According to a study from New Zealand, consuming two kiwifruits a day as part of a healthy diet has a positive effect on blood lipid levels in men with high cholesterol levels - more so than eating a healthy diet alone.
In this study, 85 adult men with high blood cholesterol levels consumed a healthy diet over 12 weeks.
In four out of these twelve weeks, they switched from eating two portions of fruit daily to two portions of kiwifruits. The healthy diet without kiwifruits served as the control diet.
The study authors found that following a healthy diet led to positive changes in body weight, waist circumference and percentage of body fat in the first four weeks, even without kiwifruit consumption.
Further, levels of both total cholesterol and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol were reduced, while levels of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol increased significantly during the first four weeks.
Eating two kiwifruits did not cause any further changes in body weight and had no significant effects on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. However, HDL cholesterol levels were significantly higher with the kiwifruit supplement relative to the control diet alone - and although the difference was relatively small, study authors believe this could translate into a 3-6% risk reduction of developing heart disease.
Further, in carriers of a gene associated with greater risk of elevated blood lipid levels, eating two kiwifruits a day also reduced triglyceride levels significantly - which was not seen in non-carriers.
Powerful antioxidants called polyphenols present in kiwifruits are the most likely reason why they act as a heart health supplement.
Overall, this study suggests that following a healthy, balanced diet can positively affect body weight and composition along with regulating blood lipid levels. Further, eating kiwifruits may provide an additional heart healthy benefit by raising HDL cholesterol levels.
So why not get your daily dose of kiwifruit?