Could Avocados Replace Statins?
As you know, I’m a firm believer that foods can heal and a big proponent of getting plenty of fresh, organic produce in your diet. But here’s some news that might surprise you.
Jack, one of my southern California friends, sent in some buzz from the Los Angeles Times. It seems that a person tried eating one avocado a week for two months because their cholesterol level was stuck at 335, despite taking statin drugs and suffering the miserable side effects they were creating. At the end of two months, this person’s cholesterol dipped to 215—an impressive 36% drop.
I looked into this a bit, and while the human research is a bit conflicting there is evidence that avocados—and their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—can actually lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and raise HDL “good” cholesterol.
What does this mean for you? If you’ve struggle with statin side effects—and you know I don’t recommend them unless you are a man over fifty with known heart disease—you may want to add avocados to your diet. Plus, if your cholesterol levels are fine, but you’ve axed avocado from your diet in order to lower your fat intake know that you can enjoy them again.
Avocados are also rich in twenty nutrients including vitamins B6, C, E, K, riboflavin, folate, copper, zinc, magnesium and choline. Plus, they help with the absorption of other nutrients, especially the carotenoids.
My favorite way to prepare avocado is to slice a ripe, organic one in half and enjoy with sliced onion over a bed of green, leafy spinach with a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Just remember, though, that avocado are high in calories (about 167 calories in a 3.5 ounce serving of the California variety). So, you do want to eat them in moderation. I also want to mention that people some people have food sensitivities or allergies some varieties of avocados, especially those who are allergic to birch and latex.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite way to eat avocados?
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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