I bought a bag of avocados today to use them while making rye bread sandwiches. Later I found a fresh edition of the NutritionFacts newsletter in my mailbox, mentioning the article "What Do Avocados Do to Your Cholesterol?" by Michael Greger.
He is diving into different avocado studies, funded both by the avocado industry and independent research. His takeaways were:
Compared with all other fruits, avocados contain more phytosterols, the cholesterol-lowering nutrient found in plant foods, but phytosterols are fat-soluble and most fruits are very low in fat, so it isn’t surprising that avocados top the chart.
On this note, we can say that if avocados were a startup, they have a monopoly of phytosterols among fruits due to their much higher fat content.
When comparing phytosterol content of avocados, chocolate, nuts, and seeds, to scale, nuts and seeds have the highest levels overall and even chocolate has roughly twice the phytosterols as avocados.
But compared to the nuts it seems like I should have used chocolate instead. Thus, your impact can be big or small, depending on which frame you are comparing in. Also, Facebook and Google can show their impact smaller to avoid monopoly charges, when they frame it right. Google certainly dominates the search market, but from the view of the advertising market, the result is different.
Most studies showing that cholesterol drops when a daily avocado is consumed and rises again when avocados aren’t eaten before falling once more when they’re resumed did not only add avocado to the subjects’ diets, but they swapped out animal fat, so it’s no wonder cholesterol went down with avocado consumption. Removing saturated fat from the diet and substituting in avocados may lead to a significant drop in cholesterol and triglycerides, but simply adding avocado without also reducing saturated animal fat intake does not appear to result in any benefits to cholesterol.
I have been using avocados also as substitutes and I love their taste. So, even when classical butter has been on the bread for many decades, avocado has managed to come in and be a bit healthier substitute. If you are running a startup, select your niche to dominate and market to frame, to hopefully be a healthier alternative to existing offers.