High cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Lowering cholesterol plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. One approach to reducing cholesterol is through dietary modifications, and avocados have been recognized as a potential food choice for this purpose. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fiber, and plant sterols, which have cholesterol-lowering effects. Incorporating avocados into a low-fat diet can be beneficial. This study design followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and conducted databases in Cochrane, SCOPUS, PubMed, and Web of Science up until May 2023, combining keywords related to avocados and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The study focused on randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and excluded observational studies, meta-analyses, surveys, abstracts, and reviews. Seven RCTs were included in the study, all reporting total cholesterol (TC) levels. The findings of the study showed that individuals who followed an avocado diet experienced reduced TC levels compared to those who followed a habitual diet or a low-fat diet. The avocado group exhibited lower TC levels compared to the control group in both the habitual diet and low-fat diet subgroups. When considering high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, the control group had higher HDL levels than the avocado group in the habitual diet subgroup, while the avocado group had higher HDL levels than the control group in the low-fat diet subgroup. In both the habitual diet and low-fat diet subgroups, the avocado group had lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) compared to the control group. The study concluded that incorporating avocados into the diet can be a beneficial dietary strategy for individuals aiming to lower their cholesterol levels and promote heart health. The avocado diet was associated with decreased LDL levels, but it did not significantly impact triglyceride (TG) levels or fasting glucose levels. Systolic blood pressure values showed minimal changes with the avocado diet.
Keywords: avocado; avocado diet; cardiovascular disease; low fat diets; risk factors for heart disease; total cholesterol.
Copyright © 2023, Okobi et al.