High avocado consumption linked to lower risk of cardiovascular events

March 31, 2022
High avocado consumption linked to lower risk of cardiovascular events

The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended eating two or more servings of avocado weekly, and substituting avocado for certain fat-containing foods like butter, cheese, or processed meats, to maintain good cardiovascular health. Clinical trials also suggest avocados can lower the chances of fatal cardiovascular events including heart attacks and stroke, due to their high dietary fibre and healthy (monounsaturated) fat content.

According to data from 30-year study by the AHA of more than 110,000 health professionals in the US – who were free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke at the start of the study – participants who had at least two servings of avocado each week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados. AHA researchers documented 9,185 coronary heart disease events and 5,290 strokes during the study period.

[In the study, one serving equaled half of an avocado or a half cup of avocado.]

The data further revealed that replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats such as bacon with the same amount of avocado was associated with a 16% to 22% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events.

However, substituting half a daily serving of avocado for the equivalent amount of olive oil, nuts, and other plant oils showed no additional benefit.

“Our study provides further evidence that the intake of plant-sourced unsaturated fats can improve diet quality and is an important component in cardiovascular disease prevention,” said Lorena S. Pacheco, a postdoctoral research fellow in the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“Replacing certain spreads and saturated fat-containing foods, such as cheese and processed meats, with avocado is something physicians and other health care practitioners such as registered dietitians can do when they meet with patients, especially since avocado is a well-accepted food.”

Meanwhile, Cheryl Anderson, Chair of the AHA’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, mentioned that avocado “is a popular, accessible, and desirable food item that is easy to include in meals eaten by many Americans at home and in restaurants.”

Other AHA-recommended healthy diets include the Mediterranean diet which is focused on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, fish and other healthy foods and plant-based fats such as olive, canola, sesame, and other non-tropical oils. Although difficult for many Americans to adhere to, this study is evidence that avocado consumption has obvious health benefits.

Read: Daily avocado intake reduces “bad” cholesterol, promotes eye health

Category: Education, Features

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