Q. I am so confused. I am a vegetarian with high cholesterol. My glucose is climbing and may put me at risk for diabetes.
I decided to change my diet after reading that a vegan diet with no fat is the best way to lower cholesterol. I have dropped weight since going on a vegan diet, but I really miss avocados.
Help! I see my doctor next week and really want to avoid cholesterol-lowering medication.
A. There is growing evidence that the war on fat was misguided. One of the best studies to date compared a Mediterranean-type diet with added olive oil (at least 4 tablespoons daily) or nuts (a large handful daily) to a low-fat “prudent” diet. People consuming extra fat from olive oil or nuts had fewer heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular causes (New England Journal of Medicine, April 4, 2013).
Not only did the Mediterranean diet with extra monounsaturated fats reduce heart risk, it also lowered the likelihood of developing diabetes (Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 7, 2014). There are more specifics about the Mediterranean diet and cholesterol-lowering foods in our book The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies (published by National Geographic). Because avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, there is no reason to deprive yourself.