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EFFECTS OF AVOCADO ON HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS, CANCER, INFLAMMATION, AND CHOLESTEROL – 3 OF 3

Avocado can aid in weight loss, lower bad cholesterol, promote gut health, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
EFFECTS OF AVOCADO ON HEALTH, WEIGHT LOSS, CANCER, INFLAMMATION, AND CHOLESTEROL 3 OF 3

Table of Contents

In advising our members, we filter thousands of research and fads, relying only on the credible worldwide science available for better health and weight reduction. Here we chose the interesting research of Dr. Michael Greger. Yet, no research replaces your own doctor's advice.

Research Summary

  1. Avocado has a very low sugar content and does not raise blood sugar levels.
  2. Avocado is high in fat, but it’s a good fat that benefits people with diabetes and is heart-healthy.
  3. Avocado consumption may reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels significantly.
  4. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common preventable cause of death in the USA.
  5. One American dies every one hour and 23 minutes due to coronary heart disease. 
  6. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a total fat intake of 20% to 35% of calories for over 18 years old.
  7. The healthy fats in avocado help you feel full for a longer time and help your body use insulin more effectively.
  8. Avocado may interfere with the blood thinner drug Coumadin (a medicine used to treat blood clots and lower the chance of blood clots).
  9. Half of a small avocado contains about 5.9 grams of carbohydrates and 4.6 grams of fiber.
  10. 100g of avocado contains 76.4mg of phytosterol which aids in lowering bad cholesterol levels.

Is Avocado Good For Your Heart?

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Research has linked blood cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure to increased risk of heart disease.

Avocado consumption may significantly reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease and lower the potentially harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Eating avocado may also increase the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Should heart patients eat avocado?

Thanks to NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger

More than 15 million Americans are currently diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), the most common preventable cause of death. In 2010, 545,059 deaths were attributed to CHD, with one American dying every minute and 23 seconds. There is a well-established link between serum cholesterol and cardiovascular mortality. Having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a positive indicator of CHD development. Low LDL-C correlates to reduced mortality, and efforts to reduce LDL-C have been the main target of most lipid-lowering medications. Dietary sources like avocado can play a significant role in a beneficiary lipid profile.

Graph 1: Replacing animal fat with avocado shows a significant drop in LDL (bad cholesterol)

Can eating avocados reduce the risk of heart disease?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a total fat intake of 20% to 35% of calories for over 18 years old. Research has shown that avocado consumption reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides, lowers the harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and increases the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

How does avocado affect blood thinners?

Even though there’s no significant amount of vitamin K in avocados, it still interferes with the drug Coumadin, also known as warfarin. It may boost your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or prevent absorption of the drug, but either way, those on the blood-thinner Coumadin may want to put walnuts on their salads instead.

How Does Avocado Lower Bad Cholesterol?

Thanks to NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger

A research was conducted on people with high cholesterol levels of around 300 and switched them to a low-fat vegetarian diet with about 20% of calories from fat versus a vegetarian diet with added avocado, bringing it up to 30% of calories from fat. This group started with sky-high LDL levels, and while cutting out meat may have helped, cutting out meat and adding avocado helped even more. It may help best with the worst type of LDL. All LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol, but significant, fluffy LDL may only increase the odds of heart attacks by  31%, whereas small, dense LDL is even worse. 

Graph 2: Replacing meat with avocado reduces LDL cholesterol

Does Eating Avocado Fight Diabetes?

The creamy green fruit is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and heart-healthy fats. Avocados are high in fat; it’s a good kind of fat that benefits people with diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, adding avocado to your diet may help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and increase insulin sensitivity. 

Avocado can lower blood sugar levels 

Avocados are low in carbohydrates. They have little effect on blood sugar levels. Adding half an avocado to a standard lunch of healthy, overweight people shows that avocados do not significantly affect blood sugar levels.

What makes avocados a good choice for people with diabetes is high fiber, although they are low in carbs. One-half of a small avocado, which is the standard amount people eat, contains about 5.9 grams of carbohydrate and 4.6 grams of fiber.

You don’t need to take supplements to achieve these results. Instead, eat a high-fiber diet. You can quickly increase your fiber intake by eating more low-carb fruits, vegetables, and plants, like avocados, leafy greens, berries, chia seeds, and nuts. 

How does eating avocado improve insulin sensitivity?

Losing weight — even a little — can increase your insulin sensitivity and reduce the chance of developing severe complications. The healthy fats found in avocado help you feel full for longer. In one study, after adding half an avocado to their lunches, participants had a 26% increase in meal satisfaction and a 40% decrease in desire to eat more.

When you feel full longer after meals, you are less likely to snack and consume extra calories. The healthy fat in avocados, called monounsaturated fat, can also help your body use insulin more effectively.

Clinical Reference

Effects of avocado (persea americana) on metabolic syndrome: a comprehensive systematic review

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, high blood glucose, and dyslipidemia, leading to the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and type 2 diabetes mellitus and, among the leading causes of death in the world.

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and CVDs by about five and three times, respectively. Hence, it is essential to manage the said conditions with herbal options with lower undesirable side effects and may be more effective than synthetic options.

Avocado is a popular source of carotenoids, phenolics, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Its lipid‐lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti‐obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects have been demonstrated in several studies. Read the full medical research.

Citations

Greger, M. [NutritionFacts.org]. (2017, December 20). Avocados Lower Small Dense LDL Cholesterol [Video]. Youtube. https://youtu.be/Ybq1mLAP5rg

Greger, M. [NutritionFacts.org]. (2019, February 2). Inflammation: Is the Gut the Driving Force of Systemic Inflammation? [Video]. Youtube. https://youtu.be/41IfdwLqtkA

Butler, N. (2020, April 2). The Benefits and Risks of Avocados for People with Diabetes. Healthline. Retrieved Month Day, Year from https://www.healthline.com/health/avocado-and-diabetes#:~:text=The%20creamy%20green%20fruit%20is,cholesterol%2C%20and%20increase%20insulin%20sensitivity 

Tabeshpour, J., Razavi, B.M., Hosseinzadeh, H. (2017). Effects of Avocado (Persea americana) on Metabolic Syndrome: A Comprehensive Systematic Review. Phytotherapy Research, 31(6), 819-837. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5805