avocados in a bundle

Setting out a Christmas Eve snack for Santa? It’s no wonder the Jolly Old Elf is obese and packs a big, round belly in that red suit. There isn’t enough holiday magic in the world to turn a plate of cookies and a glass of whole milk into healthy foods.

In fact, dairy products, animal fats, and foods made with butter and cream are high in saturated fat. Too much raises LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Over time, this can block blood vessels and limit blood flow to the heart and brain. Bad cholesterol raises the risk for a heart attack or stroke. (1)

Maybe it’s time to give Santa something else to eat other than cookies and milk.

  • Question: What’s a heart healthy holiday snack? It’s good. It’s green. And it contains healthy fats that help lower bad cholesterol.
  • Answer: Deck the halls and your plate with avocados.

A recent study showed just how healthy avocados can be. Eating one a day for five weeks helped obese people lower bad cholesterol. (2)

Healthy fats and antioxidants in avocados can also help:

  • Prevent plaque build-up on artery walls
  • Reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke
  • Lower the risk for certain types of cancer
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Support brain function
  • Control hunger and aid in weight management

Hungry for better health this holiday season?

Here are three easy ways to add more avocados to your diet:

  • Spread avocado on whole-grain toast.
  • Try veggie dip made with avocado.
  • Add avocado slices to a salad or sandwich.

And leave a healthy snack for Santa and his crew: Guacamole for the Big Guy and carrot sticks for the reindeer.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. From: https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm
  2. Wang, L. et al. (2020). A moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day increases plasma antioxidants and decreases the oxidation of small, dense LDL in adults with overweight and obesity: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition, 150(2): 276-284. From: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31616932/

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