In a Penn State study, 45 overweight subjects were given three cholesterol-lowering diets with the same number of calories: one diet that was low in fat, and two that were moderately high in fat and included either avocado or nuts and oils. After five weeks, the avocado diet was most effective in lowering “bad” cholesterol, or LDL. The study suggests that it’s the compounds in avocado—not just its healthy fat content—that make it so successful in lowering LDL. “Avocados house more phytosterols [one-half an avocado has 57mg], a plant compound linked with cholesterol reduction, than any other fruit,” it states.

Still, this isn’t a free pass to load up on chips and guac: Study subjects ate two healthy meals a day, like chicken salad and turkey tacos, each with half an avocado. We also suggest this breakfast combo, a slightly scooped-out avocado half with an egg cracked in it, which is then baked at 425° for 15–20 minutes.