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When I take out my NutriBullet to make a morning smoothie, one of my favorite items to throw in is an avocado. There are so many ways that a whole-food, plant-based diet can improve your health. However, many people are confused about processed oils (which I avoid) versus whole plant foods that have fat in them like avocados, nuts, and seeds. The good news is that eating avocados has shown some promising results!
Many people have elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides, along with low HDL cholesterol and a large waistline. If three or more of these health concerns are present, we refer to the condition as metabolic syndrome, which predicts an increased risk of heart disease and full-blown type 2 diabetes. A recently published review on the impact of eating avocados for metabolic syndrome showed that avocados help lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and may have other protective effects on the heart.
A recent analysis of 10 studies examined the impact that eating avocados have on cholesterol levels. Results showed that blood cholesterol, total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides fell by 20 to 30 mg/dl on average while good HDL cholesterol did not change. In another study, researchers observed 45 overweight individuals who added one avocado a day to their diets. They found that the numbers of LDL-particles and small dense LDL-particles fell toward normal levels with the addition of avocado to the diet — both favorable results for people with high cholesterol.
A fascinating study suggests that avocados have anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit those who eat processed meats. In the study, 11 healthy participants ate a hamburger patty. Then, on another day, the same people ate a hamburger patty with one-half of avocado added. After the patty alone, inflammatory markers appeared in the blood and a test on artery health showed deterioration and constriction. The meal with the added avocado prevented these concerning developments.
Certain diet choices can lead to the release of excessive insulin, which may play a role in atherosclerosis. Research showed that adding avocados to meals can help lower and regulate insulin levels, as well as increase satiety to prevent overeating.
Whole avocados are a healthy food choice for most people, particularly when this whole food is chosen over processed foods. Whether or not you have the health concerns presented above, you can enjoy half an avocado in your morning NutriBullet smoothie with confidence. It will add an abundance of nutrients to your diet and provide a smooth and creamy texture you will love!