So of course I've already written at length about how a higher-fat diet is good for your health not only because it encourages you to burn fat for fuel, and because the decreased insulin decreases inflammation (which is great for your heart and other organs…), but a higher-fat diet is also great for your brain, and as it turns out, your cholesterol!!
Now, you may not have realized that fat is good for your cholesterol levels! The reason you probably would never have thought that is because unfortunately most people think that saturated fat is bad for your cholesterol…and for your heart.
I recently wrote an article about how saturated fat is actually good for your cholesterol levels too. The reason that people think saturated fat is bad for your cholesterol is because of a study done way back in World War II, where they found that saturated fat raises cholesterol, which made people think it causes heart disease. But the truth is, saturated fat raises your good cholesterol, and it changes your bad cholesterol from very dangerous, sticky little lipoproteins that get stuck in your arteries, to BIG pieces that don't get stuck.
That said, with today's topic, avocados, you don't have to think about saturated fat anyway. There are only 3 grams of saturated fat in a cup of avocado. The rest is super healthy monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. In fact, omega-3s are an example of polyunsaturated fat…and you bet your boots that these specifically are in avocados.
Really quickly, though…You may want to know, what exactly does a fat molecule being "unsaturated" mean? Basically, it means a strong double bond, but without hydrogen atoms "saturating" it.
This means that it can't contribute to triglyceride counts, which are part of your cholesterol, the same way that saturated fats can. Instead, unsaturated fats eliminate triglycerides and bring your cholesterol down that way.
Now, back to avocado health benefits! A recent study compared people who ate an avocado a day to people who didn't, with no other differences between their diets. Now keep that in mind and really "digest" it…no other differences!
People who ate an avocado a day had significantly lower amounts of the tinier, more dangerous particles of LDL called VLDL. Again, those are the ones that are making plaque that block your arteries.
So, does that mean that just eating an avocado a day can literally reverse your plaque buildup?? I wouldn't necessarily go that far but it seems the researchers do: "We were able to show that when people incorporated one avocado a day into their diet, they had fewer small, dense LDL particles than before the diet," said Penny Kris-Etherton, who teaches nutrition at Penn State. She recommended that people should be putting using avocado as a veggie dip or in their salads! Well, I certainly won't make a fuss about that!!