solidly establishes avocado as, not only a fruit that is not fattening, but as a fruit that helps you lose weight and lower cholesterol. It improves all of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

And now a new study adds something new. HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol; LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol. When the LDL particles are small and dense, they are especially bad for building up plaque in your arteries and are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This new, controlled study found that overweight or obese people who eat one avocado a day have 68% less small, dense LDL.

But that wasn’t all the study found. LDL cholesterol becomes heart hazardous when it is oxidized by free radical damage. But the people who ate the avocado had significantly less oxidized small, dense LDL cholesterol. The avocado reduced not only the LDL cholesterol but its oxidizing. That makes avocado an important heart healthy food.

But this intriguing study found one more intriguing thing. Eating an avocado a day also increased people’s levels of lutein. Lutein is a carotene that works as an antioxidant. Lutein and the brain seem to have an affinity for eachother, meaning that lutein could play a special role in cognitive function and brain health. Overweight adults who have higher levels of lutein from their diet have better memory performance (Nutrients 2019;11(4):768). And we know that eating avocado increases lutein and significantly improves attention, memory and problem solving.

All of this research suggests that eating avocados helps you lose weight, improves heart health and may even make you smarter.

The Journal of Nutrition 2019;doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz231

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