Eating at least one avocado a week could help reduce heart disease risk

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In a study from Harvard University, scientists found that eating at least one avocado each week may lower the risk of developing heart disease.

A whole medium avocado contains about 240 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein, 22 grams of fat (15 grams monounsaturated, 4 grams polyunsaturated, 3 grams saturated), 10 grams of fiber, and 11 milligrams sodium.

Along with their low sodium levels, avocados contain no cholesterol.

Avocados are also a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.

They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Because avocados contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, they can help a person feel fuller between meals.

So far there have been a few findings on the link between eating avocado and long‐term risk of heart disease risk.

In the current study, researchers examined data from more than 68,000 women from the NHS (Nurses’ Health Study) and more than 41,000 men from the HPFS (Health Professionals Follow‐up Study; 1986–2016).

These people were free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke before the study. Their diet patterns were assessed using food frequency questionnaires every 4 years.

Over 30 years of follow‐up, a total of 9185 coronary heart disease cases and 5290 strokes were found.

The team found that compared with people who did not eat avocado, those with higher avocado intake (≥2 servings/week) had a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

No strong associations were observed for stroke.

They also found each half-serving/day increase in avocado intake was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

In addition, replacing half a serving/day of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats with the same amount of avocado was linked to a 16% to 22% lower risk of heart disease.

Based on the findings, the team concludes that higher avocado intake is linked to a lower risk of heart disease in US men and women.

In addition, the replacement of certain fat‐containing foods with avocado could lead to a lower risk of heart disease.

The study was conducted by Lorena S. Pacheco et al and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how drinking milk affects the risks of heart disease and cancer, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about how espresso coffee affects your cholesterol level, and results showing  Vitamin C linked to a lower risk of heart failure.

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