Islamabad - Adding an avocado to your daily diet helps lower bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease , a study says.

“Including one avocado each day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet provides additional LDL (bad cholesterol) lowering affects which benefit CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, professor at Pennsylvania State University.

Avocados are known to be a nutrient-dense food, high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Previous studies have suggested that avocados are a cholesterol-lowering food, but this is the first study to look at health implications of avocados beyond monounsaturated fatty acids, the researchers added.

For the study, the researchers tested three different diets, all designed to lower cholesterol: a lower-fat diet, consisting of 24 percent fat, and two moderate fat diets, with 34 percent fat.

The moderate fat diets were nearly identical, however, one diet incorporated one Hass avocado every day while the other used a comparable amount of high oleic acid oils - such as olive oil - to match the fatty acid content of one avocado.

The researchers tested the diets with 45 healthy, overweight adults between the ages of 21 and 70. All participants followed each of the three diets for five weeks.

The avocado diet decreased bad cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dL ( milligram per per decilitre), while LDL was decreased by 8.3 mg/dL on the moderate-fat diet and by 7.4 mg/dL on the low-fat diet.

Five tips to avoid sugar

It’s about time that experts are warning us against excessive use of sugar. We are continuously being advised to cut our daily sugar intake. We are being constantly urged to avoid sugar from our diet. It has been shown to be bad for teeth, is a high source of fructose which can overload the liver, sugar also causes insulin resistance and obesity.

Though it is very difficult to avoid sugar, experts say it is as dangerous as tobacco and alcohol. So, here are a few ways to avoid sugar.

Firstly take regular meals so that your blood sugar level does not drop and you won’t get those sweet cravings. Eat whole foods in their natural form that do away with sugar. Read food labels right. Many a time there are hidden sugars in the meal. Try and use alternatives after checking with your nutritionists, such as honey, gur or jaggery.

Poor sleep in kids may raise attention deficit disorder: Study

If a child having an irregular sleep pattern then it is better to sort the pattern before the age of five, as not doing so may put him or her at a heightened risk of attention deficit disorders, says a new study. Sleeping problems make it difficult for kids to adjust to school life and also increase their risk of emotional and behavioural issues at school, the study pointed out, Science Daily reported.

“If these sleep issues are not resolved by the time children are five years old then they are at risk of poorer adjustment to school,” said lead researcher Kate Williams, faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The research was one of the first to use a large sample size and examine the long-term impact of children’s sleep on early school behaviour.

The mothers reported on children’s sleep problems, emotional and attention from birth to five years and teachers reported on children’s social emotional adjustment to school.