If your favorite meal consists of the fashion girl breakfast of champions—toast with mashed-up avocado—you’re in luck.
While hipsters originally heralded the avocado toast trend, it’s been a hit in urban brunch spots for the better part of 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down this year. Now, thanks to new research, there’s really no need to see the dish as an indulgence–in fact, you should probably go ahead and order yourself a second serving right now.
We’ve known for some time that the type of fat found in avocado is good for us, but findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests we’ve been undervaluing the fruit’s health benefits. In fact, researchers recommend that eating an entire avocado every day could do great things for your heart health.
To come up with the findings, researchers studied 45 overweight but healthy adults while they followed an average American diet (which is carb-heavy and big on saturated fats) for two weeks. Afterwards, the participants were put on a low fat (24% fat) or one of two moderate fat (34% fat) diets for five weeks. Of the two moderate fat diets, one contained fats like sunflower and canola oil, while the other got the majority of fat from avocados every day.
Unsurprisingly, once the diets were switched, every participants’ cholesterol level improved. What is interesting however, is that the avocado eaters improved their health more than the low-fat dieters and the sunflower and canola oil eaters. The group who got their fat from avocado dropped their LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by 13 points, while the other two groups only dropped an average of eight points.
Aside from giving you a guilt-free reason to ask your server not to skimp on the avocado at brunch next weekend, the study shows that the fatty acids, fiber, and plant sterols in avocado are great for your heart.
Before you go overboard with the avocado intake, remember that just one avocado could ring in at around 320 calories, so it might be better to swap a less nutritious snack (cookies, for example) with just half an avocado.