An Avocado a Day for a Healthy Heart

An apple a day may keep the doctor away…. but it’s a daily avocado we need to lower bad cholesterol, a study shows.

avocadoThe so-called avocado diet was also found to improve other blood fat levels linked to heart  disease, even in the overweight.

US researchers put 45 healthy overweight or obese participants aged from 21 to 70 on three cholesterol-lowering diets for five weeks. They were either put on a lower fat diet without avocado, moderate fat diet without avocado, or moderate fat diet with one avocado per day.

Compared to the average American diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the so called bad cholesterol – was 13.5 milligram per deciliter (the unit used in medicine to measure the concentration of substances in the blood) lower after the avocado diet.

In a patient with high LDL, this would be the equivalent of a 10 per cent fall.

LDL also improved on the moderate fat diet without the avocado (8.3 mg/dL lower) and on the lower fat diet (7.4 mg/dL lower) but not as much as the avocado diet.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Study leader Penny Kris-Etherton of the American Heart Association said: “Most people do not know how to incorporate avocados in their diet except for making guacamole.

‘But guacamole is typically eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and sodium. Avocados, however, can also be eaten with salads, sandwiches, lean protein (chicken or fish) or even whole.’

“Wish I liked avocados! –  don’t like statins either!!”

Merkel Rejects Curb on Migrant Benefits

As predicted David Cameron suffered another setback in his drive to curb benefits for migrants last night when Angela Merkel warned there could be no compromise over EU freedom of movement.

During diplomatic talks in Downing Street, the German Chancellor offered only lukewarm support for the Prime Minister’s proposals for reform.

She insisted she wanted to keep Britain in the EU and would work to find a compromise to meet British concerns about welfare tourism. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she said.

But she declined to support the idea of any change in EU treaties to give national governments more power to restrict benefits to European citizens.
EUAt a joint press conference in Downing Street, Mrs Merkel insisted she would work with Mr Cameron to tackle “abuse” of benefits in the EU but said the issue had to be settled within European law.

She appeared to suggest that benefit tourism was a matter to be addressed within member nations. Her remarks contrasted with Mr Cameron’s commitment to reform the rules at Union level.

“Together we have said that we don’t want to question the right of freedom of movement,” she said. “We need to say to our local authorities that abuse needs to be fought against so that freedom of movements can prevail.

“We need to look at social security systems of individual member states and to what extent they need to be adjusted.”

Mrs Merkel refused to discuss “speculation” that Britain could quit the EU after the expected referendum in 2017.

“The ridiculous acceptance of weak countries into the EU has simply dragged the stronger ones down, including us!”