It seems everyday a new study emerges showing that eating more dietary fats improves cholesterol levels. At the same time, carbohydrate consumption tends to have a much more negative affect in most diseases and health conditions.
One recent study suggests that fats found in nature, in this case avocados, are more beneficial than their man-made counterparts, such as canola and sunflower seed oil.
Although the sample size was small (only 45 individuals), the structuring was far more reliable than most diet “studies”. Most studies look at massive populations to form weak correlations between food and health. This study, however, used randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trials.
The experiment separated participants into three groups:
- A group eating a low-fat diet. Fat accounted for about 25% of daily calories, in line with USDA recommendations.
- A group eating a moderate-fat diet, accounting for 35% of calories. The extra fat calories in this group came from processed seed oils.
- A group eating a moderate-fat diet, with extra fat coming for one whole avocado a day. Fat still accounted for about 35% of calories.
After a mere 5 weeks, the moderate-fat group consuming seed oil saw a reduction in “bad cholesterol” of almost 10 points. The low-fat group experienced a statistically insignificant drop of less than 5 points.
The truly remarkable part: the moderate-fat group eating one avocado a day experienced an average reduction of almost 15 points!
This could be due to a couple factors.
First, avocados contain 14 grams of fiber, more than 3 servings of oatmeal! Fiber reduces blood sugar spikes and helps the body transport cholesterol.
Second, avocados are extremely nutrient-dense, providing 15% to 50% of almost every vitamin and mineral. Man-made oils contain no essential nutrients.
I started eating one avocado a day almost 3 years ago and almost immediately noticed this benefit to my cholesterol levels.
The nice thing is that avocado has a very mild taste and can be seasoned to compliment almost any dish. Sometimes I’ll have an avocado with an omelet in the morning. Other times I’ll make guacamole as a substitute for a bun when I have burgers for dinner. It is very rare that I skip this valuable and versatile food.
My final takeaway from this study:
Replace man-made fats, such as canola and soybean oil, with whole foods like avocado and coconuts. You’ll feel full longer, provide your body with more nutrients, improve blood markers of health, and get closer to eating what nature provides!