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Avocados and emerging health benefits research

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New research based on a clinical study that investigated whether eating one Hass avocado every day as part of a moderate fat diet (34 percent fat) had a beneficial effect on risk factors for CVD among healthy overweight and obese subjects, compared to a similar moderate fat diet without avocados, and a lower fat diet was presented at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014 (ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at EB 2014). You also may wish to see articles such as "Avocados - The World's Healthiest Foods" and "What are the health benefits of avocados? - Medical News Today."

New Hass avocado research presented at American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions, Pennsylvania State University study explores connection between diets high in monounsaturated fat with emerging cardiovascular disease risk factors. New research exploring the potential effects of Hass avocado consumption on emerging cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors was presented at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014 (EB).

Li Wang, PhD Candidate, Pennsylvania State University, presented, "Avocado consumption decreases LDL particle number and small, dense LDL cholesterol in overweight and obese subjects," at the Dietary Bioactive Components: Cardiovascular Effects of Dietary Bioactive Components session on Saturday morning, April 26, 2014. You also may wish to view the article, "Fun Facts About Avocados: Calories, Varieties, and More - WebMD."

The research was based on a clinical study that investigated whether eating one Hass avocado every day as part of a moderate fat diet (34 percent fat) had a beneficial effect on risk factors for CVD among healthy overweight and obese subjects, compared to a similar moderate fat diet without avocados, and a lower fat diet.

The researchers, Wang and primary investigator, Penny Kris Etherton, PhD, RD, found that relative to baseline, although all three diets lowered LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), only the avocado diet significantly decreased low density lipoprotein particle number (LDL-P); there was no significant change in LDL-P with the moderate fat diet without avocado or the low fat diet.

Researchers also observed that the avocado diet significantly lowered small, dense LDL cholesterol (a more atherogenic subclass of LDL) and oxidized LDL (atherogenic modified LDL particle). The study was supported by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and was also nominated as one of five finalists for the Clinical Emerging Leader Award Competition

"As new research is published on CVD risk factors, we're learning that it may not simply be the level of LDL cholesterol that matters, but rather the particle number, size, density and especially oxidative modification of the LDL particles," said Penny Kris-Etherton, according to the May 1, 2014 news release, "New Hass avocado research presented at American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions."

Penny Kris-Etherton is a distinguished Professor of Nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University. "Research is beginning to show that small, dense LDL particles, in particular, may be more likely to be oxidized and form plaques in the arteries compared to large, buoyant LDL particles."

"Our findings show that there is something unique about the avocado beyond its MUFA content that helped to specifically decrease small, dense LDL in healthy overweight and obese adults," said Wang, according to the news release.

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is supporting clinical studies to investigate the unique, positive benefits of consuming fresh Hass avocados to human health and nutrition. Research is currently underway to investigate the relationship between avocado consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, avocados' potential positive role in weight management and diabetes, and avocados' ability to enhance nutrient absorption.

HAB's Avocado Nutrition Center just received a new look. Visit AvocadoNutritionCenter.com to view a comprehensive collection of published nutrition and scientific literature, authoritative reports, and other articles on or related to avocados, their nutrients and eating patterns that include them.

About the Hass Avocado Board

The Hass Avocado Board was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB's promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand. You also may wish to see articles such as "Nutrients in Avocado: Avocado Nutrients, Benefits of Avocados " and "The Many Health Benefits of Avocado - Health Articles - Mercola.com."

Avocado with apple salad

This salad uses 2 mashed avocados as a dressing over chopped apples and spinach with apple cider vinegar.

Chop finely and slice thin four washed apples, peeled or not peeled into small, bite-size pieces that would be easy to chew. Place in a large glass bowl. Then add two peeled and mashed avocados. Use the avocado as a salad dressing.

Add to the avocado a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar and a heaping tablespoon of grape seed oil mayonnaise known as Vegenaise®. To this mixture add 1/4 cup chopped fresh, raw baby spinach. You can use a blender to finely chop the spinach and strain out the water.

Mix the salad and serve with or without a 1/2 cup of sliced raw fresh strawberries on top. Four apples and two avocados make enough salad servings for four people.

If you don't like to cut the fatty taste of mayonnaise and avocado with vinegar, use the juice of two lemons and a lime instead of apple cider vinegar or mix half and half of the citrus juice and the apple cider vinegar. You also could use orange juice or pomegranate juice instead of vinegar to mix in with your dressing.

The best tasting dressing comes from mixing apple cider vinegar with the juice of two lemons. But remember, it's an individual taste preference to balance the tang and tart with the smooth avocado.

Some people use a handful of pureed cashews mixed with orange juice as a salad dressing instead of mayonnaise. Take your pick of alternative dressings to add to your mashed avocado mixture to toss with the apples and green leafy chopped vegetables in the salad.

Apple avocado salad with oat bran corn meal muffins.

An alternative avocado apple salad includes topping the salad with sliced fresh strawberries and using kale instead of spinach to 'green' the salad for color contrast between the light green avocado and dark green kale, spinach, or parsley leaves chopped fine.

First chop three apples and add sliced or diced peeled avocados. If your guests can't chew the apple skins, peel the apples first. Then add 1/2 cup of finely chopped kale, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and 1/4 cup chopped baby spinach. You can roughly blend the kale, parsley, and spinach in water in a blender. Then drain off the water in a strainer and use the finely chopped kale, spinach, parsley combination to mix with the chopped or diced raw apples. Add a dash of cinnamon, if desired.

Next, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, juice of two small lemons, and one tablespoon of Vegenaise® grape seed oil mayonnaise. See, Follow Your Heart - Products - Vegenaise. Mix well and toss the salad. Chill and serve with a side of muffins, if desired.

Oat bran corn meal muffins or grain-free muffins using coconut flour and garbanzo bean flour

If you want to substitute grain-free meal, use 2 cups of garbanzo bean flour, 3 tablespoons of flax seed meal, and 1/2 cup of coconut flour instead of oat bran and corn meal. You could also use sweet potato flour instead of coconut flour.

For those who can tolerate grains, here's how to bake oat bran corn meal muffins or cake without adding white flour, table sugar and oil to your batter. Mix a cup of oat bran and a cup of organic corn meal in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix.

In your blender put 1/2 cup almond milk or carrot juice with a cup of organic peeled baby carrots, two eggs and three bananas. You could also add fresh corn kernels to the batter after you're finished blending the rest of the ingredients. If you need more sweet, use a pinch of stevia or more ripe mashed banana pieces.

Blend the bananas, carrots, eggs, and almond milk to a thick liquid paste. Add this liquid to the dry ingredients. Stir until all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, or pumpkin pie spices can be lightly sprinkled into the batter or on top, about 1/4 teaspoon of each powdered spice. If your batter is too thick, add a little more liquid by the spoonful as you don't want too wet a batter. It has to bake solid in the middle.

Pour into either greased muffin tins, paper muffin cups, or an oiled pie plate and bake at 350 degrees F. until solid to the touch and slightly golden brown or chewy and not wet in the middle. Since you didn't use lots of baking powder, it could take a hour or less. When a fork or knife comes out dry in the middle, it's done.

You now have a type of corn muffin or cake that's made without adding table sugar. The bananas and carrots sweeten the muffin or cake. You can slice and serve with breakfast much like corn bread. What you're doing is substituting oat bran for flour.

You also could make pancakes with this recipe by frying tablespoons of the batter in hot olive oil. Or using less oils or fats, bake the batter until solid and dry in the middle. Serve warm with tea or herbal hot drinks for a healthier corn muffin without white flour, table sugar, or lots of salt.

If you don't eat eggs, for example a vegan, substitute two tablespoons of flax seed for each egg in the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. For those not eating grain flours, garbanzo bean flour can substitute for oat bran as a mixture with the organic corn meal or with coconut flour or sweet potato flour. Makes a great substitute for bread or a dessert with a school lunch.

Note that fresh baked, peeled and mashed sweet potato can be used for liquid instead of milk or almond milk or any other liquid when mixing the batter for muffins. If you need 1/2 cup of liquid, you can use 1/2 cup baked, mashed sweet potatoes.

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