Two Weekly Servings of Avocado Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
A newly issued paper in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported the outcomes from a large, prospective study involving more than 110,000 health professionals. The study demonstrated that two or more servings of avocado per week lower the risk of cardiovascular disease development. Furthermore, it was shown that cardiovascular events (i.e., coronary heart disease and stroke) could be avoided if processed fat-containing foods (i.e., butter, cheese, bacon) were substituted with avocado.
Scientists consider dietary fiber and healthy fats (i.e., unsaturated) contribute to good heart health. Almost 70,000 women and more than 40,00 men free of cancer and cardiovascular disease have been followed-up during the 30-year-study. People who consumed one avocado weekly (equals two servings) reduced their overall cardiovascular risk by 16% and coronary heart disease development by 21%, compared to those who did not or rarely ate avocados. However, this was not observed and confirmed for stroke risk.
Additionally, substituting at least half of butter, margarine, yogurt, egg, cheese, or processed meats servings per day with avocado, also reduced the risks for cardiovascular events by 16-22%.
Interestingly, replacing avocado with the equivalent amount of olive oils or nuts was not beneficial. Some limitations of the study also have to be acknowledged, such as self-reporting of consumption and the homogenous but specific groups of healthcare professionals. Therefore the results would not be extrapolated to other populations.
The study is in accordance with the American Heart Association recommendations on the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains, for patients with cardiovascular diseases or those with an increased risk of developing such.
Photo by Curology on Unsplash