According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 18 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease. In the United States, every 36 seconds a person dies from this disease, as detailed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has shown that eating at least two servings of avocado a week reduces the risk of heart attack by 21%, compared to avoiding or eating it infrequently. However, they did not find an equivalent benefit in reducing stroke risk. “The proportion is equivalent to half a cup or half an avocado,” explained Lorena Pacheco, author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in the department of nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The study involved more than 68,000 women and 41,000 men enrolled in two long-term government studies of chronic disease risk factors: the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All participants were free of cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke at the start of the studies and completed dietary questionnaires every four years for a period of 30 years.
To prevent heart disease, the US National Library of Medicine recommends following a healthy diet with less sugar, processed foods, and saturated fats, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol low.
On the other hand, the American Heart Association states that ” the body needs fat to increase energy, protect organs, produce hormones, and aid in the absorption of nutrients .”Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the healthiest options for the heart. They are found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, and sesame oil, along with avocados, peanut butter, and various nuts and seeds.
According to the AHA, saturated fats and trans fats increase bad cholesterol levels. Saturated fats, such as butter, are usually solid at room temperature and are found in full-fat dairy products, eggs, coconut and palm oils, and fatty cuts of beef, pork, and poultry with skin.
Artificially manufactured trans fats also increase bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It is often found in fried foods and other products such as pie crust, cookies, frozen pizza, margarine, and spreads.
“The consumption of healthy fats is essential to maintain our cardiovascular health- the nutrition graduate Julieta Pomerantz highlighted – mainly, the contribution of polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3 and monounsaturated fats such as omega 9, collaborate with improving our cholesterol and triglyceride profile.
In addition, the specialist indicated that “Avocado is an excellent food, with a high content of monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, it contains a lot of potassium and fiber, which also helps regulate our blood sugar. It provides satiety, which helps us regulate the rest of the day’s intake. Avocado should be part of every healthy eating plan.”
In addition, the researchers discovered that consuming half an avocado a day to replace the same amount of yogurt, eggs, cheese, butter or processed meats reduced the risk of heart attack by 16% to 22%.
“The benefits of daily avocado consumption derive from the introduction of this food in the diet and the exclusion of less healthy foods”, said Dr. David Katz, a specialist in Preventive Medicine and Lifestyle and Nutrition, who did not participate in the study.
On the other hand, the study did not detect a difference in the reduction of cardiovascular risk when half an avocado portion was replaced by an equivalent of nuts, olive oil, or other vegetable oils. According to Katz, “This makes sense because the health benefits depend on the food being substituted.”
“The avocado is a source of fiber everything related and linked to fiber is preventive at the cardiovascular level. First, it feeds everything that has to do with intestinal immunity and collaborates in prevention. And on the other hand, because it flushes harmful substances,” says Diego Sivori, Nutritionist Director of the UADE nutrition career.
And he added: “On the other hand, it has a profile of healthy fats, the best known is the profile of monounsaturated fats, it is that oil that is similar to the one in olive oil, and that is a fat closely related to the link between lowering cholesterol and a better blood fat profile that collaborates in cardiovascular prevention. It would be the omega 9 oil or monounsaturated fats from the avocado”
“This study is proof that avocado has health benefits, said Cheryl Anderson, chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, professor and dean of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the study – we desperately need strategies to improve intake of the healthy diets recommended by the AHA, such as the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vegetables and fruits.”
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