According to a study, the consumption of 2 or more helpings of avocado each week is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and replacing avo for some foods that contain fat such as processed meats, cheese or butter is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events.
Besides the dietary fiber in avocados, they also contain unsaturated fats, particularly healthy monounsaturated fat and other beneficial components that have been linked to good cardiovascular health. Earlier studies have found that avocados have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol.
Study participants were followed for 30 years and included over 68,780 women between the ages of 30 and 55 and over 41,700 men between the ages of 40 and 75. All individuals were free of stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer at the beginning of the study and residing in the US. During the approximately 30 years of follow-up, 5,290 strokes and 9,185 coronary heart disease events were reported.
The diets of the individuals participating in the study were evaluated by making use of food frequency questionnaires administered at the start of the study and after that every 4 years. Avocado consumption was calculated from a questionnaire item that asked about how much and how often avo was consumed. One helping equaled half an avocado or half a cup of avocado.
The analysis discovered that:
After a variety of cardiovascular risk factors and overall diet were taken into consideration, individuals who consumed a minimum of 2 portions of avocado every week experienced a 16% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% reduced risk of coronary heart disease, in comparison to individuals who never or rarely consumed avocados.
Determined by statistical modeling, substituting half a helping every day of cheese, yogurt, egg, butter, margarine, or processed meats like bacon with the equivalent quantity of avocado was linked to a 16% to 22% reduction in cardiovascular disease event risk.
Replacing half a helping every day of avocado with the same quantity of nuts, olive oil, and other plant oils revealed no further benefit.
No associations of significance were observed with regard to risk of stroke and the amount of avocado that was eaten.
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