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According to a recent study, eating two servings of avocados per week was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study was published in the “Journal of the American Heart Association”.

Avocados contain dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fats (healthy fats), and other supportive components that have been linked to good cardiovascular health. Clinical trials have already shown that avocados have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors, including high cholesterol.

The 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.

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“Our study provides further evidence that consuming plant-based unsaturated fats can improve diet quality and is an important part of preventing cardiovascular disease,” said Lorena S. Pacheco, PhD, MPH, RDN. , lead author of the study and postdoctoral fellow. researcher in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“These are particularly notable results since avocado consumption has risen sharply in the United States over the past 20 years, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture,” she added.

For 30 years, researchers followed more than 68,780 women (ages 30-55) from the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 41,700 men (ages 40-75) from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All study participants were free of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke at the start of the study and lived in the United States.

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The researchers documented 9,185 coronary heart disease events and 5,290 strokes over more than 30 years of follow-up. Researchers assessed participants’ diets using food frequency questionnaires given at the start of the study and then every four years. They calculated the consumption of avocados from a questionnaire item that asked for the amount consumed and the frequency. One serving was equivalent to half an avocado or half a cup of avocado.

The analysis found:

1. After examining a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors and general diet, study participants who ate at least two servings of avocado per week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a risk of 21% lower coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados.

2. Based on statistical modeling, replacing half a serving of margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats like bacon with the same amount of avocado daily was associated with a reduction 16-22% risk of cardiovascular events.

3. Replacing half a serving a day of avocado with an equivalent amount of olive, walnut, and other vegetable oils has shown no additional benefit.

4. No significant association was noted with respect to stroke risk and the amount of avocado consumed.

“The results of the study have provided additional guidance for healthcare professionals. Offering the suggestion to replace certain spreads and foods containing saturated fat, such as cheese and processed meats, with avocado is something that physicians and other healthcare professionals such as registered dietitians may do when meeting patients, especially since avocado is a well-accepted food,” Pacheco said.

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“These findings are important because a healthy diet is the cornerstone of cardiovascular health, however, achieving and adhering to healthy eating habits can be challenging for many Americans,” said Cheryl Anderson, PhD. MPH, FAHA, chair of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.

“We desperately need strategies to improve intake of healthy AHA-recommended diets — such as the Mediterranean diet — that are rich in vegetables and fruits,” said Anderson, professor and dean of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. and Human Longevity Sciences at the University of California, San Diego.

“While no single food is the answer to eating a healthy diet regularly, this study is proof that avocados have possible health benefits. It’s promising because it’s a popular, accessible, desirable and easy food. to include in the meals eaten by many Americans at home and in restaurants,” Cheryl concluded.