Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of risk factors that can raise the risk of other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes , heart disease , and stroke . Risk factors include abdominal obesity , low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – or “good” cholesterol – high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure , and high fasting blood sugar. The presence of at least three of these risk factors warrants a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
According to the American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome affects around 23 percent of adults in the United States. Adopting a healthful diet is considered one of the best ways to prevent or treat metabolic syndrome. The new recently published review suggests that avocados should form a part of this diet.
Avocados are a fruit from the avocado tree, or Persea americana , which is native to Mexico and Central and South America. A number of studies have documented the possible health benefits of avocado. A study reported by Medical News Today in 2014, for example, found that eating half an avocado with lunch may aid weight loss, while more recent research linked the fruit to reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol. These benefits have been attributed to the bioactive components of avocados, which include carotenoids, fatty acids, minerals such as calcium , iron, and zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Avocado has strongest effect on cholesterol levels
The researchers found that the fruit has the strongest impact on lipid levels – that is, levels of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
As an example, the team points to one study of 67 adults, of whom 30 had a healthy lipid profile and 37 had mildly high cholesterol. After adhering to an avocado-enriched diet for 1 week, both groups showed significant reductions in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Avocado helps weight loss and treating metabolic syndrome
The review also uncovered evidence that avocado is beneficial for weight loss. The researchers cite one study that found overweight or obese adults who ate one avocado every day for 6 weeks experienced significant decreases in body weight , body mass index ( BMI ), and the percentage of body fat.
Additionally, the team identified a number of studies associating avocado intake with reductions in blood pressure among patients with hypertension , and evidence suggests that the fruit might also help to reduce atherosclerosis – the narrowing or hardening of arteries caused by a buildup of plaque.
In conclusion, researchers found satisfactory clinical evidence suggesting that avocado can be used as an “herbal dietary supplement” for treatment of the different components of metabolic syndrome!