How avocados and nuts can boost heart health: the Harvard study

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Scientists from Harvard University have found that certain types of fats, such as those found in avocados and nuts, can be good for your heart. These heart-friendly fats are called monounsaturated fats.

The Study and Its Findings

The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, was led by Charlotte Pratt and her team.

They looked at data from more than 100,000 adults who had participated in two major studies: the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The team found something interesting about people who ate at least two servings of avocados each week. This amounts to about two-thirds to one whole avocado.

These people had fewer heart problems compared to those who ate fewer avocados.

In fact, they saw a 16% lower risk for heart disease and a 21% lower risk for a type of heart disease called coronary heart disease. However, they didn’t notice any difference when it came to strokes.

Another interesting finding was what happened when people replaced certain foods with half a serving of avocado.

When people ate avocados instead of similar amounts of foods like margarine, butter, eggs, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats, they had fewer heart problems.

What Makes Avocados and Nuts Heart-Healthy?

So, why do avocados and nuts seem to be good for the heart? The researchers think it might be due to the heart-healthy fats in these foods.

To test this idea, they replaced avocados with nuts, which also contain these healthy fats. They found that doing this did not change the risks for heart disease.

This supports their idea that the healthy fats in these foods are what makes them good for the heart.

Avocados, for example, contain 5 grams of monounsaturated fat but only 1 gram of saturated fat. They are also packed with a nutrient called potassium and have very little or no sodium.

Other Views and Next Steps

Other scientists who reviewed the study agree that avocados and nuts can be good sources of healthy fats for the heart. They noted that we need more research involving a variety of people.

So, while we wait for more research, it seems like including avocados and nuts in our diet could be a heart-healthy choice.

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There are other studies you might find interesting, like one about a drug that could help lower obesity, improve fatty liver and heart health, and another about a woman whose heart attack was mistaken for muscle pain.

For more information about heart health, you can check out recent studies about how plastics are linked to heart disease and high cholesterol, and how a combination therapy could cut the risk of heart attack and stroke by half.

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