Avocados Lower Small Dense LDL Cholesterol

“Avocados Lower Small
Dense LDL Cholesterol” When one sees headlines like, “Avocados could improve
your cholesterol,” they’re largely talking about
substitution experiments, where avocado is added to the diet by replacing animal fats. So, no wonder cholesterol goes down. So, for example, if you take people eating a standard North American diet, including animal fats — dairy and poultry are the
two greatest contributors of cholesterol-raising saturated fat intake- they may start out with an LDL up around here. Just add avocado to their diet without doing anything else and cholesterol does not go down, but add avocado while reducing
saturated fat intake, and cholesterol falls, but no more than just
reducing saturated fat while adding nothing. OK, but what if you eat no meat at all, versus no meat with avocado added? They took people with
sky-high cholesterol up around 300 and switched them to a relatively low-fat vegetarian diet with about 20% of calories from fat versus a vegetarian diet
with added avocado, bringing it up to a more
typical fat content, 30% of calories from fat. This group started out with
LDLs through the roof and while cutting out meat
may have helped, cutting out meat and adding avocado seemed to help even more. And, it may help best with
the worst type of LDL. As I’ve touched on before,
all LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol, but large, fluffy LDL may only increase the odds of cardiac events, like heart attacks, 31%, whereas small, dense LDL is even worse. Feed people lots of oatmeal and oat bran, and not only does their LDL
go down overall, but it specifically brings
down the worst of the worst. Add walnuts to a low-fat diet, and not only does LDL go down, but the size distribution of the LDL shifts to a little more benign as well. And, if you put people on
a plant-based diet with lots of fiber and nuts, you can get a massive 30% drop in LDL, comparable to a cholesterol-
lowering statin drug. And, this includes the small,
dense most dangerous LDL. Note, this does not happen with extra-virgin olive oil. So, it’s not just a
monounsaturated fat effect. In the famous PREDIMED study, those randomized to the extra nuts group got a significant drop in the smallest, densest LDL, but those randomized to the extra virgin olive oil group did not. So, there appears to be some
special components in nuts that lowers the worst of the worst. Do avocados offer similar benefits? We didn’t know… until, now. In the first randomized
controlled feeding trial to look at avocados and LDL size, what they did was remove animal fat from people’s diet and replaced it with either carbs, or
avocados, or vegetable oils that had a similar fat
profile to the avocados. So, the two latter diets
were very similar diets, but one had the nutrients
unique to the avocados and the other didn’t. What happened? Well, any time you drop saturated fat, you’re going to bring down LDL, whether you replace animal
fat with plant fat, oil in this case, or with carbs. But, what if you replace animal fat with the whole plant food avocado— an even better effect. And, to see why, they broke the LDL down into large versus small. They all brought the
dangerous large LDL down, but the avocado had
the additional effect of also bringing down the super dangerous small LDL. That’s where that extra drop came from. So, it’s not just a matter of replacing animal fat with plant fat; there are additional benefits to the fiber and phytonutrients of whole plant foods like avocados. Oh, there’s something good in avocados? Well then, let’s just add avocado extracts to the meat. Incorporating avocado extracts
into pork patties evidently reduces cholesterol
oxidation products, well documented to be toxic, carcinogenic, and atherosclerotic, but less so, apparently, with some avocado mixed in.
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