Everyone’s eating avocados these days. From rare exotic fruit to a brunch staple, the humble avocado is really having a moment. It’s rich and creamy, making it perfect for spreading on toast or whizzing up into a smoothie. So what about the nutritional value of an avocado? Cholesterol friend or cholesterol foe? Despite often being called a super food, the question of its health benefits while still generally positive, are a little more complicated. Here’s our handy guide to avocado cholesterol benefits and drawbacks.
Avocado and cholesterol: The real story
What do you need to be aware of when it comes to avocado and cholesterol? Is avocado in fact high in cholesterol? Actually, this tasty fruit contains no cholesterol; however, as you may know, the content of cholesterol in food isn’t actually what determines the amount that builds up in blood vessels. In fact having too much saturated fat in one’s diet overall and too little unsaturated fat is one of the factors that lead to bad cholesterol . So how do avocados fare on this measure? They are in fact rich in unsaturated fats, so are a good thing to swap into your diet in place of saturated fat foods if you are conscious of heart health.
Is avocado good for lowering cholesterol?
So is avocado good for cholesterol? Rather than focusing on one food, the trick is to make small sustainable changes to your diet overall. Swapping high saturated fat foods with unsaturated fat foods is the way to go: try eating less foods such as butter, cream, full fat dairy products, biscuits, fatty meats and cake and opt for oily fish e.g.salmon, walnuts, seeds and… avocado! One great way to do this is to find easy swaps, so for example why not spread a little avocado on toast rather than butter? Or why not try instead one of Flora ProActiv’s spreads* proven to help lower cholesterol as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Key avocado facts
So those are the key things you need to know about avocado and cholesterol. In essence including avocado in your diet may help you to reduce your intake of bad saturated fats and replace them with good fats, which in turn may help to reduce your cholesterol. The one thing to note however is that regardless of the type of fat, avocados have high levels of the stuff, making them calorie-dense foods. In fact, a single medium-sized avocado has approximately half of your total recommended amount of fat for the day, so as with everything be sure to consume in moderation!
If you’ve decided to start swapping saturated for unsaturated fats one great way to do this is to find tasty recipes to make you enthusiastic about eating healthy meals. For those wishing to include a bit of delicious avocado into your breakfast, lunch or dinner have a read of our favourite avocado recipes and if you need more support in your cholesterol lowering goals why not trying downloading our Cholesterol Lowering Starter Kit.
*Flora ProActiv contains plant sterols, which have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. Consuming 1.5-2.4g of plant sterols per day can lower cholesterol by 7-10% in 2-3 weeks when consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Individual results may vary. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.