Avocado had a bad rap over the years. Doctors, nutritionists, and self-proclaimed health gurus told everyone to stay away from them, as they had a high fat content. However, the game has changed. The avocado is actually a very heart-healthy addition to any diet, and it’s not fattening at all. Here are six explanations as to why.
Avocados and Monounsaturated Fats
Not all fats are created equal, as you should know. The avocado contains fat that’s derived from oleic acid, which is quite healthy for you. This fat can be found in other healthy oils such as olive oil. Oleic acid is not an essential fat, since our bodies make it for us, but replacing unhealthy fats with healthy monounsaturated fats are a great idea.
Unhealthy fat, such as omega-6, can cause some problems. According to studies, it has been linked to health issues like heart disease and inflammation. A little bit here and there won’t hurt you, but you need to avoid it whenever possible. If you can get some, cook with avocado oil, and you’ll feel the difference. But there’s more.
If you eat a diet high in monounsaturated fats, your bad cholesterol levels will go down, while your good cholesterol levels will increase. It also lowers your chance of heart disease and heart attacks, so stock up on those avocados.
Avocados and Potassium
When we think of potassium, we think of bananas. But we don’t think of avocados, which actually have three times more than your average banana. As you should know, potassium keeps your blood pressure regulated and can help to reduce your chances of getting a stroke, a heart attack, and high blood pressure. If you don’t have enough potassium, your heart may beat irregularly, and you may feel cramped and weak in the muscles. This is because potassium helps out with your contraction and relaxing of your muscles.
Avocados and Vitamin E
The underrated vitamin E is a great antioxidant that protects you against heart disease. This is because it helps lower your cholesteroloxidation. In other words, oxidizedcholesterol can block your arteries. As you should know, this links to heart attacks and strokes.While you can get vitamin E from supplements, your best source would be from foods. Besides avocados, kale, almonds, and spinach are great sources.
Avocados and Folate
Folate is one of the many forms of vitamin B, and it’s extremely useful. It helps to keep your levels of homocysteine in check. In layman’s terms, homocysteine is a byproduct of protein metabolism, and if your levels are too high, it increases your chance of heart disease. But if you have high levels of folate, your chances of having a heart attack are greatly lowered.
Avocados and Phytosterols
Phytosterols are useful in your diet. They help to lower your cholesterol absorption levels, which will reduce your bad cholesterol intake. Besides that, if you’re a man, it can help to reduce your chances of prostate issues, and may prevent hair loss as well. If you’re taking medicine that helps to reduce your cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor before taking phytosterol supplements.
Avocados and Fiber
Finally, avocados can help you get more fiber in your diet. It contains generous amounts of insoluble and soluble fiber, which can help to make you feel full for longer. But besides that, fiber helps with your digestion and can keep your blood sugar levels regulated.
If you are thinking of eating healthier, you can’t go wrong with adding some avocados to your diet. This is just a sampling of what they can do for you. So the next time you’re out shopping for some healthier foods, check out some avocados. You’ll be glad you did.