How are avocados and cholesterol related? Avocados are one of nature’s best remedies for high cholesterol. Of all vegetables, avocados are the richest in taste and the most balanced in nutrition. Avocados have a high concentration of essential fatty acids which are not found in other vegetables. These good fats, plus a generous variety of vitamins, are what empower avocados with strong cholesterol fighting and disease preventing abilities.
Good Fats for Cholesterol Reduction
Animal products like meat and dairy are highly concentrated with saturated fat that can cause plaque formation. The fat content of avocados, on the other hand, is mostly a combination of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats act against cholesterol buildup, effectively preventing them from damaging your blood vessels.
- Oleic acid (OA): the monounsaturated fat in avocados is mostly OA. This omega-9 fatty acid can prevent both high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Studies have shown that an OA-rich diet leads to significant reduction of total blood cholesterol especially the plaque forming low density lipoproteins (LDL). Studies have also shown that steady intake of OA can increase your high density lipoproteins (HDL) which further protects you against heart disease.
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA): avocados also contain a high concentration of this omega-3 fatty acid. ALA acts similarly as the fatty acids in fish oils. Increasing ALA intake through your diet can also lower your blood LDL and raise your HDL. ALA also helps to reduce your blood pressure, giving you double protection against blood vessel damage.
- Linoleic acid (LA): having strong and resilient blood vessels can significantly reduce your chances for arterial thrombosis and hemorrhage. Avocados are super rich in LA, which helps to keep your blood vessels in their best condition. LA has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions that shield your blood vessel lining from radical attacks, preventing cholesterol deposits and plaque damage.
Added Cholesterol Protection from B-Vitamins
In addition to being loaded with heart-healthy fats, avocados have an abundance of cholesterol reducing vitamins that enhance their protective power.
- Niacin: avocado is a great source for this lipid modifying vitamin. Increasing your niacin intake not only decreases your blood LDL and triglycerides, it also raises your blood HDL. Eating avocados naturally optimizes your blood cholesterol to prevent heart disease occurrence.
- Vitamin B6: avocado is super rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin controls the homocysteine level in your blood and prevents cholesterol from sticking together and forming deposits. Increasing your vitamin B6 intake can drastically lower your risk of vessel blockage, the number one cause of heart attacks.
- Vitamin E: this is one of the most bioactive antioxidants found in nature. Vitamin E can instantly catch and remove any free radical that comes near your cells. Increasing vitamin E intake significantly reduces your changes for blood vessel damage, lowering your risk of hemorrhage.
Avocados have a pleasing and rich taste and texture. You can toss some avocado chunks on your salad, or use avocado to replace your butter spreads. Substituting meat and dairy products in your diet with avocados is the best way to control your cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart.