Avocado lowers cholesterol
Of all the drug-free ways to lower your cholesterol, eating avocados is probably the most delicious. Avocados are rich in plant sterols, compounds shown to lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption into the bloodstream. They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin C, folate, and zinc. Ounce for ounce, one of the benefits of avocado is that they provide more potassium than bananas! A randomized trial published in JAMA followed a small group of adults with hypertension over a period of two years, and found that replacing a carbohydrate-heavy diet with one rich in monounsaturated fats (the same heart-healthy kind found in olive oil) resulted in lower blood pressure and improved lipid levels. Dutch researchers analyzed 60 trials to explore the effects of various fats on cholesterol levels, and also found that replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lead to a decrease in “bad cholesterol” and an increase in “good cholesterol.” Here are some other drug-free ways to lower cholesterol.
Avocado reduces risk of heart disease
Some of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease are simpler than you’d think. Studies have shown that substituting saturated fat with unsaturated fat—avocado’s calling card—can reduce heart disease risk better than merely lowering overall fat intake. An analysis of 50 studies and clinical trials showed that a Mediterranean diet, which is high in monounsaturated fat, was effective at preventing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that increase the likelihood of heart problems like stroke or coronary artery disease. Another 20-year study followed more than 74,000 women ages 38 to 63 and found that women who adhered to a Mediterranean-style diet had a lower risk of stroke. These are some other ways to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.