Avocados are often sold as nutrient-dense, good-fat-filled superfoods that can improve your heart health, prevent eye disease and help you shed pounds. Some headlines even claim they might fight leukemia. But is it actually possible that there’s so much good in your guac? We dip into the science to find out.
Are avocados good for your heart?
Yes, as long as you’re eating them instead of saturated fats. A 2018 Cochrane Review found that cutting down on saturated fats reduces the risk of heart disease by about 17 percent — but you can’t just lower your overall fat intake; you have to sub in other fats instead.
Enter the avocado. It’s a quality source of monounsaturated fat (a.k.a good fat), and “there’s a lot of research pointing to the health benefits of monounsaturated fats,” says Sheila Kealey, an Ottawa-based nutrition researcher who works with the University of California at San Diego. Although polyunsaturated fats (like olive oil) are best for your heart, monounsaturated fats seem to work as well. Bonus: Avocados are also rich in phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol levels.