New Research Provides Additional Insights
on Why Avocados Are Heart-Healthy
HAB’s Nutrition Research Program, established in 2010, is committed to increasing awareness and improving understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. The latest study conducted by Pennsylvania State University and supported by HAB concluded that one avocado per day in a heart-healthy diet reduced oxidative stress markers for LDL cholesterol and improved antioxidant status when compared to a low-fat diet or a moderate fat oil diet.
Avocados, which contain naturally good fats, are a versatile, cholesterol-free, and nutrient-dense fruit that can fit into a full range of healthy eating plans. Building the body of science and generating scientific substantiation for the nutrition, health, and wellness benefits of consuming more avocados is critical to drive avocado demand in the U.S.
Dr. Nikki Ford is currently the Senior Director of Nutrition at HAB. In her role, she is in charge of the Avocado Nutrition Center in which she leads a clinical nutrition research pipeline and provides education on avocado nutrition science to key stakeholders. Nutrition research focuses on 4 health pillars: cardiovascular health, weight management, healthy living at every age, and type 2 diabetes. Strictly adhering to its guiding principles, HAB and third-party researchers follow a science-based, ethical approach to ensure sound, unbiased results.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. A heart-healthy diet that include avocados can play an important role in keeping cholesterol levels within a normal range.
A study conducted by Pennsylvania State University and supported by HAB in 2015 found eating fresh avocados in place of other types of healthy fats reduced bad LDL-cholesterol levels. This led to a second research analysis in 2019, “The Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day on Plasma Antioxidants and the Oxidation of Small Dense LDL in Overweight and Obese Adults – A Randomized, Controlled Trial”, which evaluated whether a healthy diet with 1 avocado daily decreased the circulating oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and related oxidative stress markers.
In this clinical study of 45 overweight-obese adults, a moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day increased blood antioxidant levels and decreased the oxidation of small, dense LDL-cholesterol compared to a low-fat diet or a moderate-fat oil diet. While the conclusions from a single study cannot be generalized to larger, more diverse populations, the study supports the growing body of evidence demonstrating avocados as a heart-healthy fruit.
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