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Cholesterol And Your Health
Everyone talks about cholesterol and how it is bad for you. The truth is cholesterol is paramount for good health, but only within certain levels. The bad cholesterol is better known as LDL, or low-density
The bad cholesterol is better known as LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, and too much of this type of body fat can put your health at serious risk; just think of heart disease and stroke. (1)
High cholesterol levels are often the result of an unhealthy diet and an excess of weight. Eating too much saturated fat (which the liver then turns into cholesterol) is bad for the heart; dietary items with saturated fats include meat (pork, beef, lamb), whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, coconut oil, etc.
Note that lowering your cholesterol does not necessarily mean you will lose weight, though. To this end, you will need to adjust your diet and overall lifestyle a lot more than just by adding an avocado a day to your diet.
To the contrary, since an avocado has around 300 calories, eating too much of it can actually cause you to gain weight. Therefore, the key is to eat healthy monounsaturated fats rather than no fats at all, but of course, moderation is important.
Many people enjoy the taste of the avocado, with its dense, smooth texture. This superfood is marketed as one of your best allies to help you feel energized and slim down, but let’s look at the facts.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who are overweight or obese benefit the most from eating one avocado a day. The study showed that those who ate an avocado every day as part of a moderate-fat diet were able to lower their bad cholesterol levels more than the people on a lower-fat diet but without the daily avocado in it. (2)
That is because avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats which not only lower levels of LDL, but at the same time increase your levels of HDL, or good cholesterol.
The avocados anti- cholesterol action is further emphasized the plant-based fat called beta-sitosterol. In fact, avocados are an excellent source of beta-sitosterol, containing more of it than any other fruit. This plant fat lets you absorb less cholesterol from your food, so you can see why it’s so good.
Avocados also lower the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and cancer, and enable diabetics to gain better control over the disease.
What is Avocado nutrition and does Avocado have Cholesterol
146 g of avocado (about 1 cup, sliced) has 234 calories, which is a bit high for most people, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. However, this does not mean that you should stop eating it; instead, try to use it to replace another food that is high in fat.
The following Daily Value is based on a 2,000 calorie diet, which means you should use the percentages below as guidelines only:
– Total Fat: 21 g or 32%, out of which
- Saturated fat: 3.1 g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.7 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 14 g
– Cholesterol: 0 mg
As you can see, avocados have a very high amount of fat, but they contain zero cholesterol.
- Total carbohydrate: 12 g or 4%
- Dietary fiber: 10 g or 40%
- Potassium: 708 mg or 20% (more than bananas)
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Sugar: 1 g
- Protein: 2.9 g or 5%
- Avocados are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as follows:
- Vitamin A: 4%
- Vitamin C: 24%
- Vitamin B6: 20%
- Calcium: 1%
- Magnesium: 10%
- Iron: 4%
No cholesterol, but plenty of calories. So how much avocado should you eat? One recommendation is to get up to 15% of your daily calories from monounsaturated fats. In other words, you should eat at least 30 grams of avocado per day.
Other healthy foods that lower cholesterol
Avoiding high cholesterol foods can help you lower not only your LDL levels, but also your risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, besides avocado, add the following foods and drinks gradually into your diet:
Salmon, but also herring, sardines, white albacore tuna, rainbow trout, mackerel, and anchovies are all excellent choices. Make sure to eat fish at least twice per week.
These fish have an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA in particular are a type of fat that protects you against high cholesterol, by lowering triglycerides and LDL, and raising HDL levels. Salmon is also rich in protein.
Nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, and almonds contain the good monounsaturated fats, plus vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and good-for-the-heart phytochemicals. You can eat these nuts as a snack (no more than 4 times a week, and only a handful each time), or you can have 2 tablespoons five times a week in your salad, etc.
Avocados and nuts are high in calories, though, that is why make sure not to eat too much of them.
Have 25 grams of soy protein daily if you want to reduce the amount of saturated fat you get from cheese and meat. Get your soy from tofu, soymilk, soy nuts, etc.
Lutein can be found in egg yolks and dark leafy greens, but spinach remains the best source. Besides protecting your sight from macular degeneration, lutein also fends off cholesterol and heart attacks. Eat half a cup of spinach every day.
Green and black teas taste great and are good for your health. Enjoy at least one cup of tea every day, regardless if you prefer it iced or hot. The flavonoid antioxidants in tea are great at preventing blood clots by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL. To get the most out of your tea, consider making your own at home.
And for dessert, you can have chocolate! Just that it has to be dark or bittersweet to be good for your heart, and no more than an ounce a day. Again, the flavonoid antioxidants keep your arteries clean and unclogged.