Scientists are saying that eating avocados can be a good way to prevent metabolic syndrome, known as “the new silent killer.” But what exactly is metabolic syndrome? It’s a term doctors use to describe an unhappy confluence of circumstances that place you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These include high blood pressure, large waist circumference and high triglycerides, for example.
The new guidance on eating avocados every day comes from a data review conducted by Iranian researchers and published in the journal Phytotherapy Research. It looked at 129 studies that had already been published about the effects of eating avocados on different parts of metabolic syndrome. Most of the studies dealt with eating the actual meat of the avocado, but some also looked at the properties of the fruit’s leaves, peels, oil and seeds or pits.
According to the researchers, avocados have the biggest and most beneficial effects on your cholesterol levels. Eating avocados can influence several different cholesterol measurements, including that of your LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and total cholesterol.
On top of that, “the lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies,” according to the study. In plain English, this means that avocados are pretty much a one-stop-shop for avoiding metabolic syndrome.
“This is just yet another study to show that avocados truly deserve superfood status,” Cynthia Sass, Health’s contributing nutrition editor, told Food & Wine in an interview. Sass was not personally involved in the review, but told Food & Wine that it includes an “impressive range of studies.”
Another fun benefit of avocados, according to Sass: They can help keep off belly fat, which is considered to be the most dangerous type of fat to carry on your body. And though they’re super high in fat and calories compared to other fruits, that fat in avocados is the healthy kind. It’s hard to “binge” on avocados.
“Fortunately avocado is very satiating,” Sass told Food & Wine. “It’s almost like they have a built-in stop-gap.”
So go ahead, add avocado to that sandwich! Just don’t fool yourself into thinking an entire meal of tortilla chips and guac is healthy. Let’s be reasonable.