You’ve probably seen avocados being touted as a heart-healthy super-food in recent years. Realistically, the truth isn't too far off from the hype. The next time you're grabbing that burrito or turkey sandwich, you might want to consider adding a healthy dollop of guacamole. Here are four reasons that you should consider eating a little bit of avocado each day.
1. You may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the United States, affecting nearly 27 million adults, so it only makes sense that we would want to protect ourselves by being more health-conscious in our dietary choices.
Avocados have been shown to positively benefit our cardiovascular system in a number of ways due to its low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content (predominantly the monounsaturated fat (MUFA) variety). Consuming excess saturated fat (>10% of total calories) may raise your LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
On the contrary, consuming adequate unsaturated fat in your diet may help lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol), maintain HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and potentially improve your insulin sensitivity.
In addition its nutritious fat content, avocados also contain a potent mix of nutrients (e.g., potassium and lutein), including plenty of antioxidants such as carotenoids, callexanthophylls and phenols. These compounds can help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress in the blood vessels while facilitating improved blood flow.
2. You may have an easier time maintaining your weight
Eating fat to lose fat; who would have thought? Avocados can help with weight-loss and maintaining a healthy BMI by promoting a feeling of satiety.
A recent study showed that including avocado in meals helped extend feelings of fullness and reduced the desire to overindulge. The belly-filling properties of avocados is aided by their high fiber content, about 14g per fruit on average.
In addition, higher avocado consumption has been associated with smaller waistlines and lower BMIs in observational studies. Lastly, some research has even shown that weight-loss diets higher in MUFA, like the kind avocados are packed with, may prove healthier for your heart than low-fat weight-loss diets.