Eating Avocado Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Risk

Avocados are a 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. Avocados contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, which can help a person feel fuller between meals
 Researchers have found that avocados may protect the heart in a similar way. As olive oil and nuts do in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. A 2018 analysis of 10 studies found an increase in HDL (protective cholesterol) in people who consumed an average of 1 to 3.7 avocados daily.

Avocados The fruit that benefits heart health

Avocados. The fruit that benefits heart health (Photo: iStock)

Why are Avocados good for health?

  • Avocados are high in fat with 60 percent of this being monounsaturated fats, which research suggests help to protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure.
  • They are also an excellent source of potassium, folate, and fiber, all of which benefit the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Avocados contain dietary fiber, unsaturated fats especially monounsaturated fat (healthy fats), and other favorable components that have been associated with good cardiovascular health.
  • Clinical trials have previously found that avocados have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors including high cholesterol.
Researchers believe this is the first, large, prospective study to support the positive association between higher avocado consumption and lower cardiovascular events, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
“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, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.N., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow in the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “These are particularly notable findings since the consumption of avocados has risen steeply in the U.S. in the last 20 years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Those who ate avocados – a fatty fruit – also felt satiated longer – and ended up consuming lesser food, and lesser amounts of animal fats. Replacing animal products like butter, cheese, or bacon with avocado was also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease events, reports Science Daily.

How the study was conducted:

  • For 30 years, researchers followed more than 68,780 women (ages 30 to 55 years).
  • These participants were sourced from a group study – the Nurses’ Health Study.
  • More than 41,700 men (ages 40 to 75 years) in this study were from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
  • All study participants were US residents who were free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke at the start of the study.
  • Researchers documented 9,185 coronary heart disease events and 5,290 strokes during more than 30 years of follow-up.
  • Researchers assessed participants’ diet using food frequency questionnaires given at the beginning of the study and then every four years.
  • They calculated avocado intake from a questionnaire item that asked about the amount consumed and frequency.
  • One serving equaled half of an avocado or a half cup of avocado.

What are the side effects of avocado?

  • Avocados contain small-chain carbohydrates called polyols that can have a laxative-like effect when consumed in large quantities.
  • And if you have an avocado intolerance or sensitivity to these natural sugars, you may also experience bloating, gas, or an upset stomach up to 48 hours after eating it.

The study’s findings and conclusion:

  1. After considering a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors and overall diet, researchers arrived at the conclusion that study participants who ate at least two servings of avocado each week had a 16 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados.
  2. Based on statistical modeling, replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats such as bacon with the same amount of avocado was associate with a 16 percent to 22 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease events.

A prospective study that followed more than 110,000 men and women for more than 30 years suggests that eating two servings of avocado a week reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Researchers also found that replacing half a serving of butter, cheese, bacon, or other animal product. With an equivalent amount of avocado was an associate with up to 22% lower risk for CVD events.

The findings add to evidence from other studies that have shown that avocados — which contain multiple nutrients, including fiber and unsaturated, healthy fats — have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors, first author Lorena S. Pacheco, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

Researchers in Japan have ALSO discovered that avocados contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs to treat liver disease, the researchers say.

CONCLUSION

After adjusting for lifestyle and other diet factors, those who ate at least 2 servings of avocado per week. Had a 16% lower risk of heart disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease

The findings were published online on March 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. J Am Heart Assoc. Published online March 30, 2022. Abstract

Disclaimer: 

Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes. Only and should not construe as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter

Credits:

Eating Avocado Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Risk – Medscape – Mar 30, 2022.

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