Avocados Are Good for Your Cholesterol, Study Shows (But Maybe Don't Start Stockpiling Guacamole Just Yet)

If, like me, guacamole is your Ultimate Weakness at parties, then oh boy do I have good news for you. Recent research has shown that avocados are good for your cholesterol, and not just because of their healthy fat qualities. So, basically, we have even more reason to mourn the upcoming avo-pocalypse. How could the world give us something so delicious and healthy, only to cruelly take it away??As you can tell, I have a lot of feelings on the avocado shortage, but I'll move on. According to NPR, Pennsylvania State University study put 45 volunteers on three different diets: one was low-fat, one was moderately high in fat, and one was moderately high-fat with the addition of one avocado per day. The low-fat diet included lots of fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy, and a little red meat. The other two diets were pretty similar, but with more nuts and oils. All three resembled each other as far as macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) go, and they had similar calorie counts at the end of the day. However, the results showed a startling difference in the cholesterol of participants who ate avocados as opposed to those in the other two groups.The low-fat diet caused only a 7 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL) decrease in LDL cholesterol (a.k.a. the bad kind), and the non-avocado group saw only an 8 mg/dL change. Participants on the avocado diet, however, ended up with a 14 mg/dl drop.

<img alt="boom animated GIF " src="http://media.giphy.com/media/sO5derwxGq1Z6/giphy.gif" class="article-body-image"/>This means that there's something about avocados other than their healthy fat that makes them so good for you. The lead author of the study, Penny Kris-Etherton, told NPR that it could be due to the fiber content, although she'd like to do research on the "bioactive compounds" found in the fruit to see if they're linked to the cholesterol-lowering abilities. Avocados also help you feel full longer after a meal, by the way. Is there anything this fruit can't do?This research supports the recent trend away from the extreme low-fat diets that were popular in the 1990s. Science has indicated that it's the type of fat you eat, rather than how much of it, that is important to health. Good fats, like our buddy the avocado and nuts, are good for the heart as well as other parts of your body, while the trans and saturated fats common in fast food are pretty much terrible in every way imaginable. (Which makes it even more baffling that the FDA took so long to ban trans fats, by the way.)Unfortunately, NPR also took the time to rain on my guacamole-laden parade by pointing out that at 200 calories per half cup, it's not exactly the healthiest way to eat avocados. Things only get worse once you add delicious, greasy tortilla chips to the equation. Fine, science. Take away my comfort food for when I'm hanging out by the food table at a party.

<img alt="fun animated GIF " src="http://media.giphy.com/media/CwJRA11OJtHVu/giphy.gif" class="article-body-image" title="Image: http://media.giphy.com/media/CwJRA11OJtHVu/giphy.gif"/>I'm assuming the only possible alternative is to eat guac with your hands. That's normal, right?

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